"If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow" - John Dewey

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In recent years technology has penetrated the daily lives of students and teachers in the classroom to the extent that it has become a critical component of teaching. Technology has opened the world of education to new opportunities. Simple paper and pencil projects have transformed into Voice Threads and Interactive Blogs, and field trips may now be taken both in person as well as virtually through Skype sessions and exploratory web sites. Teachers need to be open to the various emerging methods of technology and make conscious efforts to integrate them into their daily instruction. Though it might be easier to simply use methods that have proven themselves over the course of time, teachers must

have an open mind to change if it is in the best interest of their students. Below you will find my interpretation and perspective on the National Educational Technology Standards.


Standard 1: Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments.

Though creativity and engagement have long been evident in the classroom, technological developments add a new element to student creativity. With technology, possibilities for divergent thinking, collaboration, and original creations are essentially endless! One of the most exciting technologies, Skype, enables users to video conference from distant locations.Over the course of the semester I not only researched the use of Skype in the classroom, but even participated in a Skype session with fourth graders. As part of my research a fellow pre-service teacher and myself created a presentation summarizing research articles on the effective use of Skype in the classroom. In our reading methods course, our class blogged back and forth with a class of fourth graders in response to reading a book entitled Spilling Ink, by Ellen Potter and Ann Mazer. After our blogging experience we met the fourth graders face-to-face and sat side-by-side as we skyped with author Ellen Potter. The Skype sessionwas absolutely amazing; the children were beaming from ear to ear and the other pre-service teachers and myself could hardly contain our excitement. It was through the use of technology that we were able to participate in this magical experience. Teachers ought to keep Skype and virtual field trip technologies in mind, especially if they want to defray the costs of field trips. Students who participate in virtual field trips might even be able to attend a more exotic location, such as the Great Reef, than if they had taken an average field trip.


Standard 2: Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments

Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS.

If teachers wish to prepare children for the fast-moving pace of the 21st century world, they must provide experiences that involve the incorporation of technology into their teaching. Integrating technology into the daily learning environment should be carried out cautiously so as to not allow the technology to overshadow the learning outcome at hand. The technology ought to enhance, but not drive the learning plan. In my technology course I learned how to successfully craft a lesson with the most appropriate activity types in an effort to ensure that technology enhanced the lesson. The lesson plan incorporates the use of the document camera, projector, interactive writing tablet, and an online rounding game to teach students how to round to the nearest thousand. The students were entirely engaged in the game, excited to apply their knowledge of rounding to help them to explode sharks. It proved to be an excellent summative assessment of the knowledge they had acquired, without the stigma that associates a test or worksheet.

Standard 3: Model Digital-Age Work and Learning

Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.

Teachers possess a responsibility to not only remain knowledgeable about technology tools, but also utilize the technology to collaborate with parents and families. My cooperating teacher has a an EdLine account on which she uploads pictures and classroom news so that parents and families may view the happenings of the classroom. An avid photographer, she has taken many pictures of the students in the classroom and enjoys using technology to share these photographic representations of the daily happenings in our classroom. In my future classroom I aim to have a similar method of sharing daily news with parents and families. However, I envision a blog or website that I will update regularly, if not daily. Like my cooperating teacher I plan to take numerous photos and share them with families and parents. The blog will create a portal between the teacher and parent, encouraging parents to become involved in their child's life at school. In terms of using technology to share my work, I created a blog on children's literature and hope to continue to utilize it in years to come as I discover examples of children's literature that I would like to share with parents and the educational community.


Standard 4: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility

Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices.

In nurturing the growth of future citizens of our society, teachers hold the important responsibility of educating youth on the proper and safe use of sources, both digital and paper-based. Children need to be exposed to copyright rules and laws at a young age to prevent habits of using a source without giving proper credit from taking place. Children as young as Kindergarteners can understand that stealing from a child is unfair, and therefore possess the mental capacity needed to understand that taking another person's ideas without asking them is similarly unfair. In the technology methods course we explored copyright laws and the notion of fair use rule in order to prepare us as future educators and make us aware of how these issues will apply to our own careers. Thus, as teachers we are in charge of educating our students about copyright and citation of sources, in addition to ensuring that we are modeling the same issues we are teaching.

Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.

If teachers were to simply learn how to use technology and integrate it in their own classroom without sharing their knowledge with others, then their work would be insignificant. Teachers ought to share their own skills with others in order to develop the same skills within those around them. Teachers are teachers to their students, but also to their colleagues in their staff and school community. Throughout the technology methods course I grew as a leader in the field of technology. I participated in a learning community with my colleagues of the program to explore, summarize, and discuss current articles from the field about technology integration. Furthermore, I collaborated with another pre-service teacher to create a presentation on the use of videoconferencing in the field of education. Our presentation delved into the effectiveness of integrating the technology into elementary classrooms. In my practicum experience, I have educated my cooperating teacher and other teachers in our team about the use of PowerPoint and Blabberize. I created a Powerpoint presentation to teach a lesson about Jacques Cartier and shared the presentation and embedded Blabberize video (see below) with the team. The collaboration with the team provides substantiation for my willingness to help others to develop their technology skills.