This assignment opened my eyes up to the scholarly research that is actually being done in the field of educational technology. There is so much hype on twitter and from school district initiatives, but rarely is the research included to back it up. My research explained why. A majority of educators now have access to mostly operating technology which is referred to as stage 1 of the move to using technology to its fullest potential in the classroom. U.S. schools are predominately operating within stage 2 of technology integration which means research is being conducted about how to move teachers beyond positive attitudes about technology to understanding how it can be integrated within lessons to truly transform learning which is stage 3.
Understanding this natural progression and learning from schools who are moving forward faster than others is extremely beneficial. I plan on leading professional development in the near future and it helps to have a framework so that I can support teachers at different stages of technology integration. I plan to start small to increase the chances of creating a positive experience for teachers. I will be leading a back to school in-service and I will introduce teachers to @todaysmeet which is like twitter but doesn’t require teachers to sign up. Once they get the idea of what ongoing dialogue can do in the classroom then it will create an option to get more to consider trying twitter for professional development. I hope to also introduce student blogging through Blogger which was mentioned as a high-value task for student outcomes in the research.
My school district rolled out Schoology this past year. Even the early adopters are not jumping on it. My research confirmed that it is important to begin with simpler systems when you do not have enough early adopters because the more advanced system will be viewed upon as an obstacle and add on since it is too complex to use after one training. I hear great things about Schoology, but when our tech support teachers admit they aren’t using it then it is time to figure out next steps.
The more I learn about the options Google is making available to us the more I like it! Google Scholar was very user-friendly and I also learned how to make use of Mendeley to keep track of my bibliography. The next time I’m wondering about the validity of a technology initiative I now know where to look.
As well, I appreciated all the resources that helped explain APA formatting. I learned more about the research studies because I had to annotate them. I look forward to reading the annotations from my small group!