Initial Thoughts about Teaching With Media
I believe that media and technology offer powerful tools for enhancing student understanding and learning. Technology offers solutions for the challenges of differentiation, individualization, and immediate feedback. It is a resource that enables students to connect with the context of what they are learning or to research and collect real-world information and data in real time. Because technology is so ubiquitous in the world today, it is a way to engage with students in a way that is directly applicable to their everyday lives and helps increase student motivation and interest. In addition to being a powerful tool, fluency with technology is an essential 21st century skill that should be taught in every classroom.
More Thoughts about Teaching With Media
Now that I have completed CI 5630, Instructional Technology, my philosophy on teaching with media and technology still contains the same elements as when I started the class but has been refined and clarified. The points I made in my original explanation were reinforced by the readings, videos, and the research I did independently. November’s article “Banning Student Containers” (2007) is one of many resources that helped strengthen my understanding of the importance of viewing technology as a way to connect to students’ everyday lives and as an essential 21st century skill. “If we could get past our fear of the unknown and embrace the very tools we are blocking (which are also essential tools for the global economy) then we could build much more motivating and rigorous learning environments. We also have an opportunity to teach the ethics and the social responsibility that accompany the use of such powerful tools.” (p. 2). Many other resources, such as Good Magazine’s video interview (2012) with Aaron Sams about the flipped learning classroom that he pioneered strengthened my view of technology as a powerful tool for student learning. In the video, Sams discussed the many positive effects that using technology to create a flipped classroom has had in his science classroom which include simple benefits like allowing students who miss class to catch up independently to more far-reaching effects like preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist.
The assignments and readings helped me transition from a purely philosophical understanding of why technology should be used in the classroom to a deeper understanding of the specifics of how technology and media can be used to teach middle grades mathematics. Leah Levy’s article “5 Ways to Incorporate TED Talks Into Learning” (2014) and Lisa Rubensteins “Using TED Talks to Inspire Thoughtful Practice” (2012) are two articles that I read that offered practical ideas for how to use videos in the classroom, ranging from using TED talks simply to inspire a thoughtful discusson in the class to more complex assignments such as having students create and record their own TED-style talks. Based on the information in these articles, I feel inspired to explore creative connections that online videos could have to math and to utilize those connections to teach the middle-grades curriculum in indirect ways. I am motivated to find ways to utilize my favorite videos, such as Eduardo Saenz de Cabezon’s TEDx talk “Math is Forver,” (2015) in my classroom to make connections to the real world and across disciplines.
Over the course of the class, my philosophy about technology has shifted from viewing technology as a mechanistic tool that increases student learning to a more artful, flexible arsenal of tools that allow for teaching to take the form of effective storytelling and for students to be storytellers as well. When I watched Joe Sabia’s TED talk (2011), I struggled to see how his emphasis on digital storytelling could connect to math. But as I discussed all the materials we read and viewed with my discussion group, the bigger picture of effective storytelling as an essential part of education emerged. Willcockson, Smith, & Mayes (2006) discuss the ways that technology can be used to make learning neuroscience more appealing to middle school students. As part of the presentation of they research, they highlighted “…the value of narrative or storytelling as aids to the learning process” (p. 138). Math, like science, can be a challenging subject for many students to learn and I now see the role that technology can play in communcating math in a way the utilizes the power of an engaging story.
Cox, Victoria. (2016). Image with technology icons and selfie.
Good Magazine (2012, September 28). Teaching for tomorrow: Flipped classroom. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/4a7NbUIr_iQ
Levy, L. (2014). 5 ways to incorporate TED talks into learning. Edudemic. Retrieved from: http://www.edudemic.com/ted-talks-lesson-plans/
Miller, L, Morneo, J, Willcockson, I., Smith, D., & Mayes, J. (2006). An online, interactive approach to teaching neuroscience to adolescents. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 5, 137-143. Retrieved from: http://asulearn.appstate.edu/mod/page/view.php?id=1394968
November, A. (2007). Banning student ‘containers’: education is digging in its heels against students’ personal tools. Technology & Learning, (11). 24.
Rubenstein, L. D. (2012). Using TED talk to inspire thoughtful practice. The Teacher Educator, 47 (4), 261-267. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08878730.2012.713303
Sabia, Joe (2011). The technology of storytelling. Retrieved July 31, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkZtRzc9rFQ
Sáenz de Cabezón, Eduardo(2015). Math is forever. Retrieved July 31, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGlZi2SwETc