The teacher how much the technology use effectively

The
notion of my teaching with technology was different before beginning the Module
1 of the diploma. Before this it was used for engaging students by showing
videos or multimedia display of flash cards, It was more on substitution and
augmentation level as mentioned in SAMR Model (Puentedura, 2009). With the help
of digital resources audit, constant interaction with the mentor, collaboration
with peers, and   discussions on the learning community forum enabled
me to expand the concept of efficient and effective use of technology resource
in the classroom. It was an essential for me to think carefully about when, why
and how to use technology, as well as evaluating their efficiency and
effectiveness which provide support to learners to develop 21st
Century skills. Initially teaching and learning with digital technology was a
new experience for me and for my learners too.  As it was the first year my school had been introduced
to Enhanced Learning Environment where digital peripherals were provided in the
classrooms. Hence, it was a challenge for me to internalize clarity about
innovative use of digital technology. However, by sharing ideas in focused
meetings with mentor, seeing the experiences of others, discussing the learning
outcome and analyzing the impact on learners’ learning over teaching every
lesson helped to meet the learning objectives. It was necessary to approach planning
in a different way to cater diverse learning needs of the class.

A
great deal depends on the level of planning, structure, preparation and
evaluation of potential impacts that technology will have on teaching, learning
and achievement (Richard J., Boris. B. 2004). Although, I have been
articulating the learning outcomes for many years, but the appropriate
selection of technology was another challenge for me. Most importantly selected
technology should meet the learning outcome of the designed lesson.  I have been able to reflect on my role as a
teacher how much the technology use effectively in my teaching and students’ learning.
I needed to consider that digital technology enabled learners to meet the
learning objectives, rather than starting with technology and coming up with
the use for it.  In this context my role
has changed as a designer of learning activities and used Beetham’s learning
activity model (Sam’s Antic, 2012). I usually focused on the learning outcome
then created the methodology, whereas now it has been transformed and my focus
is changed from ‘what’ to ‘how’. I intend to plan certain activities that
support the learning outcome in a better way and produce much productive
result.

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  I had to ensure that learners should have a
choice of learning activities at different level of Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy to
cater to the diversity in my class. From Module 1 to Module 2 my knowledge
related to the effective use of digital technology enhanced and I was able to
create new tasks that I had not thought of before. It further clarified when I
experienced TPACK module (Mishra& Kohelar, 2009) and added activities into
the programme plan. It supported context- bound understanding of technology,
where selection of tools was purposeful and fit specific pedagogical and
content related needs of diverse learners in the class.  In order to achieve desirable results in
terms of learners’ learning my focus was on sequence lesson planning in the
programme plan. By focusing on requiring end result, backward planning (Wiggins
& McTighe, 2005) allowed me to address the students need and collate data
to show the goal achieved at the end.

Proponents
of collaborative learning claim that active exchange of ideas within small
groups not only increases interest among the participants but also promotes
critical thinking (Gokhale, 1995). While making lesson plans I emphasized on
adding activities which would enabled learners to become more independent,
where they would have an opportunity to work with cooperation and
collaboration. When learners got the feedback from peers or me they discover
and self-edit the work before shared the final version of their assignment.
This further enlightened critical thinking and made them reflect on their work.
Moreover, I provided opportunities to my learners to scaffold all learners’
learning on an individual and small groups according to their learning
abilities. Such as when I asked learners to collate data from other classes
related to the topic ‘Food’, some learners did not know how to work
collaboratively on Google Docs and enter the data with mutual consent. Then I
realized that I had to work on group organization, group management and
differentiated instructions. Those lesson evaluation and feedback brought a
significant change in my teaching practices had included different aspects such
as in-depth planning, focusing on clear learning objective, select digital
technologies and other resources that supported teaching and learning both. In
fact learners were able to revisit, edit and self- correct their work on shared
Google Docs file and give feedback to others as well.

Before
enrolling on the Diploma, I used technology as a teaching tool and the purpose
was showing videos or making presentation. The significant change came in my
teaching after exploring SAMR module (Puentedura, 2009) and Bloom’s Digital
Technology (Churches, 2008) in Module1. This helped to change my thinking and
clarifying what is the need of learners in my class. I consciously planned
activities embedded with technology that moved from substitution phase of SAMR
to the modification and redefinition stage. It provided support to transform my
students’ learning. Moreover, with diverse learning style of my class, I had to
focus on instructional techniques (Beethum, 2007) which was necessary to deal
with diverse learning needs of learners. Thus connectivism theory (Siemens,
2014) offered that diversity through a variety of networks and provided
opportunities to collaborate to find solutions. It was Module 2, when I gained
confidence to work with principles of connectivism presented by (Siemens 2014).
I was able to understand that digital technologies have created new
opportunities for people to learn and share information not only among
themselves but globally as well. I also started interaction through internet on
learning forum and provided that exposure to my learners when they interviewed
a nutritionist through Skype and planned healthy snack menus on Google docs for
the whole school. Once students created the snack plan ten they shared the Docs
link on Edmodo with the other classes on general group of the school.  Now students have started collaboration as
on-going practice by using different digital technologies. Their participation
has increased in a wide range of group and pair work activities, choosing their
own tasks and technologies from the full range of Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.
Secondly, learners of my class were self-regulated by using digital
technologies and in-cooperated purposeful collaborative activities. Students
were able to analyse the task and set goals with the teacher’s support, then use
the designed activities. After receiving the feedback from the teacher and
peers, learners employed strategies to make progress on the learning task. I
closely monitored the progress after giving the specific feedback. On the other
hand my learners were able to manage their emotions about the outcomes of the
learning experience simultaneously, I was able to evaluate performance of
learners on the specific learning task. The use of technology was enabled my
learners to refer to the task and did needful according to the feedback. On the
other hand it allowed me to evaluate and reflect on my teaching skills with
ICT.

When
I started the Diploma journey, I began with technology audit of the branch then
I shared my findings with colleagues through establishing professional
community. That was provided forum to all of us to share experiences and gave
feedback. It was one of the ways to exchange dialogues and glitches faced while
teaching technology integrated lesson. It also supported me to find the best
possible solution in the areas of improvement. Sharing ideas on online learning
forum highly motivated me and my colleagues to place learning activities
embedded with technology in the class.  Although some teachers found this difficult
and showed some reluctance, however Enhanced Learning Environment of the branch
and constant positive feedback brought an innovative change in teaching and
learning. I also found the use of technology very interesting because my
learners were involved and engaged, but during Module 2 when I experienced
TPACK Model (Mishra& Kohelar, 2009), it brought further clarity how to use
technology for purposeful learning and develop higher order thinking skills
according to Bloom Digital Technology (Churches, 2008). At the initial stage,
my students had fun when they were exploring new devices and played together
but eventually that became the tendency of my learners to explore different
applications related to a particular software. Which developed confidence and supported
productive learning.

Using
digital tools made the work easy when I gave feedback on students’ assignments
on Google Docs because it provided opportunity for learners to self-assess,
edit and make necessary changes accordingly after receiving the instant
feedback from me . It has developed the ownership of their work. Being an early
years teacher, I need to maintain observation record and a checklist to assess
the progress of my students regularly, especially in terms of evaluating the
impact of teaching with new strategies on student’s learning. Thus, a variety
of available digital tools for assessment that I used during teaching provided
support to meet the diverse learning style (Harashim, 2017). Such as Survey
Monkey, online quizzes and reflection survey on Google Docs that I quickly
created and invited students to complete the task. This practice enabled me to
see the result and progress. Furthermore, I could analyze the data and focus on
the need of each individual student and also the class as a whole.  In this way, support was provided to students
to address what the areas that the students need some help with. Despite of
maintaining progression matrix I could evaluate my teaching practices with any
specific lesson. Similarly using one of these digital tools at the beginning of
a period, enabled me to focus on the valuable feedback received from learners
and made necessary changes as needed based on the data. This strategy worked in
a reciprocal way for the personal growth and reflection for my learners and me
respectively.

Although,
I was aware with the use of technology before starting the Diploma, however
that experience was at initial stage where I used technology for my personal
and some office related tasks. Willingness to embrace change began when I
started my course because that was essential for successful technology
integration. As a matter of fact technology is continuously, and rapidly
evolving and considering as an ongoing process and demands continual learning.
( Harashim, 2017 ) Thus, my inclination aroused and adopted technology to
express understanding and develop concrete learning among my students. Hence my
focus shifted and moved to learning that was relevant and assessment that was
authentic. In result, it changed the culture of teacher-centric learning to the
student centered learning where active involvement of students was evident and
progression was monitored.(Willium, 2014) Initially I used multimedia projector
for showing videos to engage learners and often provide 2animate and 2 publish
software for creative writing on tablets, however with further experience and
clarity of innovative teaching with technology changed the working ambiance,
reduced the laboriousness and monotony 
of work, increased motivation, engagement and participation of students
in the classroom. Through providing a variety of resources created interest and
excitement which added more fun using a different teaching and learning style.
It was offering pupils more responsible for making the learning autonomy,
ownership and opportunity to share expertise with peers or provided mutual
support. Particularly my confidence was increased with technology in order to
use selected digital tools in the class and also showed more potential in
learners. I consciously reviewed the learning outcome of the lessons because
despite of making interactive activities I was unable to meet the desired
outcome. As the learning objective was technology focused, ‘to gather data’
rather than skill focused ‘to create awareness’ hence the outcome was not as I
expected. Students concentrated on gathering data and involved in exploring
digital camera instead of collecting evidences which was my expected learning
outcome. When I added ‘how to use’, for the digital peripherals, and focused on
mode of instruction, then it cleared the task provided students with choices.
Then they mutually collaborated, and made the list of healthy and junk food
with their pros and cons of health and added into the snack plan. That gave a
new dimension to my practice, data gathering was an augmentation level of SAMR
(Puentedura, 2009). Whereas when they worked together, shared and negotiated
ideas, then mutually finalized the snack plan online with healthy choices
reached to the modification stage, this inspired me to continue using digital
technologies for learning as well as teaching.

In
order to reflect on the experience gained throughout the Diploma, I evaluated
my teaching practices with and without the use of technology. I realized that
the most important reasons for technology integration with the curriculum to
develop 21st century skills in learners. My skills and understanding
have further developed with internal exposure and interaction with mentor and
colleagues, it expanded when external exposure was involved through
professional learning community. Now, my recent lessons have changed and
improved as it has obtained active involvement of students by using a variety
of digital tools according to the requirement of the lesson. Undoubtedly,
without the use of technology lesson could be taught, however power of
collaboration, active learning, creativity and critical thinking would remain disconnected.
It may developed but did not reach up to the requirement of 21st
century skills. The use of technology enhanced my ability to convey the
concepts in a new way which was hampered earlier. I used networks as a way to
communicate tasks, generate class discussion and share content that support my
students’ learning – such as videos related to healthy and unhealthy diet, Skype
with nutritionist, Google Docs for making snack plan and reflecting on it. With
all these technologies, my students demonstrated their ability to support
social constructivism (Gokhale, 1995) in the classroom- not only through real
time interaction amongst peers but also with those whom they were virtually
connected. Subsequently, feedback received from my mentor and colleagues
enabled me to select and use a variety of digital technologies to meet set
learning objectives. Furthermore, by using professional learning community
enabled me to align much more to the connectivst school of thought (Siemens,
2014). 

Now,
I have become confident to plan activities according to the diverse learning
style (Harashim, 2017) of learners because differentiation came through
offering a choice of activities and tools for learners. Such as when I shared
instructions verbally as well as with pictorial illustration through multimedia
projector. Simultaneously, it went with formative assessment where peer and
self-assessment turned out to be an authentic evidence to maintain progression
matrix and reflection for action (Willium, 2014). It was also beneficial as an
effective tool of evaluation. Indeed the innovative use of technology has
become a powerful tool to transform the role of a teacher to a facilitator.

According to the
requirement of developing 21st century skill I intend to explore technologies
that support communication and collaboration. In collaboration learners were
able to interact and generate new ideas. In addition to this learners will
become problem solvers and work independently under teacher’s supervision.
Furthermore learners will be initiative takers and face challenges with
possible solutions. They will also learn from their own mistakes and habitually
debrief the processes to create more efficient solution. In order to meet
challenges of technology- driven world I will reflect on the implications of
how I might shape and apply digital technology more effectively. I intend to
bridge the gap of understanding of my colleagues that adopting the new technology
to serve traditional practice may not be a bad thing but if restrict their use
of making didactic teaching easier and more efficient and missing opportunities
to introduce better, different or more advanced way of learning. Further
details are added into professional development action plan.