Monday, July 7, 2014

Blended and Online Learning Class-Module 3 Reflection

This week's reflection is centered around the Florida Center for Instructional Technology's Technology Integration Matrix and I focused my study of the available resources on my former area of teaching, Social Studies.

The matrix is a very valuable took, in that it allows teachers to explore lessons that integrate technology at a variety of levels.  These levels are:  Entry-the teacher begins to use technology tools to deliver curriculum to students, Adoption-the teacher directs students in the conventional and procedural use of technology tools, Adaptation-the teacher facilitates students in exploring and independently using technology tools, Infusion-the teacher provides the learning context and the students choose the technology tools to achieve the outcome, Transformation-the teacher encourages the innovative use of technology tools, technology tools are used to facilitate higher order learning activities that may have not been possible without the use of technology.

In addition to describing levels of technology integration, the matrix is also segmented on the vertical access by different types of learning environments.  The environments are:  Active, Collaborative, Constructive, Authentic, and Goal Directed.  This segmentation furthers the usefulness of the tool so that teachers can tailor the ideas from the tool to the learning environment that the students will be working in.

Based on my teaching practice from when I was in the classroom I believe that I would be at the collaborative adaptation or collaborative infusion level depending on the lesson.  I was a fairly early adopter of technology in my school district and worked hard to integrate it into the classroom in unique ways, but I do not believe I ever reached the transformative stage where students were driving the use of technology, except for maybe in the creation of a class blog and podcasts maintained by the students, which never really worked the way I envisioned.

If I were still in the classroom, I believe that I could get to the transformative level by the end of the 1st grading period this coming year, however, I would  want my learning environment to change from being a collaborative one to being an collaborative/authentic one as I would want to implement PBL within my classroom the majority of the time.

In order to make that growth happen I would need to restructure my lessons so that they are PBL based, provide learner development in the PBL process for students early on, and utilize BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to create a 1:1 technology environment in the classroom so that students can easily and fully integrate tech into the daily flow of class.  Along with this, my class would go 100% digital through the use of the Canvas learning management system..  Additionally, as tools are rolled out with projects via Canvas I would need to provide learner development lessons in the use of that technology.  For these I would want to create student lead lessons given by students who had already mastered that technology and allow for students to suggest tools to use for each upcoming project.

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