Saturday, June 9, 2012

Teacher Learning Technology by Design by Koehler & Mishra

The Teacher Learning Technology article discusses a push for teachers to learn not how to operate a computer in the strictest sense but in a more flexible manner to meet the demands of the ever evolving technology rich classrooms of today. I find Kent and McNergney 1999 report findings interesting, “32 states in the United States include an explicit technology requirement.” I had assumed learning and using technology in the classroom was left up to the teacher’s discretion. I appreciate how Koehler and Mishra lay out the points in which they argue against. The authors plainly state previous and other points of view in an honest light only needing to evolve with the time by meeting new and higher standards. By stating previous perspective of what teachers were expected to know in term of technology use it feels like a brief history lesson to catch the reader up. Koehler and Mishra state that there should be more to teacher preparation than how to use technological tools which requires, “appreciation of the complex set of interrelationships between artifacts, users, tools, and practices.” It seems to me what the article is pointing to are the ever evolving dynamics between the multitudes of variables that arise when integrating technology into the classroom environment. Especially when taking into account solving authentic classroom problems with technology.

Koehler and Mishra argue, “intelligent pedagogical uses of technology require the development of complex, situated form of knowledge we call Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK).  The authors bring attention to the importance of the interrelationship between technology, content/subject matter, and the methods in teaching it pedagogy. As opposed to yesteryear when teachers were prepared to operate a computer Koehler and Mishra push for training that teaches teachers and teacher candidates how to address problems in the classroom by integrating specific technological applications. For me as an instructional aide I used the Ipad provided to me in class to help engage students in learning American Sign Language, experience playing an instrument, and listen more attentively to story time to learn to decode better. TPCK also calls for problem based learning by students as well.

I appreciated reading the three examples of Learning by Design Approach in the article. I believe these examples provided context which helps me better understand the TPCK premise. I especially liked the iVideos assignment and could see myself using this form of technology to teach various snipets of subject matter. I am glad that they threw in the frustrating aspect of trying to learn to use technology in the classroom, at the end. This seemed to make the article more honest to me because from my experience there is a learning curve in using technology in the classroom as a student or teacher. To not address this aspect would have made the article less credible in my opinion.

The article entitled Learning by Design by Koehler and Mishra explains there is more to integrating technology in the classroom than learning how to skillfully operate different forms of soft and hardware. TPCK takes into account the three most important variables at play when integrating technology into the classroom. To learn about how it plays out in the classroom they provided three examples and reiterated numerous times that, “The Learning by Design approach requires teachers to navigate the necessarily complex interplay between tools, artifacts, individuals, and contexts.”

My technology project will be utilizing various forms of technology such as a Prezi presentation, Ipad, digital camera, touch screen and personal computers, Iphones, Flip vid, and the internet. The content knowledge primarily focuses on American Sign Language, music, and story time for decoding purposes. The pedagogical methods at play include my research into how technology, primarily an Ipad, engages students in the learning process. I wanted to research whether Richardson claims in his book entitled Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms were true to form. What I learned is that various forms of technology inherently grab the attention and motivate students to learn. I also learned how important the Ipads user friendly nature is in a special education atmosphere. A couple of week’s worth of research on the applications provided by the Ipad informed me of the limitations and opportunities provided therein. Moreover my technology project has begun teaching me the methods, principles, and most importantly the dynamics involved in teaching with technological devices to address various problems in the classroom.

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