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Introductory Integrative Essay: Personal Reflection & Program Portfolio

In order to successfully communicate, work and learn in today’s complex and technology-driven society, people (including students) must be able to use technology effectively (Dover, 2004). The technological advances achieved in the past few decades have brought about a revolution in the professional world and in society. Technology affects nearly all aspects of life, both professionally and personally. Thornburg (1998) speaks of disruptive technologies that revolutionize how things are done. It is important that educators adhere to standards for educational uses of technology in order to enhance technology proficiency of students as disruptive technologies continue to emerge.  

To assist educators integrate effective technologies, the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Project and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) established and defines standards for students and teachers. These standards are used for integrating technology into curriculum, technology support, and student assessment and evaluation of technology use (NETS, 2005). Additionally, many universities, institutions of higher learner, and school districts are providing degree programs and training for successful integration of technology, according to the NETS technology standards.

Participating in this Master’s program has enabled this learner to identify and use technology resources to become a better educator in this technology generation. The following web pages provide program and student samples that support the intergration of techonoly according to the NETS project standards established for teachers and students. Each artifact select depeicts the values and standards that NETS have identified fro successful technology integration. This Master’s program and (along with this learners school district’s professional development programs) have enable this learner to successful integration of technology into curriculum. After this program, this learner can effectively demonstrate introductory knowledge, skills, and understand concepts related to technology, as well as, they should demonstrate continual growth in technology knowledge and skills to stay abreast of current and emerging technologies (NETS, 2007). As a result, students will become proficient with the use of technology and be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems (NETS, 2007 and Ribble & Bailey, 2004).  

Also, this educator can design developmentally appropriate learning opportunities that apply technology-enhanced instructional strategies; identify and locate technology resources and evaluate them for accuracy and suitability; manage of technology resources; and utilize strategies to manage student learning in a technology-enhanced environment (NETS, 2007 and Leu & Leu, 2004). When educators plan and design digital learning environments, students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity. As well, students will use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works (NETS, 2007).

With regards to teaching and learning in the new millennium, this educator will implement curriculum plans that include methods and strategies for applying technology to maximize student learning via: facilitate technology-enhanced experiences that address content standards; use technology to support learner-centered strategies that address the diverse needs; and apply technology to develop students' higher-order skills and creativity (NETS, 2007 and Ribble & Bailey, 2004).  

Successful education technologies enables students to use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity (Ribble & Bailey, 2004). As well, students will use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works. Additionally, students use technology resources for solving problems in the real world and when making informed decisions (NETS, 2007 and Ribble & Bailey, 2004).

Teaching and learning are not the only areas in which educational technologies are valuable. This educator applies technology to facilitate a variety of effective assessment and evaluation strategies including: assessing student learning; collecting and analyzing data, interpreting results, and communicating findings to improve instructional practices (NETS, 2007 and Ribble & Bailey, 2004). When multiple technologies are used as a means of assessment, educators can accurately and easily evaluate students' learning as well as their appropriate use of technology resources for learning, communication, and productivity (Leu & Leu, 2004).  

This educator also uses technology to enhance productivity and professional practice by: using technology resources to engage in ongoing professional development; apply technology to increase productivity; and use technology to communicate and collaborate with peers, parents, and the larger community to nurture student learning (NETS, 2007 and Ribble & Bailey, 2004). Technology in professional practice allows educators to continuously learn how to stimulate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology (Leu & Leu, 2004). As well teachers that incorporate digital media environments encourage students to communicate and work collaboratively (including distance learning) to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others (NETS, 2007 and Ribble & Bailey, 2004).

Finally, technology integration must be modeled and monitored to ensure that educators and students are safely using technology (Smolin & Lawless, 2003 and Sleeter & Tettagah, 2002). As a result of this program, this educator understands the social, ethical, legal, and human issues surrounding the use of technology in school and apply those principles in practice (NETS, 2007). This educator will model and teach legal and ethical practice related to technology use; identify and use technology resources that affirm diversity; and facilitate equitable access to technology resources for all students (NETS, 2007 and Ribble & Bailey, 2004). Once students understand the ethical, cultural, and societal issues related to technology, they practice responsible use of technology systems, information, and software; and develop positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity (NETS, 2007).  

Ultimately this learner’s goal as an educator is to increase technology proficiency levels among students, so they are prepare to enter society able to work, communicate, and learn with technology. In order to do so, educators, must be able to model and teach technology usage. The ISTE National Education Technology Standards project has been established to provide technology standards for teachers and students, which will increase effective technology integration in curriculum and schools. In fact, after obtaining this Master’s in technology education, this learner plans to serve as a technology education leader and consultant for various schools in the district.

As a technology leader and consultant, this educator will implement and provide action steps (for the school) to assist in reaching the vision of empowering students to become lifelong learners capable of using technology for critical thinking, problem solving, virtual learning and increasing student achievement. The following website contains the professional portfolio that ensures that this educator is a trained technology integration leader, capable to implement ad demonstrating technology standards for teachers, students and administrators. Establishing technology leaders and consultants provides schools and school districts with action plans and experts that will ensure successful integration of technology in today’s classrooms.  

References:

Dover, K. (2004). Technology in Workplace Learning. Adult Education, (2)3. Retrieved September 26, 2007, from http://adulted.about.com/od/traininganddevelopment/a/simulations1.htm.

Leu, D. J. and Leu, D. D. (2004). Teaching with the Internet: Lessons from the Classroom. (4th. Ed.) Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.

National Educational Technology Standards [NETS]. (2005). National Educational Technology Standards: Connecting Curriculum and Technology. Retrieved 03- 27-06 from http://cnets.iste.org/

Ribble, M. & Bailey, G. (2004). Digital citizenship. Learning and Leading with Technology, 3(2), 12-15.

Sleeter, C. & Tettagah, S. (2002). Technology as a tool in multicultural teaching. Multicultural Education, 10(2), 3 - 9. Smolin, L.I. & Lawless, K.A. (2003). Becoming literate in the technological age: New responsibilities and tools for teachers. The Reading Teacher, 56(6), 570 - 577.

Thornburg, D. D. (1998). Brainstorms and lightning bolts: Thinking skills for the 21st century. San Carlos, CA: Starsong Publications.