educational change

Situational ingenuity of teachers: The key to transformative, content-focused technology integration

Yesterday, I spent a very enjoyable day at the University of Houston, Victoria School of Education. In addition to meeting with them to discuss their new educational technology degree program, I presented for a colloquium that drew university professors, PK-12 teachers in the Victoria school district, and university students. I met several 5th grader teachers – two who were sitting near each other and work in two of the more rural schools in Victoria – so they got to meet each other. There was a gentleman who taught a plethora of subjects at a high school – crossing both science and history. I met about 6 undergraduates who are earning their degrees in teaching. And UHV university student recruited his mom, also a practicing teacher, to attend. Several of the COE and UHV administration was also in attendance. As advertised, it was quite a diverse audience.

In my presentation (see below), I share my vision for the use of digital technologies in education. I refer to it as transformative, content-focused classroom technology integration. I illustrate this concept through 3 stories of practice: from teachers, a school and its district, and a college of education. Tom is a mathematics teachers who designs a lesson with ropes, video, ipads, and graphing calculators to help students learn to write an equation for a trig function. Hilly High School began a iPad learning innovation in which all students receive iPads – I share how they developed their vision which included both a technology-focus and a learning-focus. Finally, I share data on preservice teachers’ use of social technologies and discuss how COEs could design a set of experiences that would develop preservice teachers to be connected educators. These will show the possibilities but also many of the challenges involved in this work. In these stories, I hope that you’ll discover ways that you, as a teacher, a school leader, a teacher educator, a parent, can assist in this transformation. I end by describing “situational ingenuity” and how I see teachers as most interested in this challenging work in their classrooms and how I see it as the key to designing content-focused, technology-supported innovations in classrooms.


SXSWedu proposal: Mythbusters: Year 1 in iPad classrooms

We have proposed a panel presentation for the SXSWedu conference, to be held in Austin, Texas in March 2013. Please go to our proposal page and vote to support our presentation to be included in the 2013 conference. Presentations are selected, in part, by crowd-sourced votes and comments, so please join in!

Mythbusters: Year 1 in iPad classrooms

Description

There are some wild claims about the impact iPads can have on PK-12 education, and more and more schools are moving toward 1:1 iPad initiatives…but what can schools realistically expect during the first year of a large scale iPad implementation (and beyond)?

In this panel, we will examine and debunk some of the myths related to the use of iPads in education. By doing so, we hope to help schools set reasonable expectations for the early stages of iPad integration. All phases of iPad implementation will be discussed from the moment the idea sparks into someone’s head to the implementation of iPads into school curricula and student learning.

Busted myths include:

  • Access to iPads is all you need.
  • Everybody wants an iPad.
  • There are over 100,000 quality apps for learning!
  • iPads will revolutionize teaching and learning!
  • If you let students use iPads in class, they’ll always be off-task.
  • iPads will save teachers time.

Questions Answered

  1. How to prepare? From day one of an iPad initiative, the technology must work. Adjustments to technology infrastructure are absolutely necessary, but beyond technical needs, there are a number of other preparatory tasks to achieve, including: completing administrative tasks (e.g. developing acceptable use policies), communicating with concerned parties (e.g. parents, board members), providing professional development (e.g. for teachers and technology specialists), and developing school norms.
  2. What happens to teaching and learning? Are iPads a panacea for revolutionizing education? In the first year, teaching pedagogies change little with the influx of the technology. Yet, opportunities for innovation are immense. Communication amongst students and teachers improves. New media literacies are prevalent, and the amount of time spent on administrative classroom practices decrease. With continued development and support, teaching and learning are apt to shift.
  3. How will iTeach and iLearn in the future? The key to transformations in teaching and learning is content-specific, teacher professional development. Identifying apps that specifically target content areas, student needs, and problems-of-practice (e.g. Celtx) is necessary to untap the full potential of the iPad technology cluster. iPad technology integrationists, teachers, curriculum specialists, and media specialists must collaboratively learn and innovate together. School leaders must model.

Tags

educational intervention, ipad, mobile, technology and pedagogy

Meta

Event: EDU

Format: Panel Discussion

Category: Best Practices and Pedagogy

Level: Beginner

Speakers

  • Gregory Russell, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Audrey De Zeeuw, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Minwook Ok, The University of Texas at Austin

Organizer

Joan Hughes The University of Texas at Austin

Additional Supporting Materials

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jn459qq5hhir4bk/mythbusters_graphic_SXSWedu.jpg

 

Chapter Publication: “The Iron Grip of Productivity Software within Teacher Education”

We are pleased to announce the publication of our chapter, “The Iron Grip of Productivity Software within Teacher Education” (Ch. 12) in the new book Developing Technology-Rich Teacher Education Programs. I co-authored this chapter with several Ph.D. students in our Learning Technologies program, including: Gloria Gonzales Dholakia, Yu-Chi Wen, and Hyo-Jin Yoon.

Our chapter’s abstract:

This chapter discusses several challenges and recommendations in obtaining the desired outcome from technology-rich teacher education programs, including a novice teacher prepared to make decisions supporting students’ subject-area learning with technology. The authors shape the discussion using select findings from two studies of preservice teachers enrolled in a technology-rich teacher education program at a U.S. university. The authors discuss the importance of the modeling relationship between instructors’ and preservice teachers’ experiences with digital technologies and describe productivity software’s enduring grip as the most used digital technology among preservice teachers during teacher education – even in technology-rich teacher education programs. The authors argue that teacher education’s overemphasis on productivity tools is not adequately preparing new teachers for the knowledge society in which teachers live, work, and educate. The authors argue that educational change, such as shifts toward technology-rich teaching and learning, will only be successful with a concerted change effort in both teacher education programs and PK-12 institutions.

Please see our full Chapter Description and ordering information. You may read the abstract and first page of the chapter in this PDF sample.

Browse the book’s Table of Contents with its 34 chapters.

If you are unable to secure a copy of our chapter, please email me [joanh at austin dot utexas dot edu] to get a copy.

 

 

iTeach & iLearn with iPads

I have begun a collaborative school-university research project examining: What happens to the culture of teaching and learning in a high school when iPad tablet technology becomes ubiquitous? Our project is called “iTeach and iLearn with iPads.”

In our digital society, schools are purchasing new technologies, like the iPad tablet, for teaching and learning. However, no research currently exists that examines how iPads and their software apps assist in students’ learning and teachers’ instruction in school subjects. Our ethnographic research examines one high school’s culture (knowledge, beliefs, and practices of students, teachers, school leaders, parents, and community) as they use iPads to participate in content learning and develop media literacy.  

In DC to inspire transformative technology integration & change

I am in DC this morning giving a presentation at the SETDA (State Educational Technology Directors Association) Leadership Summit and Education Forum to speak and participate as a Resource Specialist for the working group “Helping Educators Transform Their Classroom Practice.” I will provide insight on transformative technology use in schools, what meaningful change looks like, and ideas on helping create cultures of transformative change. I will also be working with a group of 35 or so state educational technology directors/representatives, Title 1 directors, corporate representatives, and textbook companies to develop a SETDA working statement as to how to how to help educators transform their classroom practice with technology.