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Our solution was to install a comprehensive Internet management system. Teachers report feeling freer embracing risk and experimenting with technology while ensuring students are safe and on-task. There is an overall culture of learning, and the system definitely brings calm to the classroom.

It was challenging for teachers to spot online distractions because there are so many apps. They need to know what their students are interacting with in and out of the BYOD classroom. We try to ensure all our teachers are aware of the various social media platforms, and how they can be used for good or for bad during and outside of class.

Again, our solution to this particular challenge was a robust Internet management system that can adapt as new apps come online. Students understand that while they are at school, they must use their devices for school-related activities exclusively. Establishing boundaries around digital literacy is critical for providing a safe and effective environment in which students can cultivate responsible decision-making capabilities and self-control that can last a lifetime.

Technology evolves much more quickly than other industries. Twenty years ago, computer labs used to be the sign of a technically advanced school. Now, students carry much more powerful computers in their pockets. Digital tools offer an instrumental learning and engagement boost but, especially in a BYOD classroom, schools need solutions that are easy to navigate while offering comprehensive classroom management. We wanted our students to know they should be on task and that the teachers could verify this, while also encouraging personal responsibility to better equip them for college life.

It does not require installation on the various devices students use. Utilizing a classroom management system that allows an at-a-glance view of real-time student Internet activity produces clear improvements at OCS. The system helps greatly in the area of classroom control. It takes the guessing out of monitoring students. Classic, best teaching practices are still employed—we continually walk throughout our classrooms and engage with students. Having a software solution that operates in the background gives us the freedom to use technology in the classroom within a framework that is safe and promotes learning at its highest level.

It allows teachers to connect the dots between responsible online and offline behavior—values that are the same everywhere. In addition, teachers can use the reporting functions to generate individual daily, weekly or monthly Internet use reports to help encourage good Internet habits. We also found the reporting function to be a useful tool for gathering school-wide Internet statistics. I never felt like I had peace of mind about allowing students to use them because of some of the sites I knew they were able to visit.

Now, I feel like I can make more use of computers in class! Teachers and students alike benefit from a strong, structured approach to Internet classroom management. At OCS, we need to ensure any investment we make in EdTech will work long-term to keep kids safe and on-task. We also strive to create a healthy, low-stress dynamic between students and faculty. It has been rewarding for us to see tangible progress helping our school evolve into a rich, engaging and productive high-tech learning environment. Stay in-the-know with all things EdTech and innovations in learning by signing up to receive the weekly Smart Update.

The Civic Mission of Schools also suggested that citizens act politically by organizing to address social issues, solve problems in groups, speak in public, petition, protest, and vote.

21st century skills

In support of the Mason et al. Being an engaged and effective citizen today requires reading, writing, and mathematical skills; the ability to understand complex issues which sometimes have scientific or economic dimensions ; knowledge of computers and the Internet [italics added]; and the ability to talk with people from different backgrounds.

One of the most far reaching and influential projects to distinguish how teachers and students should utilize technology in support of the aims of education can be found in the ISTE National Technology Standards. ISTE developed these technology standards for teachers and students in such a way as to inform expectations for citizenship skills in a digital age.

Teachers demonstrate a sound understanding of technology operations and concepts. Teachers plan and design effective learning environments and experiences supported by technology. Teachers implement curriculum plans that include methods and strategies for applying technology to maximize student learning. Teachers apply technology to facilitate a variety of effective assessment and evaluation strategies. Teachers use technology to enhance their productivity and professional practice. Teachers understand the social, ethical, legal, and human issues surrounding the use of technology in PK schools and apply that understanding in practice.

These standards were not included in this study. In , ISTE convened panels of educators and technology specialists to review the technology standards for students. Much of the discussion focused on moving beyond technology operations and concepts. The standards identify six core components:. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills b has also developed student outcomes representing the skills, knowledge, and expertise students should master for success in 21st-century work and life. In addition to core academic subjects, the Framework for 21st Century Learning suggested interdisciplinary themes that are especially relevant for citizenship skills.

The Framework for 21st Century Learning also incorporated technology into Learning and Innovation Skills, which focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. These skills are also important for citizenship. The Framework emphasizes information literacy, media literacy, and information, communications, and technology ICT literacy. Specifically, information literacy requires the ability to efficiently access and critically evaluate information and creatively use it to solve problems.

Media literacy focuses on the construction and interpretation of media messages and how media influences beliefs and behaviors. ICT literacy focuses on using digital technology, communication tools, and networks to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information. This research study focused on technology as a tool for learning and developing 21st-century citizenship skills by preservice teachers with their K students. The research reported here is part of a larger study of the use of technologies to develop 21st-century citizenship skills.

The data presented here represent a slice of a larger set of data, and the goal of these initial findings is to create a foundation for future work and research.


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The preservice teachers in this longitudinal 5-year study were students in a four-quarter graduate teacher education program at a major university in the Pacific Northwest. The program used a cohort model, and the teachers in this study participated in three elementary preK-6 and five secondary cohorts between June and June Cohorts ranged in size from 22 to 31, with an average of Data from 88 elementary and secondary teachers were included in this study.

Secondary cohorts included preservice teachers seeking endorsements in a variety of subjects, including language arts 49 , social studies 29 , foreign languages 19 , music 11 , art 8 , health 4 , business education 4 , science 4 , drama 3 , and mathematics 2. These preservice teachers completed a required two-term instruction and technology course, taught by the primary researcher in this study. Preservice teachers learned to use a variety of technologies as they participated in the Intel Teach to the Future curriculum Candau et al. Findings from the research literature about the importance of weaving technology into instructional methods informed the instruction in these courses.

21st century skills - Wikipedia

Preservice teachers in both elementary and secondary cohorts were expected to learn to use all of the technologies; however, instructional application of these technologies differed depending on the grade level of the K students. The model suggests that learning is an active process, and learning is more effective when students are engaged in constructing personally meaningful products.

Preservice teachers in this study were required to develop technology-enriched lessons within a curriculum unit that incorporated a variety of technologies appropriate to the grade level s and subject s they subsequently taught in student teaching. The second instructional technology course was taught during a half-time student teaching experience for participants, in which the preservice teachers were expected to teach 20 hours per week under the supervision of a cooperating teacher while attending university courses.

Preservice teachers were encouraged but not required to implement technology enriched lessons in both their half-time student teaching Student Teaching I and subsequent full-time student teaching Student Teaching II field experiences. During both field experiences, preservice teachers completed a work sample that included the classroom context, unit rationale, detailed lesson plans, sample instructional materials, and pre and post K student assessment data.

Student Teaching I work samples represented a unit of study lasting 2 to 3 weeks, while Student Teaching II work samples represented a 4- to 5-week unit of study. The work samples did not include every lesson taught during the student teaching experience—only the lesson plans for a specific unit of study to meet licensure program requirements. The data included a work samples collected at the end of half-time Student Teaching I and full-time Student Teaching II from preservice teachers and b final reflections from preservice teachers at the end of the licensure program.

Becoming a 21st Century Administrator

During the first 2 years of the study, , obtaining all of the work samples from Student Teaching II was difficult, since the preservice teachers were using their work samples in an action research course that immediately followed full-time student teaching. Reflections were not collected from the preservice teachers in the cohorts. Table 1 lists the study participants and data sources. Between and , 86 Student Teaching I work samples and 54 Student Teaching II work samples were collected for a total of work samples from 88 elementary preservice teachers.

Between and , Student Teaching I work samples and 93 Student Teaching II work samples were collected for a total of work samples from secondary preservice teachers. The secondary work samples for which subject area was recorded during data collection included units in language arts 69 , social studies 42 , foreign languages 25 , music 10 , art 7 , science 7 , drama 6 , business education 5 , mathematics 3 , and health 3.

Each type of technology was recorded once for an individual preservice teacher, whether the technology was used one or more times by the preservice teacher or by K students. For example, a work sample indicating that the preservice teacher developed a PowerPoint presentation was coded as one type of technology use, even if the preservice teacher developed several such multimedia presentations.

Similarly, if K students used word processing software, it was coded as one type of technology, even if the students used that technology for multiple assignments within a work sample. Consequently, this research reports the percentage of preservice teachers or K students who used any given technology at least once. In addition, the reflections were read according to whether or not the technology was used for instructional purposes by the preservice teachers or by their K students. Preservice teacher reflections were examined for examples of technology use throughout their student teaching field experience, not just during the instruction of the work sample.

Because the National Educational Technology Standards do not list the technologies that may be used to meet each standard, the process of identifying technologies according to the ISTE standards is a judgment call. This process involved reexamining the copies of the technology lessons and notes from initial analysis of the work samples to determine the intended purpose of each technology use in each work sample.

The resulting categories represent the best fit of the technologies in these work samples to the ISTE standards. I reread the copies of the technology lessons and notes from initial analysis of the work samples to determine the intended purpose of each technology use by K students in each work sample. These were the two questions driving this research. To accomplish this analysis, I reexamined the data from the initial work sample analysis and assigned technology uses in each work sample to the relevant NETS-T, depending on the purpose of the technology use. Preservice teachers tended to use digital still and video cameras to document student learning and spreadsheets to communicate student assessment data NETS-T IV , while they used presentation PowerPoint and desktop publishing to enhance their productivity and professional practice NETS-T V.

A variety of other technologies were also evident, but in smaller percentages of the work samples. Word processing and accessing the Web were the most frequently used technologies in the 42 social studies work samples, as well as the other subject area work samples in this study. In addition to analyzing the data for its fit with NETS-T categories, the data were also considered in several comparative contexts. Secondary preservice teachers were three times more likely to use presentation software and twice as likely to use LCD projectors in the classroom than were elementary preservice teachers.

Four technologies used by secondary preservice teachers creating CDs, webpages, emails, and blogs were not used at all by elementary preservice teachers. In contrast, elementary preservice teachers used digital cameras to document student performance three and a half times more frequently than did secondary teachers, and they used webquests with their students four times more often than did secondary teachers. Although less frequently than their secondary school colleagues, elementary preservice teachers in this study used word processing, Internet search tools, graphic organizers, and webquests to maximize student learning.

Each of the reflections was analyzed for the types of technology that preservice teachers reported using with their K students. Preservice teachers reported integrating 18 different technologies into instruction. These data are summarized in Table 6. Comparing reported technology use to the NETS-T suggested that preservice teachers used technology to support their lessons II , maximize student learning III , facilitate assessment IV , and enhance productivity and professional practice V. For example, reflections documented technology-supported lessons Standard II in which preservice teachers used an LCD projector to show multimedia presentations, streaming video, websites, documentaries, and news clips.

A smaller number of preservice teachers created class webpages and blogs, recorded student work with digital cameras, and communicated by email with students and parents. This finding confirmed previous research that preservice teachers tend to use the technologies they were taught Mason et al. Though reluctant and hesitant to use new technology when I started this program, I have learned to love and appreciate its many uses and the opportunities it provides me as an educator.

Becoming more familiar with it and capable of using it was one of the most significant changes in my professional development. Using and mastering technology helped me become a better teacher. I learned and was able to communicate with other teachers and research new instructional strategies via email and internet.

The new tools that I have learned this year helped me become much more organized, much more efficient with my time, and much more capable of creating a wider variety of activities and lessons for my students. Another preservice teacher illustrated the challenge of using technology appropriately in every situation. I am a beginning teacher. Because of my coursework … and my student teaching placement, I have a huge toolbox chockfull with ways to create an engaging, student-centered, accessible learning environment for the diverse students with whom I will work in the coming years.

Preservice teachers were sensitive to the digital divide and did not feel they could assign completion of technology projects for homework when technology was lacking in the classroom and at home. At some elementary schools the students lacked prerequisite skills to use the technologies, and the preservice teachers did not feel there was adequate time for them to teach both technology skills and the academic content.

While the preservice teachers in this study taught in a variety of settings urban, suburban, and rural , as well as a variety of grade levels and subjects, they faced a consistent challenge in using technology as a tool for learning: lack of access to adequate technology in the K schools.

On Demand Learning in the 21st Century Classroom - Kayla Scheer - TEDxABQED

With rare exceptions, computer labs, classroom computers, printers, Internet connectivity, projection and recording devices, and appropriate software were insufficient to meet student demand. Lack of technical support staff and adequate time to figure out how to use the equipment, set it up, and test it was another hurdle. Even when the technology existed in the school, it was not well maintained and was frequently unavailable.

In some schools the computer labs were booked for over a month to administer state tests. However, the vast majority of preservice teachers still used technology for instruction despite the lack of adequate resources. This research also examined the use of technology by K students. A total of work samples elementary and secondary were examined specifically for evidence that K students used the technology for their own learning.

The results are summarized in Table 7. K students used presentation and graphic organization software to promote creative thinking and created movies and CDs as innovative products NETS-S Standard 1. Each of the work samples was labeled for the NETS-S and student learning practices it documented. NETS-S focus on six core technology competencies that support effective citizenship skills and may be exhibited through the appropriate use of technology tools. For example , creativity and innovation may be demonstrated through presentation, graphics, and graphic organizer software.

Communication and collaboration may be enhanced through email, word processing, presentation and desktop publishing software, and digital cameras. Research and information fluency can be accomplished by appropriately using Internet search tools. Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making can be supported through simulations. All work samples were examined, revealing 23 specific types of technology used by K students.

These results are summarized in Table 9. Students used word processing 40 work samples and blogs 11 work samples to support communication and collaboration NETS-S Standard 2. Each of the preservice teacher reflections was also labeled for the NETS-S and student learning practices it documented. For example, reflections documented K students who demonstrated creative thinking and who developed innovative products by using digital video cameras and I-Movie software to create video poetry.

K students used five different tools to demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products NETS-S Standard 1.

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They used digital video cameras with I-Movie software to create news broadcasts, campaign videos, original short story dramatizations, video poetry and commercials. Students created numerous multimedia presentations to share their research and developed webpages to publicize school events and publish graphic novels and poetry anthologies.

They created digital photographs of their paintings and CDs of their projects and used graphic software to design posters and book jackets. They also downloaded songs onto their iPods to accompany oral presentations on historic protest movements. They created multimedia presentations and webpages. They recorded projects and demonstrations with digital still and video cameras.

They created printmaking projects as part of a digital cultural exchange with students at their sister school in Uganda. Students used desktop publishing software to create brochures and pamphlets, such as Spanish and Southwest Asian cookbooks, poetry zines, and history magazines. They created concept maps and graphic organizers of their research to support their writing. Students in a French class created a movie with PowerPoint, including voice recording and digital photographs, to demonstrate their grammar and vocabulary knowledge.

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Other students wrote persuasive essays, research papers, poetry anthologies, and lab reports with word processing software. They eagerly shared their learning with others by posting to the class blog, by using an LCD projector for class presentations of group work, and by emailing their teachers, public officials, and students in other countries.

Students also used technology tools to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make decisions NETS-S Standard 4. Students also created spreadsheets and graphs to propose a state budget, analyze data from science labs, and propose a startup student business. Webquests, simulations, virtual field trips, and mathematics and foreign language sites were also utilized to support their problem solving skills.

The NETS-S on understanding societal issues related to technology and the practice of legal, ethical behavior was not addressed by the reflections. However, preservice teachers did receive instruction on teaching ethical and safe technology practices. Some K students loved the use of technology in the classroom and knew more about the applications than the preservice teacher, while others lacked the technology skills to successfully complete Internet research, and others were distracted from classroom instruction by their personal technology.

One high school preservice teacher commented,.


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The greatest challenge I have had with students and technology is knowing how to effectively research a topic. Students in many cases do not approach Internet research appropriately and they do not know how to assess whether the source is adequate or credible. All year I have been battling iPods, CD players, game players, and especially mobile phones.

They are all classroom distractions that keep each kid in their own little world when they should be working with the rest of the class. Between classes they all put on their earphones and walk past each other in the hall, rarely communicating with each other. Another comment from a preservice teacher in the study was even more negative about the uses of technology.

Many of my students felt far more comfortable using different forms of technology as toys instead of as learning tools. For the students I teach I believe the use of technology enhances most units. Students at my school enjoy creating presentations on computers.


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Some of the seemingly most difficult to teach students focus well and work when using programs such as Microsoft Word, publisher, and PowerPoint. At its best [technology] helps students form personal connections with the subject matter and puts them in control of their learning experience. If we really are working toward implementing effective student centered instruction, we must be willing and able to utilize materials and techniques that help students in this exact manner.

Technology supported student learning by giving them [students] access to first hand accounts in a variety of formats. The purpose of this study was to analyze how preservice K teachers use technology as a tool for student learning and development of 21st-century citizenship skills. According to Bolick et al. Specifically, I taught preservice teachers to use technology in four areas: a planning and designing effective lessons, b maximizing student learning, c facilitating assessment, and d enhancing productivity and professional practice.

This study supported the findings of Whitworth and Berson that using the Internet to access information was the most common use of technology. However, preservice teachers in this study also used a variety of other technologies, including presentation and graphic organizer software, LCD projectors, streaming video, and webquests, for instructional purposes. K students also used presentation software, webquests, and weblogs for their own learning. Possible explanations for the greater integration of technology by the preservice teachers in this study compared to earlier research include the following: a I emphasized integration of technology as a tool for learning and encouraged preservice teachers to use technology with their students; b the required course integrated technology tools into instructional design and was taught prior to and concurrently with Student Teaching I; and c the technology skills of entering graduate students have increased over the 5-year study.

Some critics may suggest that the integration of technology as demonstrated in this study is technocentric. The organizations that developed these policy statements advocate for digital citizenship, which involves students actively using technology in creative problem solving and decision-making. There was little evidence that students used technology in other areas emphasized by these organizations, including critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making.

The richest examples of K students demonstrating digital citizenship skills were seen in the work samples and reflections of elementary and secondary preservice teachers who taught social studies units.