I teach in two learning environments. The two environments are very different from one another. One site is a leader in technology and the second, dependent on local tax dollars, is always trying to catch up with the current trend in digital learning. In my position at EOM, we are always short on monies. Putting technology in place has been difficult. At Indiana University Southeast where I have access to the “Big Red Machine”, one of the largest and fastest computer networks across the country, digital learning is expected. These are two very different worlds. Therefore, I would place myself on the grid differently depending on which environment I’m writing about.
The IUS experience has no boundaries. The hardware, software, standards, and tech savvy students are in place. The use of their devices comes naturally. The students use the tech to think, assimilate and present their new learning. My desire to use technology in the public school setting has been limited by hardware, software and a full curriculum. In this arena I would find myself on a different spot on the TIM grid.
I am Co Director of the IUS Writing Project. We are a local site of the National Writing Project. The National Writing Project has been emphasizing digital learning in the classroom for a number of years.
The NWP Technology Initiative (TI) provides opportunities for writing project sites to better understand the impact of new digital tools and information/communication technology on the teaching of writing and literacy learning.
- To develop high-quality programs that promote the thoughtful integration of technology into the teaching and learning of writing in the nation’s schools
- To expand opportunities at local writing project sites for teachers to access resources and professional development in technology and the teaching of writing.
- To connect writing project sites and teachers to partners and resources related to the teaching of digital writing and 21st-century literacies.
At NWP international conventions, many of the strands focus on the use of technology in the classroom. We are expected at the IUS Summer Institute to have our teachers in training immersed in technology. We are implementing many of the 21st Century technologies. For more information about the NWP role in digital learning I would invite you to visit their site.
So, because of the easy access to The Big Red Machine, I feel I’m evolving from the adoption, adaptation stages into adaptation, infusion and flirting with transformation. I think the instruction is mostly constructive and frequently authentic. Whenever I use technology, my intention is to use higher order thinking skills as the students analyze and assimilate new information. I fluctuate back and forth depending on the task. I am a hacker and learn things as I have a need for them.
It will be a challenge this year incorporating instruction that will allow students to use their new devices and yet be held responsible for teaching the content as usual. I’m excited about the upcoming year at Emery O Muncie Elementary School. The corporation will be using a substantial grant to put a device in each student’s hand and is in the process of getting their teachers up to date with training.