I learned so much about leading effective professional development sessions centered on technology integration. Here are some of my favorite quotations and highlights:
- “One-shot workshops, added expense of training, lack of continued support, isolated knowledge, unawareness of school needs, lack of knowledge and support from leadership all contribute to the ineffectiveness of technology staff development” (Adams & Petty, 2003, p. 29).
- “Only twenty percent of the nation’s 2.5 million public school teachers feel comfortable using technology in their classrooms” (Adams & Petty, 2003, p. 29).
- “Of the estimated $5.67 billion spent on technology in public schools during 1999-2000 school year, only 17 percent went to teacher training” (Adams & Petty, 2003, p. 29).
Perhaps it is because I am a math teacher but numbers and statistics really resonate with me… After reading these facts, I though about the percents included (20% and 17%). We have about 25 teachers at St. Augustin, so 20% is five teachers. Wow! To counteract this, the research I conducted recommended mentors.
- “Teachers need mentors, specialists who help guide their understanding of technology, and online resources available to them as they attempt to use technology in curriculum integration. This support structure provides a level of empowerment to the teachers both as learners and as users of technology” (Adams & Petty, 2003, p. 30).
- “Pre-service teachers express more confidence and proficiency in computer use than experienced teachers do. In-service teachers with sufficient teaching experience tend to have fixed teaching philosophies, yet lack technological skills. However, effectively integrating technology with teaching involves both technological skills and teaching experience. Ideally, the ability of in-service teachers and pre-service teachers to learn collaboratively would allow them to effectively integrate technology with classroom instruction” (Liu, Tsai, & Huang, 2015, p. 162).
I thought the idea of having an in-service teacher and pre-service teacher collaborate and establish ways to effectively integrate technology into the classroom was an interesting one, especially because I currently have a practicum student in my classroom. I think it would work best if the pre-service teacher was in a specific technology class.
The research also recommended a three-phase framework that includes familiarization, utilization, and integration. Ideally, this framework would be planned and implemented in professional development sessions by the leader in a school.
- “The focus of the familiarization phase rests on acquainting teachers with computer equipment and terminologies. The utilization phase of instruction involves teachers using computers as personal production tools. Direct integration of technology into the curriculum occurs in the final phase of training” (Adams & Petty, 2003, p. 30).
- “Teachers need training in the uses of technology in their curricula; time to develop these uses; and support from their administrators in a risk-free environment—and they need these on a continuing, long-term basis” (Adams & Petty, 2003, p. 30).
My 7th grade Pre-Algebra class had a busy week completing a robot project. We just completed a volume unit on cylinders, cones, and spheres. To meet the requirements of the project, each group had to: create a robot out of at least 15 geometric figures (minimum of 2 cones, 2 cylinders, and 2 spheres or hemi-spheres), complete a thorough sketch of their robot with volume of each geometric shape, compute the total volume of their robot, and write a short story (between 500-700 words) about their robot.
To calculate the volume of the different figures, some groups chose to check their answers with an online volume calculator http://www.calculator.net/volume-calculator.html.
Here are some of their projects.