Why Are You Here? Why is technology in education and in writing important? How can teachers adapt to the new technolgy? What kind of technology should we expect in the future? Is there any practicality to this technology?
Importance Today’s children are more in tune with technology, and we as teachers need to stay with the curve as much as we can.
Importance “The truly disadvantaged learner in the twenty-first century will be the learner without technology. Technology can go into the most isolated environment. There is no excuse other than the failure of the community to have the will to use technology to ensure that all children have the best learning environment. It is our choice; even in a time of retrenchment and budget cuts, we must provide a technology-based education for every child.” (Winthrow 50) National Technology Standards for K-12 http://www.iste.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=NETS
Adapting Dr. Ming Zhang of Central Michigan University says that the best thing that teachers can do is to “learn how to learn”. “Novice teachers are capable of making holistic judgments regarding texts,…, but analytic assessment for them is a time- insensitive activity that is both new and complex… further, without ready feedback on their assessment practices, there is nothing to deter novice teachers from forming faulty knowledge, both declarative and procedural.” (Dempsey et. al 84)
Adapting This problem of teachers not understanding current technology is not only limited to the public schools, but it exists in college classrooms all over the country.
The Future So what can we as teachers expect in the next few years? Moving away from software and towards ○ Free Apps (Google Documents, Wikis) ○ Mash-up Software (Google Maps, Flickr) Increase in use of free resources ○ Discovery Education http://school.discoveryeducation.com/ http://school.discoveryeducation.com/
The Future Fun toys that teachers can hope to play with! Tablet P.C.s ○ “…They (students and teachers) can Tap directly into their creative brainstorming thought- processes. Simulate, correct, and perform sophisticated editing commands with the ease of a pen-stroke; and Easily share their creations with others in real time, using a variety of applications” (Mantgem 11)
The Future Fun toys teachers can hope to play with! Podcasts ○ Instructional podcasts can be made using many free programs available for all operating systems ○ “I have seen each group of students improve writing and speaking skills, become more comfortable in front of the camera, and grow as journalists. I have seen their confidence and maturity develop as they have taken control of the show and made it their own.” Steven Katz, from International Society for Technology in Education
Application “We need to teach kids to teach their parents.” – Dr. Ming Zhang Kids become mirrors of their parents, so if the parents aren’t technologically literate the students will follow suit.
Application But what about the basics of writing? In the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, the view was that “the computer is seen as enabling new forms of teaching in which students assume control for their own learning.” (Bruce and Rubin 3) At the same time a group of educators and programmers created QUILL, a program designed to help students improve in all aspects of writing.
QUILL What was it? “The… software was designed to help in the creation of functional learning environments that involved extensive writing and reading.” (Bruce and Rubin 29) Ran on an Apple II computer, required two floppy disk drives, and could print the documents that was made. Consisted of four interrelated programs: Planner, Library, Mailbag, and Writer’s Assistant QUILL focused on six pedagogical goals: Planning, Integration of Reading and Writing, Publishing, Meaningful Collaboration, and Revision The functionality of the program was designed around these goals.
QUILL Final verdict of the program? After testing the program in school districts, studies found that…. ○ Summative: “The summative evaluation of QUILL provided evidence that QUILL “worked”; that is, …, QUILL classrooms improved their writing skills more than did students in comparable nonQUILL classrooms.” (Bruce and Rubin 183) ○ Formative: “…Because the focus in formative evaluation is on improving the innovation, there is little attention paid to variation in use, nor is there a concern with long-term changes in the social context of use or in the ways the innovation is assimilated.“ (Bruce and Rubin 187) What does this mean?: It worked, but not how they wanted!
QUILL Why is this important? Both of the people who wrote this program are still deeply involved in the educational world. If they can write one of the first peer-to-peer programs, why can’t you? Not only does this program highlight the creativity of teachers, but it shows how important collaboration is for students! “In order for young writers to learn to ask such questions of themselves, teachers and peers need to ask them of young writers.” (Calkins 223)
Conclusion So what have we learned? The influence of technology on education, writing, and society is increasing every day, and the best that we can do is to keep up so the students don’t fall behind. Not only do we have to keep up, but we have to be willing to learn, to experiment, and to step outside of our comfort zones. The future is coming, so be ready!
Works Cited Bruce, B. C., & Rubin, A. (1993). Electronic Quills: A Situated Evaluation of Using Computers for Writing in Classrooms. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Calkins, L. M. (1994). The Art of Teaching Writing. Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann. Dempsey, M. S., PytlikZillig, L. M., & Bruning, R. (2005). Building Writing Assessment Skills Using Web-Based Cognitive Support Features. In L. M. PyllikZillig, M. Bodvarsson, & R. Bruning, Technology-Based Education: Bring Researchers and Practitioners Together (pp. 83-105). Greenwich, Connecticut: Information Age Publishing. Katz, S. (2009, November). Learning Connections: Podcasting 101. Retrieved April 19, 2010, from International Society for Technology in Education: http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Publications/LL/LLI ssues/Volume3720092010/NovemberNo3/podcasting_101.htm Mantgem, M. v. (2008). Tablet PCs in K-12 Education. Eugene, Oregon: International Society for Technology in Education. Withrow, F. B. (2004). Literacy in the Digital Age. Lanham, Maryland: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.