State of Technology in Education – My thoughts about MediaSmarts/Canadian Teachers Federation. (2016). “Connected to Learn: Teachers Experiences with Networked Technologies in the Classroom”.
What a fascinating, and well done survey of Canadian teachers. As I was skimming the article I couldn’t help but imagine being the researcher who spent time designing the questions and nuancing the survey to compile such useful information. I wonder how much time it took to design the foundation for that project, gather and collect the information and then collate it into such a user friendly, publicly available document. Given the rapid change that occurs within the technology field, it is heartening to be able to position myself right in these current statistics and question my own practice within the structure of my school district, and most directly, my new teaching position in online/home-based learning.
Through the bigger lens of a school-based resource teacher (SBRT) who has worked in several different schools within the district over the past seven years I have had the privilege to see where money is being spent at a school and district level to support networked technologies. Since I have worked in my district, I have experienced the change over from MAC computers to IBM, and witnessed a complete revamping of our district network to improve safety, increase storage, and provide access to resources for teachers and students. I have watched classrooms transform as Smartboards became more available, and teacher skill/innovation in lesson creation/implementation increased. I have watched students become more engaged in learning with the increased use of Smartboards – specifically. Common place networked technologies are available across our district as a rule. Increasingly, I am noting more iPads, iPods, and “alternate” technologies being tested to attempt to engage learners and transform the delivery, process and assessment of learning.
Technology use has been hampered by concerns over internet safety (not permitting parents, outside agencies to bring personal devices onto our system) for a long time, having only recently been resolved (last year I believe). Teacher training and support is increasing, though time to learn and implement the new technologies is needed. Technologies associated with special education, such as Boardmaker Pro – online, Firefly/Kurzweil – online is now being offered, though again, training time and practice is needed by SBRTs.
My goal is to continue to learn specific technology based skills to enhance student (and my own) learning as well as develop my understanding of the bigger picture (philosophical underpinnings related to course development/learning design, critical thinking/application to digital literacy, etc.). Onwards I go.