STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering ,Art, and Math) tools to use in your classroom
provide teachers with a handy resource to use with their students to help them develop critical thinking skills and adopt ‘an engineering or design approach towards real-world problems while building on their mathematics and science base’.
The finding is good news for colleges and universities focused on digital transformation — whether that means implementing new classroom technologies, transitioning services to the cloud or building out the back-end infrastructure needed to support students’ increasing bandwidth demands.
findings, published in the journal Economics of Education Review in a paper, based on an analysis of the grades of about 5,600 students at a private US liberal arts college, found that using a laptop appeared to harm the grades of male and low-performing students most significantly.
While the authors were unable to definitively say why laptop use caused a “significant negative effect in grades”, the authors believe that classroom “cyber-slacking” plays a major role in lower achievement, with wi-fi-enabled computers providing numerous distractions for students.
Participating teachers advance through a series of inquiry-based professional development modules. Teachers are awarded a digital badge for the successful completion of each 10-hour module. To accomplish this, they must complete the following steps: 1) study module content, 2) participate in a focused discussion with peers working on the same module, 3) create an original inquiry-based global lesson plan that incorporates new learning, 4) implement the original lesson plan in the classroom, 5) provide evidence of classroom implementation and 6) reflect on and revise the lesson created.
The final product of every module is a tested, global lesson plan that articulates learning objectives, activities, assessments, and resources for each stage of inquiry. Upon completion, teachers may publish finalized lessons in a resource library where they can be accessed by other educators. As designed, the HISD badging system will be a four-year, 16-badge approach that equates to 160 hours of professional learning for teachers.
five key features that taken together increase significantly the likelihood that the learning experience for a teacher will lead to results in the classroom for students — which, after all, is the point of professional development:
Badging requires demonstrating understanding and implementation of a target content or skill.
Badging provides recognition and motivation.
Badging allows for knowledge circulation among teachers.
Communication technology has tapped into a very human need to be liked and appreciated.
Why should any of this matter to designers, manufacturers, and users of technology? A narrow view of why we communicate inevitably limits the sorts of communication technologies we build. Interestingly, many of the things we do with technology are byproducts of what they were originally designed for (e.g. the internet emerged as the result of a US Defence project researching possibilities for network packets). Once we drop our preconceived ideas that transmitting information is their only purpose – an assumption that carries with it a shortsighted vision – the possibilities of what we could create are endless.
There is a difference between understanding the words a speaker has said, and understanding the speaker – understanding the “why” as well as the “what”.
Regardless of the technology, what’s the most important lesson for students to learn?
Why do I need to use technology in my daily curriculum?
How are these tech tools enhancing what we’re doing?
What will the students do with these tools – during and after class?
Think Curriculum Enhancements, Not Technology Implementations
1) Learn How Students Are Using Technology at Home
2) Don’t Use Technology for the Sake of Using Technology
3) Focus on Just One Tech Implementation
4) Utilize the SAMR Model
TheSAMR model, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, represents the stages of tech integration: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. This model challenges us to assess and reflect on not only how we integrate technology into our curriculum, but also how we modify, redefine and transform our classrooms through its use.
5) Actively Seek Out Professional Development Opportunities
Younger students utilizing QR codes to add a challenging yet fun element to learning to spell.
Older students creating digital books or movies to demonstrate a deep understanding on a topic, rather than simply discussing or assessing it.
Video conferencing with other schools in your area or network to research, discuss, debate and develop potential solutions to globally significant problems.
Skyping with local leaders and guest speakers on specific topics such as coding or programming, networking and composing music.
Integrating technology into the classroom can be exhilarating, fun, and at times a little scary. That said, I’ve often found that teachers are hungry for more information, and welcome the chance to bring new ideas to the classroom.
In the end, if teachers and their administration are ready to embrace the messiness and the risks that sometimes come with technology, the reward is that your school’s curriculum – which must be strong to start – can truly be taken to the next level, and beyond. Otherwise, we’ll all be still left trying to figure out how an abacus works.
“The relationship between IT and the institution really needs to change if we’re going to use technology to address the fundamental issues that need to be addressed in higher education,” Grajek said. “Higher education leaders need to not just let their IT leaders do their own thing, help them fund some initiatives, but they really have to understand the potential of IT.”
Colleges and universities are searching for new talent in part to answer demands for new technologies while simultaneously offering core services such as user support, which Grajek described as the “new normal” for higher education IT offices.
“The CIO has grown from a hardware- or software-focused person in the basement of a building to a higher education executive who is expected to not only understand technology and be able to lead a large, complex and expensive department, but who also should be a first rate communicator who understands the business (and higher education) and can build relationships while implementing all of these projects,”