At the heart of ISTE standard 4 is the desire for educators to prepare students with the skills, knowledge and capability to handle technology responsibly and with discretion. For younger elementary age students raised in a digital saturated environment it can be hard for some to distinguish what is appropriate, safe, and beneficial and what is not. As a teacher, my role is to guide my students to best evaluate their resources and choose appropriate responses and solutions to the various situations an online reality may bring.
Designing Coherent Instruction in the area of Learning Activities – When I think of math, what used to come to mind was boring, solitary, repetitive exercises involving memorizing times tables or algorithms. Throughout this program I have learned that the most effective math instruction is creative, engaging, and social. According to Ernst & Ryan (2014), math discourse, or the ways students talk about math, shapes the way they think about it (p. 196). Having students engage in listening, responding, and expressing their thinking process helps them to develop critical thinking habits while at the same time creating that safe and supportive environment where students can try and use different methods. Math discourse not only fundamentally shapes student learning around mathematics but can positively impact classroom environment.
ISTE Standard 1 charges teachers to blend their expertise in content knowledge with creative, collaborative and innovative technological tools. For this project, I worked with another teacher and combined our common experiences living, traveling and studying abroad to create an informational personal narrative. Our target audience were Americans who would be interested in traveling abroad or who enjoy international experiences. Another audience reflected in the personal narrative context would be friends, families, and students who we would enjoy sharing and celebrating our lives and stories with. In a formal educational setting this may be a good example to showcase how students can work together on a project, contribute evenly, and find a common theme to create a consistent narrative story. For a more informal educational setting, using digital storytelling and videos to share creative content that students produce, even if it may be a simple PowerPoint or slideshow, is a great way to build classroom community and for students to see the value in exploring new ways of expressing themselves
What digital-age tools can I use to effectively design, develop and evaluate learning experiences in a 3rd grade classroom that students can extend or access beyond the classroom?
With the internet at our fingertips, teachers today have access to a multitude of online resources to choose from the enhance learning in their classrooms. Professional development and practice exchanges are no longer limited within school communities, conferences, and local teacher trainings. According to the eighth annual PBS teacher survey on media and technology, one-fourth of teachers in 2010 joined online communities to exchange resources, get information or advice, and connect with fellow teachers from around the world (PBS and Grunwald Associates, 2010). Even while evaluating my own question on digital-age tools and resources I can use in the classroom, I am able to share in online discussions with teachers in my program in other school districts and countries.