Educational Technology and Science – A Perfect Fit |

Even as a long-time proponent of the use of educational technology, I am still amazed at the rapid pace at which it has become a necessity rather than a source of enrichment activities. Today’s students, and even many of the parents, having grown up with technology as a part of their daily lives, retain certain expectations and assumptions regarding the way technology is used for learning. No longer can the classroom computer be set off in the corner to be used sporadically for special activities nor can video be used as a babysitter. Technology must become an integral part of classroom life.What Students NeedIf our job, as educators, is to prepare students to become successful members of our society, then in addition to the traditional knowledge and skills, students must now be prepared to access, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize immeasurable quantities of information. They need to have exceptional listening skills, be able to use email, understand basic operating systems, use word processing and other software, and use the internet for research.This need poses new challenges for teachers, especially those who may not feel as prepared to use technology as their students might be. It is time for educators to overcome the outdated idea that they must be experts in educational technology before the students are allowed to use it.Some Benefits of Educational Technologyo increases interest (even in rote tasks)
o provides a purpose for learning
o promotes the perception that all knowledge is related (not isolated bits)
o allows for student individuality in learning stylesEducational Technology in the Science ClassroomThe decision to apply technology in the learning environment is often not driven by the technology but by the task at hand.Take, for example, the case of the physics teacher who needed to set up some labs for thermodynamics but had no money left for supplies or equipment. Because he was lucky enough to have 8 computers in his classroom, he was able to use them to create the labs. The students were sent to science software the school uses and a website. The site has some great simulations that this teacher feels are more interactive and that do a better job of demonstrating the physics behind the topic than traditional labs.Because science learning requires a great deal of critical analysis, using educational technology in the science classroom is especially warranted. Learning to solve complex problems requires a different instructional approach than learning isolated skills and information required for standardized testing purposes. For example, while doing internet research, a student needs to be able to evaluate an internet source for reliability, accuracy, and bias; the same type of information required in science exploration activities.In order to fully prepare our students for “real” life, as educators we need to not only provide them with the content knowledge they need, but also the ability to:o accurately acquire information from visual and auditory sources (watching and listening)
o develop solutions to problems and then present these solutions to others using various forms of media
o display originality and employ problem solving skills during the creative process
o be team players and good collaborators
o demonstrate cross-cultural awareness
o communicate complex ideas effectivelyI contend, as do many educational experts, that the use of technology in the classroom is, by far, the best way to accomplish these lofty goals. Educators must prepare for a future that involves much technology and they need to keep abreast of change by adopting effective strategies that use appropriate technologies.In the science classroom, we need to do more with technology so that our students are better educated and better able to succeed in life.

Classroom Technology – Not Keeping Up to Classroom Demands |

In many school districts the technology team spends much more time repairing equipment or answering software questions from faculty rather than planning new projects or helping teachers incorporate technology into their instruction.In addition, according to a recent survey, IT staffing shortages continue to afflict schools keeping many of them from realizing the full potential of classroom technology as a learning tool. The survey indicated that less than one third of the respondents work in districts where adequate IT staff is present to meet their needs. On top of that, slightly more than half of those who responded indicated they spend more than half their time addressing help desk issues instead of working on long-range planning and projects. The survey suggests that the burdens placed on school technology teams are limiting innovation rather than fostering it.Classroom IntegrationTopping the list of specific IT positions the respondents said were lacking in the schools was instructional technologist, an indication that teachers are not getting the help they need to use classroom technology to improve their instruction.Funding ChallengesMost school leaders cite funding as the number one challenge facing their technology departments and one source of their staffing problems as well. Even districts who have received grants for equipment have problems going forward. Once district received a $600,000 for laptops but is now faced with replacement and upgrade costs to the district when the grant money is gone.Rapid Technological AdvancesAnother key challenge to school IT departments is the rapid pace at which new or upgraded forms of technology are emerging. For example, bandwidth needs have increased tremendously in recent years, driven by the rise of video applications, and are placing a huge burden on school network infrastructures.The Impact of DataOne technology department staff member reports that they support over twenty disparate data systems that directly support classroom technology. The time spent supporting databases is now equal to time spent on desktop support.ConclusionWithout the help they need from the experts in the IT department to help them integrate computer technology into their lesson plans, teachers are challenged to find classroom technology that does not require IT support. In this computer-centric, visually-oriented age, we often forget about our tried-and-true technologies, such as educational DVDs and video, that work reliably a majority of the time, even when other technologies fail.If you’re interested in avoiding “The 7 Biggest Mistakes Teachers Make Using Video in the Classroom” and want to start experiencing the benefits of using video effectively in your classroom, your next step is to download a FREE copy of “The 7 Biggest Mistakes Teachers Make Using Video in the Classroom” right now.

Educational Technology – Not Just Computer Technology |

Technology is the branch of knowledge that deals with creating and using technical methods, such as tools and crafts, for interacting with life, society, and the environment. Beginning with the conversion of natural resources into simple tools, technology has affected human society and its surroundings in a variety of ways: Foremost, it has:o Assisted in the development of more advanced economieso Allowed the rise of a leisure classo Helped develop today’s global economyPhilosophical debates continue regarding the present and future uses, primarily over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it.Computer technology is a prime example. Computers have certainly changed the way people do just about everything, including how they handle personal affairs, communicate, run businesses, and how our children are taught. However, although technology promises many potential benefits for education, we must be careful not to make the all-too-common mistake of speaking of educational technology as if it is synonymous with computer technology. There are other forms of technology used in education and we should not ignore them.”Technically speaking,” educational technology, sometimes referred to as learning technology, is the study and practice of teaching and improving capabilities by developing, using, and administering suitable technological processes and resources. Whether the selected medium is a GPS device, an educational video, a metal detector, or a computer, educational technology provides for an enormous amount of interactivity. It allows faculty and students to participate in dynamic demonstrations, simulations, and models that can be used to explore and test theories.The use of educational technology can:o Show students the path of recent technological progresso Enrich instructional lectures and presentationso Encourage students to be active discovererso Enhance motivation and curiosityThe appropriate use of all forms of technology in education leads to improved thinking, greater problem-solving skills and a deeper understanding of both concrete and abstract concepts.Would you like to learn about “The 7 Biggest Mistakes Teachers Make Using Video in the Classroom” and start experiencing the benefits of using video effectively in your classroom? Then your next step is to download a FREE copy of “The 7 Biggest Mistakes Teachers Make Using Video in the Classroom” right now.