|Image from iste.org|
These standards covered what I figured they would and more. I remember taking a sort of Internet 101 session run by our librarians when I was in high school (early 2000s) and the first thing we learned was "digital citizenship." I don't remember calling it that, but it's a good place to start for kids.
Otherwise we'd have essays full of sources like "Creationism versus Evolutionism by Jonny, age 8" or, heaven forbid, Wikipedia! Actually I love Wikipedia. It may not be right all the time, but it's right often enough for me. Except this one time I viewed the page on "Mormonism" and every time it should have said "Mormon" or "Mormonism" someone had replaced these with "Moron" and "Moronism," respectively.
As someone else from our class mentioned, many of these standards are tough to measure... collaborate? Manage? Understand? Maybe it's because I'm a math guy but those aren't black-and-white enough for me.
A huge part they do address is with the last standard: understanding when and when NOT to use technology is vital. If technology will help, great. If it doesn't improve the situation, don't use it. Period. There is great pressure for teachers to use technology just so someone can check it off a list.
I think that's a bad idea.
|Image from iste.org|
From these standards, I gather that a large part of a teacher's responsibility is to model proper use of technology. Communication is huge, telling students about new software programs they can use, what's free and what's not, why you use what you use, etc. I use my projector and SmartBoard daily so my students can nearly always see my desktop, what software I have running, and those icons I never click. The
Darn kids... always up in my bidness.
But most of all I try to stay "critically optimistic" of technology; I keep my head up and accept it when technology fails (I've found it's helpful to have a plan B) but try to promote and contribute to my students' knowledge of the technology I use or what they're interested in... not that there's always a big overlap between those two!
|Image from iste.org. Click for big.|
Wow, can you imagine a classroom where they could put a checkmark by all 10 of these experiences?! That would be incredible... to be a student walking out of a classroom in May and be able to say:
- did we create an accessible web site? YES.
- did we design, develop, and test a digital learning game? YES.
- did we develop a sustainable solution for a global problem? YES.
One could design a course around any one of these. And to implement just a few of them in minor ways would be a great accomplishment. I need to get off my butt and try something new for cryin' out loud.
|Example question on assessment from mff.org.|
Well I started off hot in the transformation level with the first several questions then kind of settled in a bit in the top part of the adaptation level. It turns out by myself I'm not too bad but once it comes to incorporating technology into my classroom I'm much weaker. This comes from inexperience, and in my 2 years of teaching I've already found it's easy to settle into teaching how you know and how you were taught by your teachers.
This can be a good thing, but as the assessment showed toward the end, it's holding me back. I know how to do much more than I'm actually doing, and my students would benefit from me getting out of my comfort zone within the walls of my classroom. I need to quit lecturing as much and start putting technology in their hands. Easier said than done though.
PCC Assessment (Core Technology Skills Assessment)
After my results petered out toward the end of the General Assessment, I needed an esteem booster. Thus I went with a category I thought I'd be good at, and I was decent. I'm in the transformation level on about 90% of these questions. And though this detailed assessment served as a bit of a "pat on the back" for me, it also reminded me of something: my relatively higher scores in the Core Technology Skills category are
- proof of why I chose Digital Teaching and Learning as my Master's specialty
- a product of my interest in this area.
As for implementation of technology within my classroom... welp, I'm struggling with this. Except for my math videos. :)