Recently, I was working with middle school teachers who are in their second year of a 1:1 Chromebook program and Schoology implementation. Every teacher in the building has been using the new LMS and Google Drive with their students, but many are still working at a substitution or augmentation level of technology integration (see SAMR image to the right). I don’t say that in a criticizing way at all; I believe that is a very natural starting place.
But you can’t stay at the starting line forever!
I shared the following resources with these teachers to get them to begin to open up their minds, understand blended learning and technology integration in a new way, and get their wheels turning! By no means will teachers be experts after exploring these resources, but I do find that the following resources really jump start great conversations and get teachers thinking differently.
- Edutopia’s Introduction to Technology Integration Video– I find this video really inspiring, and I often go back to it on those days when I want to pull my hair out for working in education (more power to you if you’ve never had one of these moments). This video reminds me why I’m in education, and more importantly, why I help teachers use technology in their classrooms. It’s only about 5 minutes- check it out below!
- Sylvia Duckworth’s Sketchnote of SAMR in the Ocean (pictured at the top)- A lot of schools have begun to educate teachers about SAMR as a framework for thinking about how deep (no pun intended ;)) they are taking their technology integration. There are tons of resources for SAMR if you do a Google search, but this image is my favorite because it is such a clear picture of what different levels of technology integration can do for a learning experience. I walk teachers through SAMR and give them classroom examples of each level of SAMR that I have seen in their classrooms. I also reassure teachers that depending on the day and what is best for that lesson, they may be all over the SAMR spectrum. For instance, some days no tech will be the best way to teach a lesson. The problem comes in if we are only hanging out in the shallow end (man, I did it again) and never giving our students experiences in the modification and redefinition zones. We want to be in the modification and redefinition areas as much as possible because that’s how technology can truly make our classrooms transformative.
- Arizona’s Technology Integration Matrix– The TIM breaks down technology integration into five levels- Entry, Adoption, Adaption, Infusion and Transformation- and includes different characteristics of the learning environment. I think this adds a little more meat and potatoes to the plate than first glance of SAMR. The second page of the Arizona TIM has a nice little one-pager that teachers can digest and print to frequently reference.
- USF’s Technology Integration Matrix with Videos– I LOVE this website! This is the Modification/Redefinition or adaption version of the Arizona Technology Integration Matrix. In each cell of the matrix, you can click for a description of what learning should look like for the student, teacher and what the setting should look like, as well as short video examples of that cell in real classrooms. This is a great resource for teachers, especially teachers who aren’t sure where to start with taking technology integration and blended learning a little further in their class. And a bonus- if you go to the Matrix drop down at the top, you will see a subject area index and grade level index. So, if you want specific Science examples, you can check out all the science videos. If you want specific elementary examples, you can see all the elementary videos.
- Future Framing Document– This document was used by ISTE during the Student Standards Refresh in 2016. It pulls from a study done by the Institute for the Future on future jobs and drivers and implications of change for those jobs in the year 2032. Why 2032? Becuase when this document came out, students who were born that year would only be 16 by 2032. I find this document really helpful to those folks who don’t want to change or those people who wonder how can I prepare my students for jobs I don’t even know exist yet?” or “what are all these future skills people keep talk about?” It gives some “tangible evidence” for people to start wrapping their heads around what the future might look like, and more importantly, what those skills or drivers of change are that we can begin to implement into our class.
- Backward EdTech Flow Chart– I actually created the first version of this chart when I was working at McNick back in 2012 or 2013 (recently updated). It helps teachers think about the right way to implement technology. Think about what you want students to do, ask yourself some questions, then decide on the technology you want to use. The more you begin to welcome student autonomy into your class, you could even use it to help students decide on the best tech to show their learning.
- Public Schoology Groups– This one is meant for the Schoology users, obviously. There are public groups for all core content areas and some general blended learning topics that any teacher Schoology user can join. This is a great place to start if you use Schoology- see what others are doing in their classes. Just don’t forget to adjust your email notification settings!
- ISTE’s Standards for Students– These standards were developed based on research and feedback from students to policy makers and everyone in between- all over the world! They are a true representation of the skills students need to compete in our global economy.
- ISTE’s Standards for Teachers– Same as the students, only these were developed for teachers. The Teacher Standards are currently in their refresh year, and a new set of Teacher Standards will be released at ISTE’s conference in June 2017. You can check out the second and last draft and give your feedback through February 28, 2017 here. So far, the drafts call for a pretty dramatic shift in instruction. We all- including myself- have a lot of learning and growing to do!
I’ll leave you with the same challenge I left these teachers with. Choose ONE lesson that you can push yourself- whatever that means for you- and take your technology integration even further. Don’t think of it as “this is what I do without technology, what technology can I use in place of face-to-face or paper pencil?” But instead, throw that lesson out and think “now that my students have access to technology, what is possible?!”
What lesson will you change? What are your favorite resources for blended learning and technology integration?
Tech To You Later!