Tag: Schools

Technology Learning Conquered Traditional Learning in Schools

Computers are in the schools. Whether they are in labs, in the library, in mobile pods, or in individual classrooms, the computers are there. But what will it take to ensure that these computers are used as high quality learning tools?

Today’s high-tech innovations will have little effect on education if schools adopt them without building “human infrastructure” that includes adequate training for teachers, proclaims the Benton Foundation in their recent report, The Learning Connection. Schools in the Information Age. So just what is “adequate training” for teachers?

According to more than 10 years of Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow research, to effectively integrate technology in education, teachers need to learn not only how to use computers, but specifically how to use computers for teaching and learning. At the same time the learning experiences being created by these educators must be re-examined, as technology changes both what is possible in the classroom, as well as what will be required of students when they graduate and join the workforce.

In 1991 the US Department of Labor issued What Work Requires of Schools, a SCANS Report for America 2000, The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, defining the skills and attributes essential for workforce success. To the traditional basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic, the report added listening and speaking, as well as decision making and problem solving. Beyond these basic skills, the report sited as vital the ability to identify, organize, plan, and allocate resources; to acquire, evaluate, and organize information; to work well with others; to understand complex inter-relationships; and to work with a variety of technologies.

Not only do educators need to learn to use computers, but they need to learn to integrate them into the learning experience in a way that fosters the development of this higher order skill set. In many cases, this requires fundamental changes in classroom practice. Seating students in rows and having them complete drill and practice exercises, whether on the computer or on a ditto page, is unlikely to accomplish the ambitious goals implied by the SCANS Report.

The vast majority of technology staff development programs have as their focus learning how to use individual software applications. Educators who have experienced this type of application training report that it does not have a significant impact on how they use technology in their teaching. That is, learning about the application itself does not translate into changing classroom practices, and thus has little or no impact on student learning.

When learning about technology is firmly rooted in the context of teaching, however, the results are quite promising. Using a technology staff development model created as a result of more than 10 years of research through the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT), many school districts are seeing what happens when teachers are able to transfer their learning from the staff development experience into classroom practice.

In order to have a significant impact on classroom practice and ensure effective technology integration, schools and districts must make a significant investment in a coordinated approach to staff development like the model based on the ACOT research. Real change requires providing educators with a sequenced program of quality staff development experiences, along with followup and ongoing administrative support.

In Fulton County, Georgia, where they are in the second year of their technology staff development program based on the ACOT model, vanguard teams of teachers are serving as mentors within their schools, providing a model of effective technology integration for other teachers to follow. During the first year of the program these vanguard teachers participated in either four or six days of technology integration training offered through Apple Staff Development.

During the two-day training sessions the vanguard team members experienced firsthand what it is like to engage in an integrated lesson with technology, while the course facilitator modeled an effective style of teaching in a technology-enriched, engaged learning environment. Technology skills were acquired in context. The learners (in this case the teachers in the staff development course, but it could as easily have been a group of students) were highly motivated to learn the technology skills to complete their projects, and the relevance of the technology learning was immediately evident.

Building on the experience of participating in an effective lesson, the vanguard team members reflected on what they had learned and how they could apply their insights to designing integrated lessons of their own. On the second day, they were given the opportunity to redesign a favorite unit of instruction, integrating technology. Upon returning to their classrooms, these redesigned units provided an initial opportunity to experience integrating technology in their teaching. As they experienced the effectiveness of this new way of teaching, the redesign of other units followed.

Over the course of the first year of the program, these vanguard team members became increasingly comfortable with integrating technology within their own classrooms and prepared themselves to serve as role models to other teachers. Now in the second year of the program, Fulton County is both expanding its vanguard team by providing the integration training to additional teachers, while at the same time empowering the trained vanguard teachers to share what they have learned with their colleagues.

This seeding approach, having at least two teachers in every school who can serve as mentors to their peers on site, has proven effective in motivating teachers to take the risk and make the personal investment required to effectively integrate technology into the classroom.

The CEO Forum on Education and Technology’s Star Chart establishes a “target technology” level for all schools to strive for that would give students regular and consistent access to technology to use as needed to support their learning endeavors, and have educators using technology to access information, communicate with students and parents, and for administrative tasks. They challenge all schools to achieve this target level by the year 2005.

We won’t get there simply by putting computers in schools, nor by training teachers on how to use software applications. True technology integration requires supporting and training educators in instructional models that effectively integrate technology. It requires that teachers have professional development programs in which they can experience effective use of technology in service of teaching and learning, and that they receive the support required to modify their own teaching practices to replicate these models. Once the majority of teachers have their students using technology to gather, analyze and publish information, as well as collaborate on projects, we will know that technology is truly a tool for teaching and learning. At this point we will be taking advantage of the opportunity technology presents to prepare our students to become successful knowledge workers of the future.

Mathew Simond is a journalist and copywriter. He is also a webmaster of many websites including [http://www.psychologycolleges.net] and [http://www.religiousstudiesonline.org] He aims to provide healthy information and advice on academic degrees.

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Mathew_Simond/166638

Technology Training is Easily Found in Vocational Schools

Technology training provides practical experience with hands-on education aimed at uses, knowledge and skills of various technologies. Certificates and associate degrees can be acquired through vocational training in technology. Bachelor’s degrees are also possible in some vocational and trade schools. You can easily find top schools offering training in technology on our website.

Vocational and trade schools offer programs of study in technology that are organized to provide education related to various disciplines of the field. Undergraduate technology degree programs would begin with two-year associate degrees, allowing the student to acquire basic technological knowledge, understanding, and communication skills. Associate degrees also allow students to pursue a higher level degree programs, including bachelor degrees in technology.

Depending on the focus of your training, courses in technology can cover the areas of computer hardware, computer software, computer programming, and systems technology for tracking information, accounting, and other business applications. Customized selections may be possible in trade school technology programs. Custom specializations may include database administration, network administration, computer information technology, web management, programming logic, advanced operating systems, fundamentals of computer networking, and systems analysis, among others.

Vocational and trade school technology training will build understanding of the functions and processes of computer systems technology, including design, code development, and programming methods. Students can also expect to improve communication skills, critical thinking, and technical competency through case analysis studies and hands-on projects.
Going for certificates or degrees in technology can mean much greater career opportunities, promotions, and higher incomes. A trade school or vocational school would be a great place to start your technology education.

Tourism in Australia has always been in boom. There are a lot of reasons why this has always been the case. This contributed a lot to the growth of the country in all aspects whether in its economy,education or its computer and technology development. Check out some of the many good reasons why you may also want to visit this vast country and maybe even consider staying for good.

Vast Landmass

Australia consists of six states and two mainland territories. It also has several minor territories. Each area has various wildlife and landscape ready to be explored. There are just a lot of places to go to in just one country.

Tourist Spots

Because of the many places providing accommodation, attractions, beaches, fine dining and sight-seeing, you won’t experience a shortage in your travel itinerary. Actually, you may even have a hard time deciding where to go because of the many beautiful options you will have within Australia.

Educational System

Like all first world countries, the Australian education system is a flexible one since it accommodates different kinds of students from pre-school to college and different kinds of interests such as computer and technology education, business and finance studies, communication courses and many others. Depending on the state or territory, high-school may run for 4 to 6 years and college ranges from 2 to 4 years with some exceptions based on the course being taken up. State or public, private, distance education and home schooling are all open as options for parents and students but all follow the education guidelines provided by the state. The country’s education system has been ranked among the top ten and twenty since 2006 for major subjects such as Reading, Mathematics and Science on a worldwide scale wherein 56 countries were included. With this high standard of education, there are currently more than 200,000 international students studying in Australia and the majority choose computer and technology education and business studies

Michael Bustamante is a staff writer for Media Positive Communications, Inc. andĀ MediaPositiveRadio.com distributed care of Stanford Business Social Network for the using technology in the classroom division

Related Technology Articles

How Can Instructional Technology Make Teaching and Learning More Effective in the Schools?

In the past few years of research on instructional technology has resulted in a clearer vision of how technology can affect teaching and learning. Today, almost every school in the United States of America uses technology as a part of teaching and learning and with each state having its own customized technology program. In most of those schools, teachers use the technology through integrated activities that are a part of their daily school curriculum. For instance, instructional technology creates an active environment in which students not only inquire, but also define problems of interest to them. Such an activity would integrate the subjects of technology, social studies, math, science, and language arts with the opportunity to create student-centered activity. Most educational technology experts agree, however, that technology should be integrated, not as a separate subject or as a once-in-a-while project, but as a tool to promote and extend student learning on a daily basis.

Today, classroom teachers may lack personal experience with technology and present an additional challenge. In order to incorporate technology-based activities and projects into their curriculum, those teachers first must find the time to learn to use the tools and understand the terminology necessary for participation in projects or activities. They must have the ability to employ technology to improve student learning as well as to further personal professional development.

Instructional technology empowers students by improving skills and concepts through multiple representations and enhanced visualization. Its benefits include increased accuracy and speed in data collection and graphing, real-time visualization, the ability to collect and analyze large volumes of data and collaboration of data collection and interpretation, and more varied presentation of results. Technology also engages students in higher-order thinking, builds strong problem-solving skills, and develops deep understanding of concepts and procedures when used appropriately.

Technology should play a critical role in academic content standards and their successful implementation. Expectations reflecting the appropriate use of technology should be woven into the standards, benchmarks and grade-level indicators. For example, the standards should include expectations for students to compute fluently using paper and pencil, technology-supported and mental methods and to use graphing calculators or computers to graph and analyze mathematical relationships. These expectations should be intended to support a curriculum rich in the use of technology rather than limit the use of technology to specific skills or grade levels. Technology makes subjects accessible to all students, including those with special needs. Options for assisting students to maximize their strengths and progress in a standards-based curriculum are expanded through the use of technology-based support and interventions. For example, specialized technologies enhance opportunities for students with physical challenges to develop and demonstrate mathematics concepts and skills. Technology influences how we work, how we play and how we live our lives. The influence technology in the classroom should have on math and science teachers’ efforts to provide every student with “the opportunity and resources to develop the language skills they need to pursue life’s goals and to participate fully as informed, productive members of society,” cannot be overestimated.

Technology provides teachers with the instructional technology tools they need to operate more efficiently and to be more responsive to the individual needs of their students. Selecting appropriate technology tools give teachers an opportunity to build students’ conceptual knowledge and connect their learning to problem found in the world. The technology tools such as InspirationĀ® technology, Starry Night, A WebQuest and Portaportal allow students to employ a variety of strategies such as inquiry, problem-solving, creative thinking, visual imagery, critical thinking, and hands-on activity.

Benefits of the use of these technology tools include increased accuracy and speed in data collection and graphing, real-time visualization, interactive modeling of invisible science processes and structures, the ability to collect and analyze large volumes of data, collaboration for data collection and interpretation, and more varied presentations of results.

Technology integration strategies for content instructions. Beginning in kindergarten and extending through grade 12, various technologies can be made a part of everyday teaching and learning, where, for example, the use of meter sticks, hand lenses, temperature probes and computers becomes a seamless part of what teachers and students are learning and doing. Contents teachers should use technology in ways that enable students to conduct inquiries and engage in collaborative activities. In traditional or teacher-centered approaches, computer technology is used more for drill, practice and mastery of basic skills.

The instructional strategies employed in such classrooms are teacher centered because of the way they supplement teacher-controlled activities and because the software used to provide the drill and practice is teacher selected and teacher assigned. The relevancy of technology in the lives of young learners and the capacity of technology to enhance teachers’ efficiency are helping to raise students’ achievement in new and exciting ways.

As students move through grade levels, they can engage in increasingly sophisticated hands-on, inquiry-based, personally relevant activities where they investigate, research, measure, compile and analyze information to reach conclusions, solve problems, make predictions and/or seek alternatives. They can explain how science often advances with the introduction of new technologies and how solving technological problems often results in new scientific knowledge. They should describe how new technologies often extend the current levels of scientific understanding and introduce new areas of research. They should explain why basic concepts and principles of science and technology should be a part of active debate about the economics, policies, politics and ethics of various science-related and technology-related challenges.

Students need grade-level appropriate classroom experiences, enabling them to learn and to be able to do science in an active, inquiry-based fashion where technological tools, resources, methods and processes are readily available and extensively used. As students integrate technology into learning about and doing science, emphasis should be placed on how to think through problems and projects, not just what to think.

Technological tools and resources may range from hand lenses and pendulums, to electronic balances and up-to-date online computers (with software), to methods and processes for planning and doing a project. Students can learn by observing, designing, communicating, calculating, researching, building, testing, assessing risks and benefits, and modifying structures, devices and processes – while applying their developing knowledge of science and technology.
Most students in the schools, at all age levels, might have some expertise in the use of technology, however K-12 they should recognize that science and technology are interconnected and that using technology involves assessment of the benefits, risks and costs. Students should build scientific and technological knowledge, as well as the skill required to design and construct devices. In addition, they should develop the processes to solve problems and understand that problems may be solved in several ways.

Rapid developments in the design and uses of technology, particularly in electronic tools, will change how students learn. For example, graphing calculators and computer-based tools provide powerful mechanisms for communicating, applying, and learning mathematics in the workplace, in everyday tasks, and in school mathematics. Technology, such as calculators and computers, help students learn mathematics and support effective mathematics teaching. Rather than replacing the learning of basic concepts and skills, technology can connect skills and procedures to deeper mathematical understanding. For example, geometry software allows experimentation with families of geometric objects, and graphing utilities facilitate learning about the characteristics of classes of functions.

Learning and applying mathematics requires students to become adept in using a variety of techniques and tools for computing, measuring, analyzing data and solving problems. Computers, calculators, physical models, and measuring devices are examples of the wide variety of technologies, or tools, used to teach, learn, and do mathematics. These tools complement, rather than replace, more traditional ways of doing mathematics, such as using symbols and hand-drawn diagrams.

Technology, used appropriately, helps students learn mathematics. Electronic tools, such as spreadsheets and dynamic geometry software, extend the range of problems and develop understanding of key mathematical relationships. A strong foundation in number and operation concepts and skills is required to use calculators effectively as a tool for solving problems involving computations. Appropriate uses of those and other technologies in the mathematics classroom enhance learning, support effective instruction, and impact the levels of emphasis and ways certain mathematics concepts and skills are learned. For instance, graphing calculators allow students to quickly and easily produce multiple graphs for a set of data, determine appropriate ways to display and interpret the data, and test conjectures about the impact of changes in the data.

Technology is a tool for learning and doing mathematics rather than an end in itself. As with any instructional tool or aid, it is only effective when used well. Teachers must make critical decisions about when and how to use technology to focus instruction on learning mathematics.

More Technology Articles

How An Education Tech Company Is Targeting Schools Without Computers

Knewton’s software creates customized learning plans for students based on how they move through coursework on an electronic device. But for schools short on tablets and laptops, the company will now work with plain paper as well.

Knewton

The ed-tech company Knewton peddles adaptive-learning software that is almost futuristic: As students move through lessons and readings on their devices, it collects millions of data points about how children learn, spinning them into different learning pathways and recommendations for teachers. The idea is to create complex profiles of how students learn, then distribute lessons based on their abilities — giving vocabulary refreshers to students who pause on certain words, for example, and allowing those who know the terminology to move on.

But all this takes the presence of laptops and tablets in classrooms for granted. So what about all those schools without the resources to deck students out in technology? Knewton's newest product attempts to bring adaptive learning to the most low-tech of materials: paper.

The venture, a partnership with the technology company HP, allows teachers to scan their students' printed worksheets and use Knewton's technology to generate — then print — adaptive lessons and materials. There's very little technology required: Printed materials are tagged with HP technology and scanned with teachers' smartphones. New printed materials can be assembled on a smartphone.

More than half of American schools have inadequate internet connections, and many more have limited access to digital materials, such as the individual devices for each student that would be required to utilize Knewton's traditional adaptive technology. Knewton hopes to tap into that market.

The ed-tech company has already made inroads with many major publishers, like Houghton Mifflin and Pearson, and will need their cooperation to make the adaptive-print technology work broadly.

BuzzFeed – Business