Change is the Only Constant

We are in a hyper connected world.  This is changing the way we read, write, interact, gather information, shareideas, and connect with one another. Anstey andBull (2006) remind us that change is the only constant.


They state that “previously technology was either for communication or providing information. Now one piece of technology can fulfill both purposes” (p.14). Absolutely. Blogs, wikis, pinterest, Facebook, Twitter…these technologies provide information and provide possibilities for communication simultaneously. The literacies we use when we engage with these technologies is defined by our purposes. First, I’m viewing my friend’s Facebook post and then I’m tapping into her pinterest pins to learn more about how she designs her classroom. Then, I’m following a blog to learn about issues in the field of literacy and next I’m clicking on a link that sends me to the NY Times article on statistics about college.

The digital landscape is not only changing the way we gain information and communicate with one another, rightly so, it’s also changing the way we teach. Or it should be.  Salman Khan advocates for changing the script–for flipping the classroom. To put content into video for students to view, review, and review again at their own pace. Leaving classroom time an opportunity to help students where they need it most. Having peers interact with one another to solve problems, analyze text, and ultimately humanize the classroom. Do you think video is reinventing education? How would this work for your students? What are the benefits? What are the costs?

Khan Academy Using Video To Reinvent Education


Some argue that what’s changing in schools may be superficial rather than fundamental. Leander (2007) considers how “technologies are essentially social, and thus serve to constitute particular values, ideologies, preferred practices, power relations, social relations, and modes of learning” (p. 26). Leander looks at the production and organization of school space and time and in his research on wireless classrooms and the use of laptops where the technologies of schooling were largely left unchanged. Kahn might argue that the physical spaces of our classrooms are becoming more obsolete as we engage with students increasingly over digital spaces and that the 45 minute teaching blocks do not allow for repeated practice, student ownership, or enough collaborative possibilities–his site changes that. But what about the teacher as a critical part of the physical space? of the technology that is school?

As teachers in physical school spaces, how do we incorporate new technologies and new literacies into our teaching without simply responding to the latest “new” educational trend. Lankshear and Knoebel (2007) argue for what they call “new ethos stuff”–that is–”active collaboration and participation, leveraging collective intelligence via practices like eliciting user annotations, distributing and wilfully sharing expertise, decentering authorship, mobilizing information for relatedness, hybridization, and the like” (p. 20). The new ethos is about access and power and participation and the possibility that anyone can learn new information and share ideas. Want to learn how to play guitar, there are a myriad of videos and teaching tools online to do so? Want to find a recipe for the perfect pancakes? Voila. Want to write about the overtesting of children in public schools? You’ll have a captive audience.

What’s happening with technology is about literacy, teaching, learning, and schooling but it’s also about far more than that. Anstey and Bull (2006) urge us to consider the power of globalization in our increasingly technology-driven world. Teachers in Kenya can learn from teachers in New York via Skype. Teachers can gather ideas together through google docs and exchange best practices across the globe. Children can engage in experiments in LA and discuss the results with children in Taiwan.

In the video below, we see Digital Humanitarianism at work and how the earthquake in Haiti changed everything about how responders can reach people who need critical help immediately and in an on going way.

Digital Humanitarianism TED Talk

This matters.


19 thoughts on “Change is the Only Constant

  1. I absolutely love the idea of a flipped classroom because it allows students to work at their own pace by viewing content at home. The flipped classroom also requires that students use technology to collaborate with their peers and teachers. Since the content is delivered through technology at home, content is able to be discussed and built upon in the classroom. Sounds great, right? However, what happens if students don’t have computers, tablets, or smartphones at home to access the content online? Affluent school districts won’t have this issue, but in a district like that of Danbury, CT (where I went to school and now teach), many students don’t have the access to technology at their homes. Going to the library is an option, but many students have parents who work and can’t get them to the library. Therefore, what do we, as teachers, do for the students who may not have access to technology? Do we completely forget the idea of flipping our classroom? Do we give the students who don’t have access to technology an alternative way to learn the content? Will this then make them feel left out or will they get made fun of because they don’t have the means to own technological devices? These are real questions and concerns that many teachers may not initially think of when deciding to flip their classrooms. Although this new teaching design is interesting, engaging, and beneficial for students, is it realistic?

    • I agree with your point. It’s certainly valuable to have engaged conversations about the content in the classroom, but that is only possible when all students have access to the internet/the content at home. The success of the lesson for that day is also contingent upon whether or not the students actually take the time to read and learn the content at home. While it is perhaps more likely for a young student to watch a documentary or small video than read from a textbook, there is still no guarantee that every single student will take time after school to do it, because it’s still more homework.

      I suppose the flipped classroom works when students are interested and willing to engage with the content inside and outside of school. As the Salman Khan video points out, people really do learn better when they are in a self selected, comfortable setting and he or she is moving along at a self directed pace.

    • Kori,
      I also agree with your point. I think the whole idea of the flipped classroom is great but what do those students who don’t have access do? What if they do feel embarrassed?

      I’m dealing with something like this in my classroom now. It is a very affluent community and one student is there in my class on scholarship. He does not have a computer available at home but will not admit this is true. Every time an assignment is given on the computer, he fails to complete it and makes up a reason why it is not done. A lot of the work for a current project has to deal with outside research and bringing that in about their state. His mom always needs to email his essays from her work computer once she gets there so every Friday they are late.

      These are reasons it is left not as realistic; and if it is something a teacher is going to incorporate, they need to think about alternative methods for those students who don’t have accessibility to technology outside of the school.


    After reading the articles and seeing your opinions of them in your blog, it is clear that we can use one word to describe the overall message- TECHNOLOGY! Williams, Leander, and Anstey and Bull all encourage the use of technology in the classroom in this day and age. Anstey and Bull writes that “diaries, journals, cards, and handwriting are all being taken over by emails, texts, and phone calls”, Leander encourages each student at Ridgeview School to have a laptop for educational purposes, and Williams explains that in the present, literacy practices consist of chatrooms, emails, and webpages. So many people are now seeing the beauty that technology can bring into the classroom and I am in ‘agreeance’!

    I love the video involving the information about the Khan Academy! I believe that Khan has found a brilliant way to use technology effectively in the classroom. You pose two questions- are there benefits and are there costs? I believe that the benefits are that it is fast, easy to view, and very accessible. Essentially, you are getting everything you would get in a basic math class, except it is online and you can view it over and over it again until you understand the material. However, the costs, in my opinion, are if there are still questions after reviewing the video numerous times. In a classroom setting, you have the teacher to clarify any remaining questions or even to explain the method of solving in a different, more understanding way. Overall, I think the Khan Academy videos are a great resource to anyone and everyone!

    Lastly, I loved the cartoon about the flipped classroom. The picture of how the classroom should be after it is “flipped” reads “guide on the side” and I think that explains how the classroom should be in every school! The teachers allowing students to facilitate instruction and discussions allows for the best learning! Teachers should let their students explore on their own and be that “guide on the side” to provide resources when needed!

    Thanks for the great post! 🙂

    Alex Kass

    After reading the article as well as a chapter in Anstey and Bulls book, I have come to realize how much impact technology has had on society. We live in the technology era and it seems as though all that we do as individuals and as teachers is based around different forms of technology. In reading chapter one of “Teaching and Learning Multiliteracies” by Anstey and Bull it focused on how the workplace has changed and how globalization has made this happen. It addresses that if we go back 50 years a person would have a job for a lifetime. Now we use technology to help find specific people with specialized skills. I found it interesting that overtime society has changed due to technology. We now have call centers with computer systems and we have training and small businesses. This all came about as time went by and people learned the new forms of technology around them and how to connect with others around the world. As you mentioned in your blog post we now have technology and social media all around us in all that we do. We are receiving or emails and face books posts and instagram pictures all on our phones and tablets.
    As technology has continued to advance people have learn to record and share and send files, movies, clips, pictures etc worldwide. I agree with you that as teachers we need to embrace the new forms of technology and incorporate it into our everyday teaching and into our classrooms. When we were in school we were accustomed to a pencil and paper and watching a movie on an old television screen. Students now communicate with each other and interact via text and video chatting and lack social skills. We need to encourage social interaction through the forms of technology as well as encourage students to have face to face social interactions. I found the video on Khan Academy to be compelling in the idea that students can connect with each other and learn off of videos that others have created on specific subjects. I also feel as though these online spaces such as Khan Academy allow students to find all the resources they need and have it all at their fingertips.
    In reading the article by Williams I learned that many people feel as though they are living a double life when it comes to technology. He touches upon the idea that we should be questioning our students on how they feel about technology and we should ask questions about how they feel towards technology. The idea that not all students have technology at home or have access to computers or tablets. As educators we need to take notice and watch carefully to ensure that our students real identity is not hiding behind a computer screen or a text being sent to a friend. This article talks about connecting technology at home and school by giving students the options to have assignments that are based on the computer or online. This gives students an outlet to become immersed in reading and writing online. Educators have to be willing to take in the concept that technology through texting is an example of a student writing and expressing themselves. A teacher can not assume that all forms of technology should not be allowed, there just has to be a balance presented in the classroom. As educators we should allow students to teach other students and invite them to discuss technology.
    In the article by Leander it focuses on the concept of using technology in schools via laptops. The idea that there are schools and classes that try and give students laptops and teach all instruction via the internet and online instruction. This articles touches upon the idea that there is danger in allowing student to work on the internet due to internet safety and danger online. There is also the problem that computers and technology at times distracts students from the task at hand. Another problem that this article discusses is the concept that students over time learned to copy and paste and cheat on their assignments. Lastly I want to mention that this article touched upon the fact that teachers who used this approach realized that their students were losing their true identity when they had minimal social interaction and everything was presented to them online.
    I like the cartoon you have an agree with the concept that classrooms should have a balance but should be student centered. Educators have to open their hearts and minds to the new approaches to teaching. Technology is a new entry way of exploring education.


    I agree with Anstey and Bull (2008) that technology today is used for communication and for providing information (p.14). I use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Gmail to communicate with friends and find out information. Sometimes I even log into Facebook to find out from my colleagues if my school is closed due to weather. I find out quicker from Facebook than the news. News travels so quickly via social media!

    Yes, technology is totally changing the way we teach in a positive way. I am a special education teacher and my students need to view things several times in order to take in information. They all learn at different paces and technology such as PowerPoint and YouTube allow them to “view, review and review again” if need be (Salman Khan).

    I do not think that technology is dehumanizing the classroom. Students can work together on computers and teachers can use technology while having whole class discussions. Interactive exercises and video lectures are engaging for students. It is also easy to view, access and it is very fast. However, us teachers need to be aware that not all families are fortunate enough to have computers at home. Teachers can therefore allow students to go on computers while at school. One thing that I feel could be a downfall to the Khan Academy videos is, what if students still do not understand the math material after reviewing it at home? What if their parents can’t explain it to them? Is it still beneficial?

    I agree with you that us teachers need to embrace the new forms of technology into everyday teaching. I love the cartoon about the flipped classroom. The classroom should be a more student directed environment than teacher directed environment. Students are supposed to lead discussions and teachers are to only provide feedback and support when needed.

    I hope to become more tech savvy by the end of the semester! Great post!

    Talia Cerniglia

    It’s amazing what technology can do and how teachers are utilizing it (or at least trying to) in their classrooms. It’s amazing to see second graders using the internet to search topics such as their favorite animal and then write a short piece about it on laptops. Children today are learning so quickly how to use technology. For example, there are plenty of two year olds who know how to work their parents I-pads! Although it can be scary to bring technology into your classroom (especially if you are like me and can barley work your T.V remote) because it’s new and because of all the potential implications, such as the ones Leandor discussed like the physical barrier created once the laptop screens go up (39), it is still worth our time and our re-imagining of what technology can do and create. In addition, I agree when William states, “students excel at those activities in which they are invested and experienced” (705), and technology is invigorating and refreshing for students compared to paper and pencil.

    I really enjoy the question you pose about the flipped classroom. This is something in which I have been reading a lot about on educational blogs. Many teachers say how they are so helpful because they can get a lot of information packed into 20 minutes are so. Many teachers also love how these online videos seem to capture their students attention more so than a lecture would. However, many teachers wrote about experiencing the same issues. One of the main concerns being the fact that not every student has a computer at home or access to the internet. One teacher commented that he solved this problem by allowing those students to stay late or come in early to view the lesson.

    The video you attached, in my opinion, really expanded the benefits technology has in our world today. We need students to be comfortable and eager to use technology and the internet because clearly it is what connects our entire world together and ultimately will be in the hand of every person on planet. I believe education and technology must co-exist and I know personally I have much to learn!

  6. Katie,

    Technology is such a huge component of our society and, as the readings this week remind us, a huge part of our education as well. As recently as twenty years ago, most teachers considered “literacy” to consist of reading, writing, and phonics. Technology and computer education was an “elective” that most schools had once a week (if at all). Now, nearly all schools incorporate technology into their classrooms every day and the definition of literacy has expanded to encompass a whole new world of iPads, computers, blog posts, chat rooms, social media, and countless other mediums of communication and interaction. Students come to school equipped with smart phones and are often more knowledgeable and tech-savvy than their parents and teachers. But teachers, too, have come a long way in the past several years. Many teachers have their own websites where they the day’s notes and homework and some even use interactive sites, like Edmodo, so that the students can post questions, turn in their work online, or access their grades at any time, day or night. Our students are ALWAYS connected and, like Antsy and Bull suggest, it is important to embrace these connections and use them to our greatest advantage.
    I was really excited to see that you referenced the Khan Academy. Supplemental lecture resources like these are great for students who may need extra help or review and, if used correctly, they could even be a great tool to use in place of an in-classroom lecture. I know several teachers who ask their students to watch a Khan Academy or CrashCourse video for homework and then come in the next day prepared to ask questions, discuss what they learned, and do a related class activity. In many ways, this can help us optimize our valuable (and often short) class time. But, as Williams suggests, it is also very important to constantly be having a bit of technological meta-cognition. As teachers, we must always be sure to think about how we use and interact with the technology that we have and ask our students to do the same. Having them think about how they use technology is just as important and valuable as the technology itself. Some students may struggle to get access to the same technology as their classmates and it is important to recognize this as well, rather than simply assuming that everyone is always on the same page. While there are clearly many benefits to technology use in the classroom, you also asked what some of the pitfalls may be and I believe that over-assumption may be the biggest one. As teachers, we cannot simply assume that ALL of our students have internet access and smart phones at home and, further, we can not assume that these type of resources make the right connections for all of our students. While some students might find it easy to learn from a video lecture, some might need that one-to-one attention that can only be received in class.

    All in all, I’m excited to see what new and exciting ways I can bring technology and literacy together in my own classroom. Thanks for the great post!


  7. Katie,

    While I understand why some may be against new technology in an educational setting, I don’t believe that those teachers are fully aware of the possibilities that can come from incorporating the technology. Our world is changing. People can connect with others all over the globe in a matter of seconds. Sounds and sights that at one point were unable to access for many now provide the opportunities for students to experience, create, and learn from the comfort of your home. Technology provides a means for students of various abilities, learning styles and interests to comprehend information and use it to enhance their own personal lives.

    Technology in the classroom is not limited to just the SmartBoard or educational movies. There are applications for tablets that allow students to record the process of their own work, practice and reinforce skills, and collaborate with others. Using an app called “Show Me”, my students were able to go through the process of using the vertical algorithm in subtraction while explaining the process verbally as they did so. This video was placed on our website so that other students could use it as a resource. In this instance, technology helped reinforce content taught in the classroom in the home setting through a student teaching!

    Although I like the idea of the “Flipped Classroom”, those students who do not learn in a visual and auditory manner will struggle with the instruction being in video format. Therefore, I believe classrooms need a balance of a “general” and “flipped” classroom. Technology needs to be used as a tool to help students learn. It isn’t going to help all students but should definitely be incorporated into classroom instruction to help those that would benefit from it. I believe that the classroom culture has to keep “up to date” with the world in general and since technology is a huge part of how we communicate and learn as a culture, it should be used as a tool for similar goals in the classroom.


    • Megan,
      I agree that technology is not just the usage of the smartboard.
      I cant wait to try out that app that you posted “show me”. Sounds very interesting and engaging for young students.
      Classrooms do definitely need a balance of general and flipped classroom. They both help children learn!!
      Great post 🙂

    • Megan,

      Great post!

      I especially agree with the following sentence that you wrote: “While I understand why some may be against new technology in an educational setting, I don’t believe that those teachers are fully aware of the possibilities that can come from incorporating the technology.” Many seasoned teachers aren’t used to technology because they haven’t been exposed to it and haven’t had the experience using such tools in the classroom. However, there are SO many possibilities that arise through the use of technology in the classroom — lessons come alive for students through the use of SmartBoards, students can research on iPads or laptops, and student work can be projected using a document camera. Hopefully seasoned teachers who aren’t used to using technology will be given the opportunities to explore technology through professional development, so that they can utilize these tools in the classroom too.

  8. I agree that new technologies and their corresponding literacy practices should change the way we teach. With the ability to communicate and share information with just about anyone in the world, technology has changed the way we read, write, speak and even think! As Antsey and Bull point out, the creation of new texts out of these technologies will change the purpose of literacy and literacy itself (2).

    And since we can’t stop the change, we might as well go with it. No, we have to. We need to teach our students how to cope with changing literacies— to give them the knowledge, skills, attitudes, power, and confidence to transfer the literacy skills they already posses to different contexts and for different purposes. They already use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Googledocs, Tumblr, and many more social media sites, devoting most of their free time “to some form of reading and writing” (Williams 703), so we should capitalize on students’ existing literacy skills and knowledge by bringing them into the classroom.

    In fact, Williams proposes that not acknowledging students’ “double lives” of in school and out of school literacy practices is causing teachers to miss “ways to connect with our students and help reinforce and enlarge their identities” (702). Something like digital storytelling (such as the project for this class) or a dual language identity text (see link below) provide opportunities for our students to hone the skills needed in the workplace and the world.

    What I think is interesting for us to think about is how technology is currently used in our classroom. I thought that I was effectively using technology in my classroom, but after reading Leander’s article, I have realized that many of my lessons and/or activities that use technology are simply online versions of former print technologies and processes (Leander 28). We not only have to bring in computers or other technology in the classroom, but we also have to organize classroom space and time around technology.

    I really liked Leander’s comment that allowing students to complete and submit essays online “loosened the boundaries of the school day and calendar” (28) by giving students opportunities to continue working at home on something they have started at school, or vice versa. This seems to be one of the biggest advantages of the “flipped classroom” and Khan Academy videos. Students can watch a teacher’s video or other materials online and come into school ready to practice with their peers and teacher. I really like how the teacher’s role changes from simply a transmitter of knowledge to a coach and facilitator of learning. But I think there are some downsides to using this approach. What if students do not have access to computers or a strong Internet connection at home? How can we guarantee that students will watch the videos before coming to class? If a student is learning a subject purely through watching Khan Academy videos, who can they ask to clarify understanding or where can they practice the skills they have learned?

    I can relate to Leander’s interviews with teachers who saw laptops in the classroom as physical barriers which limit face-to-face communication that is essential for establishing connections with others. I’ve been there. It can sometimes be discouraging to see each students’ face buried in a computer instead of engaging in heated or excited debates with their classmates. But I think there needs to be a balance between the two extremes (all technology or no technology in the classroom). We need to utilize technology in the classroom for reading and writing, but we also need to have students practice oral communication and collaboration on various tasks. Both are needed in today’s workplace and world.

    We need students to become more critical readers and writers of new media and technologies just as much as we need students to become more critical readers and writers of traditional literacies. But we can teach both through lessons and activities that have students explore how words, images, hyperlinks, videos, etc. (or the absence of these elements) combine to create meaning, and how the conventions, audience, rhetoric, etc. stay the same or change for different genres, purposes, and contexts.

    As Antsey and Bull point out, “the more conscious students are of how they go about literate practices” through technology, “the more strategic and effective they will be” in using this technology (19). That should be the ultimate goal. But at the same time, we “cannot rely on what [we] think students know about technology” (Williams 706), since many students may not be as adept or interested in using it as we may think. We must ask each particular student how they use technology and incorporate these literacy practices into our own classroom. Instead of viewing technology as dangerous, we should embrace technology as a valuable contribution to our students’ lives. Students will only learn how to become more critical and effective users of technology if we give them opportunities to do so in our classrooms!

  9. Our changing world filled with new forms of communication and literacy does matter to all of us. It matters for our growth as individuals, communities and our world existence. The powerful TED video on Digital Humanitarianism at work allowed us to witness not only the ability to use technology to respond to disaster in ways we did not think possible, but it also discussed communities around the world that were making themselves visible. Conneally speaks of Josha and Steve who are using technology, digital mapping, tweets and social media to share their stories and put their community on the map. Technology gives them a voice in this world. It has the ability for us all to share our stories and ourselves. Our students now have a voice that can be heard in our world.

    As rapidly as our world is changing with technology, our classrooms are working to adapt and find a system to support our students. Teachers are not just containing their classroom focus to reading and writing and speaking. Anstey and Bull (2006) explain that literacy skills also include “digital technology, sound, music, words and still and moving images.” (p.17) Our students are using many skills to make meaning in various forms of new literacies. They are reading texts, blogs, emails, instagram collages, participating in chat rooms, and watching you tube videos. Anstey and Bull (2006) argue “literacy pedagogy must teach students to be flexible, tolerant of different viewpoints, and able to problem solve, analyze situations, and work strategically.” (p.18) They are exposed to our diverse world and need to utilize literacy skills to react and communicate appropriately. That is a huge and difficult task. Students need to have opportunities to practice communicating on such a scale and to realize the strength of their words.

    I know not all schools and classrooms are there yet and how frustrating to have these ideas about technology and not being able to implement them into our classrooms, but we can hold onto our knowledge and continue to push for progress. Teaching in both rural Virginia and New York, I have noticed the “change” varies greatly. Leander (2007) share’s Hodas’ (1993) findings that “the school structure and teaching practices has remained substantially unchanged for seven hundred years”. (p.26) It has been many years since I taught in that school in Virginia, but I fear they may not be much further along than when I left. Implementing writing workshop? Reading workshop? Nope-however, I did become very adept at sneaking in an entertaining mini-lesson with the grammar book. My question is how to make sure all our schools have a certain level of technology available and enough professional development to aid the teachers. Perhaps sources such a Kahn and bloggers provide answers/options/education when schools can’t offer the support we need.

    Great first readings on technology in our world/classrooms today.
    Excited for this class!

  10. The articles and this blog post highlight how amazing technology can be within the classroom as well as other ways technology has impacted the society and current generations. When I was reading Antstey & Bull article, I paused on the sample timeline of literate practices on page 3 of chapter 1. This timeline showed a sample of “literate practices used in home, leisure, workplace, social, cultural, religious, or civic activities” between 1970-1980. I reflected on my own literacy practices from the first decade since I was born (1990-2000), the second decade of my life (2000-2010), and current decade I am in (2010-2020). It’s crazy to think about how these 3 decades would look so different from one another. The turn of the 21st century was the era of booming technological advances, and we all lived and experienced these changes in our lives, such as in our society and in our schools. My literacy practices would probably look very different from the year 2000 to today, which is incredible to me! Our future students will be born or are already born into an age where advanced technology, such as Smartphones, iPads, laptops, and those crazy drones that Amazon uses today, already exist! While implementing technology, such as tablets and iPads, into our classrooms today is exciting, confusing, and a shift in our traditional classrooms, in just a few years or a decade from now, implementing technology will be something that is common in our lesson plans and curriculum! It is crazy to think about how advanced our society has become in these past few decades, and we are the lucky ones who get to experience all these changes!

    The Paul Conneally video “Digital Humanitarianism” opened my eyes to what kind of efforts were going on in Haiti during that tragic and confusing time. A girl I went to high school with passed away in this tragedy, however through it all, we as a society were able to learn things from it. Conneally was quoted on saying, ““Haiti allowed us to glimpse into a future of what disaster response might look like in a hyper-connected world”. In the 20th century and before, the “humanitarian model was barely changed”. “Haiti”, however, “was a gamechanger”. On the outskirts of this poor city, digital volunteers were tweeting out important information out to the web for the media and the community to participate and use. Sick and hurt individuals s in the city were texting out to others saying that they needed help. Celebrities filmed a Red Cross special to spread the word about this tragedy and to encourage others to donate to this cause. These were just a few examples of the types of technology that were used during this time. I think technology is so much more than Facebook and using them as forms of entertainment. We were able to learn from the tragedy in Haiti that technology can aide others, and connect the entire world with information about their loved ones or how to donate to this cause. In our classrooms, we need to teach the children how to use technology for educational purposes as ways to help others, since after all, they are our future.

    I am excited to explore the variety of tools and benefits that technology has to offer inside my future classroom!

  11. Katie –

    First, I thought that post was amazing! It really made me think about my current classroom and how much technology and video, etc. is used in the room.
    I do think video is reinventing education but I think that it is a positive change. In fact, today alone I used video multiple times throughout lessons. In the beginning of the day, we had a Martin Luther King day assembly. After the assembly, I held a morning meeting with my 4th grade class. For this meeting, I showed a (kid friendly) biography on the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The students really enjoyed this and having visuals and a fun video to watch made the lesson more exciting. It’s not that it replaced the teaching in the classroom because we used this as a tool to have a discussion after.

    In our math lesson on perimeter, area and volume, I opened with a video on brain-pop. The kids really get sucked into this video and again, it does not replace the lesson but rather is used as a tool that we can work off of. We discuss everything that was found and learned in the video once it is finished.

    I think there are many benefits and in the day and age that these students are growing up with technology constantly surrounding them, it’s going to become more and more important to incorporate into the classroom and be able to work with. I do most of my lessons on the Smart Board and it makes the students more excited to be able to come up to the board and move around objects or draw something that it is for them to come use an expo marker on the white board. They love the visuals and have adapted so well to learning from the SB lessons. I actually have had an increase in their test scores since I started incorporating the SB into the lessons.

    It can have costs because it is expensive to keep running and it is not always reliable. For example, during a lesson the other day, the board crashed and my entire lesson was lost. This is why you also always need to be prepared for anything that could possibly happen. I had fully reviewed and learned the material beforehand so I was able to teach the lesson without the videos and SB lesson although I was bummed that it didn’t work.

    I especially love where you mentioned:
    “What’s happening with technology is about literacy, teaching, learning, and schooling but it’s also about far more than that. Anstey and Bull (2006) urge us to consider the power of globalization in our increasingly technology-driven world. Teachers in Kenya can learn from teachers in New York via Skype. Teachers can gather ideas together through google docs and exchange best practices across the globe. Children can engage in experiments in LA and discuss the results with children in Taiwan.” and thought it was so interesting.
    It made me think of something we will be doing with our entire fourth grade in our geography unit: we will be skyping with other students in other countries across the world to learn more about where they are from and use our geography skills to find out where exactly in the world they are located and what the distance is from us.

  12. Katie,
    Technology is a great resource in any classroom, home or any learning environment. However, after reading Leander, we have to realize that it has to be used correctly. These girls were given laptops with unlimited internet access. Did they do anything besides use them as portable typewriters? or use them for email or as a “at my hand” resource to research a topic? No. why? Because they were not immersed in what the technology could enable them to do. The school did not support the learning that could happen with this type of technology. It is an essential tool, but what is the relationship the school itself has with technology. I wonder if the school utilized to work on projects together? Or if the girls could do any type of media production as a project instead of using the computer only as a pencil and paper? This article also points out the barriers that the laptops create in classrooms. I am sure that many schools allow students to communicate with their teachers via email or hand in papers off of school time.

    We must adopt technology in our classrooms to support both teachers use of it and students use of it. I think that technology must be adopted to how learning is happening and that learning can not change because of technology. Students must learn that different writing is happening for different technologies. Learning in schools is not only the academics but also the social aspect of school. Social and technology can happen together. Facebook, twitter, pinterest , and other social media are great, but so is face to face contact. These are great technologies to share with but I feel that they take away from socially gathering and being with people. Students need to come to school to not only learn academics but learn how to get along with others and interact socially.
    Change is good but we don’t have to throw out the baby with the bathwater. We need to learn how to bring these new technologies into students and teachers and create learning that doesn’t take away from the good of what is happening or then we might look back 20 years from now and not be happy with the results. We can embrace technologies for what they can do but we can”t knock everything about what we do! The Khan academy is great but I don’t feel that it is a replacement to being in a classroom. In my district right now we are embracing the LATIC method. This stands for learner active technology infused classroom. The teacher does some explicit teaching but the students are active learners and technology is key.

    Students should not have to live double lives due to technology. This technology learning should be embraced in the classroom, just like we embrace the arts. Technology can be infused in all grades in all subjects.

    • I really like the fact that you mentioned face to face contact. It is important to embrace technology in the classroom and make a connection of learning at home and school, which can be done through technology. However, it is also important to keep things simple sometimes and value face to face contact. Valuing social skills is essential and it is important to find a balance between ‘new’ technologies and communicative skills.

  13. Just by the amount of material that has been shared with us from this point really shows how accessible information is today. Technology helps make information readily available (as well as it being presented in our Literacy and Technology course).

    Anstey and Bull (2006) draw our attention to the fact that technology gives people easier access to information and in many cases, makes them more aware of particular information and/or global events. Kahn urges educators to use technology to flip the classroom to allow students to use online tools and connect students from across the world to learn from each other. By incorporating such practices, students are given more time to interact and learn from their peers and teachers in the classroom. Kahn’s flipped classroom really encompasses several appropriate teaching practices, of today, with the emphasis on the tool of technology. Williams (2005) urged educators to connect the use of technology (which many students are engaging with at home) to school. Making a connection between students’ work in school and activities at home creates a meaningful learning experience for students and encompasses the “look and feel” of schools that Leander () discusses is changing.

  14. Attempt to repost…

    It is really wonderful to see how the career of teaching has become so much more global with a much smaller community because of different forms of technology.What you wrote above is true, looking at pictures of decorated classroom and bulletin boards on facebook, and seeing other teaching ideas and styles on pinterest has helped teachers all over the world interact easily with each other! There are online professional development opportunities all the time, and the ease of access to lists and lists of different teaching organizations that are hosting professional development seminars can be constantly at your fingertips! As you quoted from Anstey and Bull, technology is providing the information teachers need, and the communication that can help classrooms and schools grow!

    When thinking about the Khan Academy post and videos, I can’t help but think back to all of the visits to crayon factories, shoe factories, and fire stations, I used to watch Mr. Rogers take on his children’s show. Being a visual learner, I learned so much from those videos; much more than I would ever likely learn from listening to a story being read. Watching videos like these can also help inspire the children to want to make their own videos of things that they want to share and express to the world. I teach Kindergarten, and while my students are learning how to write, they are not quite at the point where they can sit and write out everything that they can express orally. Making a video is a wonderful tool that they can use to help them participate and contribute to the world around them even at such a young age.

    On a similar note, I know many middle schools participate in a mystery skype activity, where a class will skype with a school in another state, or country, and the children they skype with give clues so that the other class can try and guess where their school is located.

    The ideas I just mentioned were all running through my head when I was reading the Leander article. In the text they seemed to have a difficult time integrating the technology appropriately, without losing out on things that they valued in the classroom. I feel that it is so important to constantly remember that the technology is not there to replace another topic, it is there to enhance the topic. You can shift gears mid discussion if a class conversation goes in a different direction! When reading a story, you come across the word “pay phone” and no one in the class knows what that is, you can easily pull up a picture and explain what it is. The same applies to other seemingly common, but really not so common things such as a tractor, VCR, and a fireplace.

    There is so much to learn and so much that can be explored within this topic! Great post!

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