On Monday night at 8pm I participated in the Educational Technology in the Classroom (#edtechchat) twitter chat. This twitter chat has a central theme of how to use technology to scaffold reading and writing in the classroom. I chose this chat because I obviously thought it was very appropriate for what we have been learning in the classroom and would give me even more insight on this subject from people who are using it everyday! In all honesty my idea and knowledge of technology is the classroom is basically limited to the use of iPads and Chromebooks, so I was confident that I would learn quite a lot.
One of the things that someone shared that taught me the most during the chat was an article called “Educational Technologies and Concepts Every Teacher Should Know.”
- One of the things the article mentioned was Online Tutoring. Using online tutoring gives students access to learning material and even instructors through webcams and gives students flexibility and the option outside of a traditional classroom. As a typically very busy kid who would sometimes struggle, mostly in math and sciences, something like this would have been amazing to have access to. The ability to be flexible with scheduling tutoring and not having it be always inside a traditional classroom gives students more opportunities than ever before.
- I also thought the concept of using alternative input devices and speech to text options are such a great way for kids with disabilities to be able to keep up with all the other students in class. Something like speech-to-text options allow for students who have mobility, dexterity or are even blind and let them speak their thoughts without even typing
I also learned about a few different ways to use Ed Tech to address reading in the classroom with things such as Read Works, Newsela, etc. I also learned about some of the resources teachers are using to address writing skills such as Rewordify.com which is a free, online software that improves reading, learning, and teaching. Other people mentioned things like Text Help, Write About This and Storytoolz.com.
One of the questions that was asked that I found the most interesting was what are the teachers go to ed tech writing resources from teacher to student perspective. The answers ranged from a social studies teacher having her students like tweet a GOP Debate, to an English teacher getting her students to write by giving them podcasts, movie scripts, plays, etc. to have them write and revise.
I also liked how at one point there was an article shared that challenged ed tech a bit. The article basically said that although many schools are investing in tech for the classroom, the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on student performance is “mixed at best.”
- The article stated that test results from 31 countries “show no appreciable improvements in student achievement in reading, math, or science in the countries that had invested heavily in ICT for education.”
- Some say that in classrooms where students use computer often, it can become a distraction
- Although I found this information interesting, I still think that technology in the classroom is beneficial. I believe that really are more positives than negatives.
- Technology in the classroom should be monitored by the teacher so there can really be any distractions and I think that if a teacher designs a lesson creatively, the students will be interested because of the presence of technology, something they are familiar with and enjoy.
- I liked this link because it gave me a better insight on why people think Ipad are great to use in the classroom. In all honesty I though iPads and things like that were used for different educational games or apps that can be downloaded on there for kids to learn from.
- I liked how they brought up that the iPad pro has a feature that allows for a split screen and can really help to multitask while also eliminating jumping from app to app which can lead to distractions by social media or other apps
- I also thought the point that the auto-correct feature that is on an iPad pro can actually be very beneficial for English Language learnings was very interesting! It’s nothing I’ve ever thought of before because I think it’s something I take for granted (and often get annoyed with!)
A second article that I found very interesting was about how Mayor De Blasio is going to make computer science classes a requirement in New York City ( )
- I thought this article was very interesting. I think something like this is so smart because computer science is becoming so prominent in today’s society, that if students don’t learn about it in school, it really can set them so far behind when they try and get into the work force.
- “Nationally, computer science jobs are some of the fastest growing and highest paying, but a majority of students have no access to computer science classes before college.”
- Computer science is basically involved in all jobs that are out there today, so it’s extremely important for students to learn about this as early as possible so that they can be prepared for the work force
One of the people I followed after this chat were Sharon LePage Plante, who is the Director of Tech at Eagle Hill Southport School in CT and the co-founder of #edtechchat. I followed her because she was basically the moderator of the chat, asked all the questions and had a number of informational tweets and links that she shared. Some of the other people I followed were Robert Pennington, a Social Studies teacher, Tech Coach and Google Educator; Alexa Schlechter, a technology leader at Danbury, CT, public schools; Jacquelyn Whiting, a high school social studies teacher who using a multitude of ed tech in her classroom; and The Edvocate, which is an online magazine devoted to education reform and innovation. I followed these people because they were the most active during the chat and tweeted a number of interesting ideas that I found easy to understand and really useful to use in the classroom. All of these people had reliable backgrounds and seemed to have a lot of information and experience in using technology in the classroom.
All in all I think my first twitter chat went well and it definitely taught me a lot about how teachers are really using technology in the classroom!