Saturday, October 23, 2010

Observation #4 October 12, 2010 2:50pm-3:10pm

On October 12, 2010, the researcher visited a second eighth grade Georgia History class, during planning (2:50pm-3:10pm).  The teacher was using the Promethean board to show students a video on the History of Georgia, standard SS8H1 and SS8H2.  Students were engrossed in note-taking as they viewed the video.  The video was about the extent of technology usage during this observation. The teacher was seated at another computer working.  It can be assumed that the LOTI level of this teacher is low from this observation. The technology level shown in this classroom is exclusively used by the classroom teacher for classroom and/or curriculum management tasks.

Observation #3 October 12, 2010 2:20pm-2:40pm

On October 12, 2010, the researcher had an opportunity to observe an eighth grade Georgia History Classroom during planning (2:20pm-2:40pm) the students were working in groups of four creating a four- fold culminating project on the standard SS8H2: Roles of various diverse cultures on the development of Georgia.
            There was little evidence of technology usage in this classroom at the time of observation. The students were set and on task as the teacher moved around to monitor group discussions and answer questions students may need clarity on for the project. Some groups were working on the classroom computers doing research for the project.  The teacher’s LOTI level could not be assessed during this observation.  It can be assumed that the teacher gave research instruction and predetermined site lists prior to the observation. The technology level of this class was employed either as extension activities, enrichment exercises, or technology-based tools and generally reinforces lower cognitive skill development relating to the content under investigation. The teacher could improve the LOTI level by modeling the research process for the students and engaging them with a Quia review activity.

Observation #2 October 4, 2010 2:50pm-3:10pm

On October 4, 2010, the researcher’s second visit to a Social Studies Classroom was in the seventh grade also, during the planning period (2:50pm-3:10pm). The researcher caught the end of instruction within this classroom; the students were doing PowerPoint presentations of group projects.  The standard was SS7CG4: Governance in the Middle East. Students were assigned various countries of the Middle East and instructed to research the type of government followed in the country.  Examples of comparison/contrast with other countries around the world had to be included in the presentation. The group presentation I had an opportunity to observe was very informative and interesting.
 The use of technology was evident in this classroom. The student’s peers rated the presentations using the activexpressions response systems.  The teacher predetermined the critiques and gave each an assigned number for ranking. This information was included in the rubric for the presentation labeled “peer critiques”.  The teacher’s LOTI level could be assumed to be rather high from this observation. The technology level shown in this classroom supported the use of student-directed projects that provide opportunities for students to determine the "look and feel" of a final product based on specific content standards.

Observation #1 October 4, 2010 2:15pm-2:35pm

On October 4, 2010, the researcher visited a seventh grade Social Studies class during the planning period (2:15pm-2:35pm).  Upon entering the classroom the students had completed a map skills sponge activity (a worksheet where the students where to identify countries in Southwest Asia). The teacher was giving directions for the group activity to follow. The standard for the lesson was SS7CG4 elements a, b, c: Governance in the Middle East.  The teacher assigned each child a partner to work with and describe the ways government systems distribute power: unitary, confederation, and federal. Give an example of a Middle East country or countries using the aspects of the type of government system. Example: Iraq uses aspects of a Federal system.
There was no sign of engaging technology being used at this point in the lesson other than the assignment being posted on the active board for students to see.  This teacher’s LOTI level could be assumed to be rather low from this observation. The technology level shown in this classroom is exclusively used by the classroom teacher for classroom and/or curriculum management tasks. The level could be improved by using the active board flipcharts to engage the students in the matching activity of the country with its location for the sponge.

Technology Interview with Mr. Sean Scott 09/21/2010

An interview was conducted with Mr. Sean Scott, Director of Web Applications for the State of Georgia. He has held this position and title for fourteen years and aspires to become an attorney in IT Law. Mr. Scott feels the best way to ensure technology integration for instruction is to collaborate with all the parties involved (i.e. teachers, students, programmers, etc). In response to the statement, “Electronic media will replace printed text within five years.” Mr. Scott said, “I feel that electronic media has in some sense replaced printed text, but printed text is still easier to read.” His evaluation of the effectiveness of the current technology being used is based on automation, man power, and time management.  As technology is integrated into the classroom, he feels, in some respects, it is a good practice to expect students to create products that show higher levels of learning; also teaching should be at a higher level for students. When asked what type of support is available for teachers with all the fast paced technological changes of today?  Scott responded, “Like doctors, cosmetologist, and other business professionals, who keep their skills alive by attending courses provided by software makers, teacher should attend in the same way.”
A major issue in regards to reliability is, of course, if a company is depending on a system to make money, the system has to be always up.  As to security, you don’t want anyone to have access to system information, or personal information which could lead to fraud and/or identity theft.  Mr. Scott points out, “using collaboration in any circumstance is always a plus, especially when integrating technology into learning units. Teachers can show what works and what does not work”.  In regards to presenting a balanced approach to successfully integrating technology and protecting the network, Mr. Scott stated, “Protection of any network and equipment is always important in any aspect; however, the use of technology should be an enhancement, not the only means of teaching.”
The technology being implemented within Mr. Scott’s workplace is described as follows: “Technology is used for communication, media, to capture data, to keep records and to improve the processes of daily work. Current staffing levels range from entry level to three years experience.  In my opinion the ideal level is the beginner:  where most of the work is a learning opportunity.”