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Making the best use of the technology you have in the classroom (Linda Ojala)

How do you plan to use the technology you have available to meet the variable needs of the students in your class?

In this short video Linda reflects on her own management of the technology and her expectations of what should and could be different. The video is part of Linda final reflection at the end of her UDL blogging week. 

You can view the video with it's interactive transcript on YouTube.

The transcript

So another question I had when I started this week was about the effective use of technology in the classroom.

And I have technology in the class, and they use technology on a daily basis and it's in my programme lots and I can see the engagement and the conversations they have around it.

But just I'm really questioning for myself how effectively am I using it to enhance their learning or to meet their learning goals so it's more targeted to student need rather than just this wide spread of using it? Or using it because that's a cool way of doing something?

And I think that in a sense that's fine because it is fun. But also, well actually, it's going to be a key way for that child to express their thinking if they use this certain app. 

Or rather than everyone accessing this app for reading or whatever, well actually everyone can use it but actually it's really going to benefit this group of children here and those are the children that I'm going to target to use it.

So yeah, just targeted technology for specific student needs.


Replies

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 20 Aug 2013 10:49am ()

    Thanks for sharing these final thoughts, Linda:) I think you hit the nail on the head when you focus on the way tech is targetted at need, rather than used because it's 'there'. Your example of pinpointing reading needs by particular choices of an app (or not - whatever) is the difference being using technology for the sake of it and using it knowingly, appropriately and effectively.

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us all and for creating a resource that others can come back to for further consideration and reflection:)

  • Roxy Hickman (View all users posts) 26 Aug 2013 11:03am ()

    Targeted Technology for specific student need - Looking beyond the initial engagement of an app or technology to critiquing for value in enhanced learning is so important. Some apps are highly engaging, but have little value or links to specific learning goals that kids find short cuts to get to the fun stuff. 

    For example, a maths app (that I quickly ditched) took the student through a basic facts activity, then gave them a reward of drawing and colouring Dinosaurin a dinosaur when they completed their sums. The students were more motivated by the colouring, but quickly discovered that they didn’t actually have to figure out the maths problem but randomly tap on the answers until the correct one took them next to the next question and they got the reward.

    Highly motivating – YES, Enhanced learning – NO!

    But where do you start? What do you compare? (Without reinventing the wheel!)

    I found this App Evaluation Rubric last year when I was doing a similar inquiry of effective iPad use. (You could use it for other technology too) You may find it useful as is, or something you can adapt to your needs. For example, change some of the language to “targeted learning need”

    App Evaluation Rubric

    I found it helped to break down a few key areas when evaluating an app that I was using with students and reflect on its effectiveness for the purpose I had in mind. It does not mean that the App has to score 4’s in every category, as it will depend on the purpose of implementing the app within a students workflow. It was more of a starting point for reflecting. I like to write in the student or group learning goal / need at the top of the page to ensure that it was about them – not the app! 

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