Week 5: Technology in your discipline area

Technology in the curriculum

Post to your blog your ideas about the hardware and software choices you would make in relation to your discipline area.

Ideally, I would be in a school that either had a BYOD program or laptops/ipads for students to use. Students all need access to the internet for blogging, class wiki’s or ITunes U. There are also some good citizen science projects accessible through web technologies (https://scistarter.com/page/Educators.html; http://www.nationalgeographic.org/idea/citizen-science-projects/ ). Lab technologies, such as good quality microscopes, lab equipment to perform more advanced experiments, can be the hardest to get as these can be expensive.  It could be best to try and get contacts at local universities to buy second-hand equipment. I really like Scootle (https://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/p/home ). I used it a number of times during my recent practical placement and found that the resources I used were both engaging for the students and very informative.

Technology integration

Blog: What do you see as the some of the benefits and challenges of technology integration, and using the TIP framework, in your teaching area?

Soujah (2014) points out that one of the major factors in technology integration is access to, and use of, technology for the students. This suggests that equity is a major factor in technology integration in the classroom. Whilst there will likely always be social inequality, there does not need to be educational inequality, and having access to appropriate technologies for all students is one way to ensure educational equality.

However, this is certainly not the case as many schools struggle to provide even the most basic technology for students. In my area of biology, some schools have equipment comparable to some universities, whereas, others have only very basic equipment which lowers student engagement and learning outcomes. For example, I was recently on my first teaching practical where I had a year 11 biology class. There were only very basic microscopes, which greatly lowered student engagement. Were there a visualising microscope, students could take pictures of their slides and add them to the class Facebook, blogs etc.

The TIP model (Roblyer and Doering, 2013) could be very useful when designing units of work, as it’s is very important to make sure that technology is being used appropriately for any classes. This, I believe, is especially important in science, where technology needs to be implemented with clear learning goals – rather than because it’s new and exciting.

Education Services Australia. (2017). Scootle. Retrieved from https://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/p/home

National Geographic Society. (2017). Citizen science projects. Retrieved from http://www.nationalgeographic.org/idea/citizen-science-projects/

Roblyer, M. D., and Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching: Pearson New International Edition (6e). Pearson Higher Ed. USA.

SciStarter. (2017). SciStarter in the classroom. Retrieved from https://scistarter.com/page/Educators.html;

Soujah, S. (2014). Technology Integration in Schools Is We Overinvested and Underprepared?. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 4(5), 444-447.

 

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2 thoughts on “Week 5: Technology in your discipline area

  1. Do you feel that online laboratory simulations are making some of these experimental practicals redundant?
    My main experience is with Chemistry and more and more simulation software packages are becoming available which allow students to manipulate chemical reactions which would be too dangerous to practice in a classroom. I hope that practicals remain a part of the curriculum but I feel that software packages may make the entire process redundant both in the classroom and in the modern workforce.

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    1. Yeah, I do really see the value in online simulations – I used them a lot for teaching evolution, and it was great. However, I do still feel that kids need some more hands-on experiments also. There definitely needs to be a few controlled explosions, too!

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