Category Archives: Community Engagement Project

6104 Community Engagement Project Reflection

Background

Our school started the 1:1 computer program ten years ago and extended to lower grades after five years of this program and initiated the digital citizenship class in the kindergarten leverage iPad as the digital tool.  I have worked as a tech teacher in kindergarten for three years. In these three years, my students experienced many Apps to create digital stories, innovative videos, and posters in collaborative groups or independence set. Their favorite learning activity is the one related to their routine life in the real world and shares their digital artifacts with parents, teachers, and peers. I started to think about to collaborate with other classrooms teachers when classroom teachers asked me how they can integrate iPad as the innovative learning part and what Apps students have learned in my tech class can be used in their classes. And also, I want to build a connection between the digital world and the real world for students to demonstrate reflections and learning outcomes of the knowledge they learned in different classes using digital tools. 

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About the Workshop

I have explored some digital platform for collaboration, and I want to introduce Edmodo as the recommendation in my workshop. Within this strategy, classroom teachers can provide opportunities for authentic learning for tech class; Tech class can provide support on digital tools for classroom teachers. They are going to build a reciprocal relationship through Edmodo collaboration platform to share recourses and ideas for seeking the connection between tech class and regular classrooms to help students to lead effective learning. In this workshop, I will introduce Edmodo features to audiences, including groups, small groups, library, and message. Thinking of the limited time, I will implement blended learning in which audiences will receive a concise instruction about how to join my provisional group for this workshop. We will use the group for practicing most of the features in the real-time and keep this group as a small PLN for sharing experiences for the future. At the end of the workshop, I will introduce two digital tools, which are my kindergarten students’ favorite as a reference for audiences. 

Conclusion

In the digital world, classrooms should be not isolated anymore. Teachers need to break the wall to collaborate and build a community to seek opportunities to enhance student motivation and engagement.

For the tech class, it will not be the learning goal for teaching digital tools and skills. Tech teachers need to provide opportunities for the student to leverage digital tools to have deep and authentic learning and gain digital competences for the 21st century needs. 

For the homeroom classes, teachers have a responsibility to provide productive technology environment for young age students to cultivate their digital competences to benefit their future life in the digital world. Teachers have limited time in the class to manage digital tools and also need technical support to encourage them to move on.

Collaboration between tech teachers and classroom teachers can be the reciprocal way to engage and motivate students to leverage the digital skills they learned in the tech class to demonstrate their learning outcomes in their home class. Students can choose different ways to use a digital tool to express themselves to different kinds of audiences to lead student-centered and culturally relevant learning. 

Classroom Technology Usage Pilot

In my continued exploration of professional development and evaluation, I partnered with the Educational Technology and Media department from my university to conduct a pilot survey on what types, and how faculty use current classroom technologies. The results of this pilot will inform necessary modifications to the data collection tool prior to faculty-wide administration at a later date. This is a summary of the project outcomes.

Purpose and Objectives

The aim of this pilot study was to assess current classroom technology usage at a private university in Seattle, Washington. A secondary purpose was to test the data collection tool

Five study objectives, including two related to data collection, were created:

  1. Assess current level and type of technology usage by faculty.
  2. Assess readiness for online teaching (through analysis of objective 1).
  3. Determine if current technology offered to faculty meets the needs of the faculty.
  4. Collect feedback from pilot participants on survey questions for improvement.
  5. Determine if pilot survey collects intended data.

Methodology

A survey was distributed to a convenience sample of 20 participants with the ability to recruit others. The participants were asked questions regarding areas of teaching where technology is incorporated, types of classroom technology use, student use of classroom technology, and self-identification of rate of technology adoption. Descriptive analysis was run to determine characteristic technology use of the sample along with correlation tests to beginning understanding use profiles.

Results

The results of this pilot study indicate that of the eleven (11) participants that completed the survey, most professors are fast to average technology adaptors indicating that they are open to technologies in the classroom and use technology in at least one area of their teaching/student learning. 

Bar graph describing self-identified rate of technology adoption"
Figure 1.1 “Self-identified rate of technology adoption”

Professors feel mostly comfortable with supported classroom technologies unless they do not have access to them.  If they do not feel comfortable with a technology, students will also not be exposed to these technologies which may include those that all professors have access to but are not part of every classroom such as mics and webcams. Professors also tended to rely more heavily on supported technologies as opposed to social media, which is true even when factoring into technology adoption identification. Professors used on average five (5) of the supported technologies where Canvas was the most commonly used. In comparison, professors only used one (1) social media platform on average, YouTube was the most preferred.

bar graph describing faculty use of supported classroom technology
Figure 1.2 Faculty Use of Supported Classroom Technology

V.S.

The faculty in this study were supportive of student use of technology in the classroom, allowing students to use all types of technologies only discriminating when in the classroom period technology may be used.

Recommendations

These findings cannot be generalized to the entire faculty demographic.  Recommendations to clarify survey items for better responses include definitions of major technology terminology and changes to the Likert scales for inclusion.

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