Blog Post #1

Many teachers are aware of the pressing issues that they must address when using technology in education. However, it wasn’t until recently in the course “Creative Teaching Techniques and Utilization of Media” for my Masters in Teaching that I found them together in one neat package.

Here they are: the ISTE Standards for Students. They give a clear outline of what we should help guide our students in becoming capable of during their time with us. Each one has its importance in students as members of an “increasingly global and digital society,” as the ISTE purports on their site.

This year has been my first time teaching using an online textbook. It is easy to guide students to use this resource when we are doing research about a topic, for example. I know that it is reliable and safe. And generally it can give students what they need for our assignments. However, almost never do I see the students actually choosing to use this neat, organized “book” accessible at an entering of their password.

During several research-based projects throughout the year, my middle school students were looking all over the web. I have also discovered that their favorite way of searching is not by websites, but rather by Google Image Search. Here they were, scrolling away, gathering their favorite pictures and not even thinking about the sources reputability. It is a quick and easy way to search, but they are not yet aware of the importance of checking the source of these images. It is easy for younger students to think that everything that is published is true and reliable information.

The standard which I think is most challenging, and therefore the most important for students and anyone using technology today, is “Research and Information Fluency”. Sub-section “b” of this standard states “Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.” If we could do this alone, we would be on our way to becoming self-sufficient learners.

Honestly, I am not sure that the environments we see in today’s schools will last much longer. But if we do not know how to find the right information and take from it the important and significant points, then it doesn’t matter how much information is available out there, our students will not know how to bring it together to help them in their own lives.

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