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Using Educational Technology in Elementary Math Curriculum. Jennifer Dennis.
“In 2009, it was estimated that about 12% of America’s high schools have become drop-out factories... (Therefore,) developing new measures for good teaching in the digital age and installing new systems of preparation…for those who
teach are important.”
-Barnett Berry (2011). Teaching 2030(p. 13).
Kim, Gendron, Toro, and Fairborn (2011) found that students “who had lower levels of school enjoyment, lower emphasis placed on (math) grades, and those with peers who place a lower emphasis on school were more likely to drop out of school.”
Students are dropping out of High School
Because they aren’t performing well in math
Why aren’t students succeeding in math?
Marc Prensky (2006) quotes Dr. Bruce Berry of Baylor College of Medicine: “Different kinds of experiences lead to different brain structures.”
So what experiences have our students gone through that we didn’t while growing up?
“Digital Natives crave interactivity – they expect an immediate response to their each and every action. Traditional school… provides very little of this.”
–Marc Prensky (2006)
How are second grade students’ attitudes of mathematics affected by technology integrated curriculum?
How are teachers’ practices effected by technology integration standards?
How does technology integration affect the students’ engagement levels?
2 student computers
1 teacher laptop
1 document camera
1 Promethean Board
1 ceiling-hung projector
Taking the knowledge that I gained from the students about how they enjoy video games and taking into account that the teacher was having difficulty integrating technology regularly into her schedule, I decided to focus on creating enriching game activities for classroom math use.
Taken from Marc Prensky’sDon’t Bother Me Mom – I’m Learning!
“When I watch children playing video games at home or in the arcades, I am impressed with the energy and enthusiasm they devote to the task. Why can’t we get the same devotion to school lessons as people naturally apply to the things that interest them?” –Donald Norman, Author and Educator
The students were highly engaged and eager to play again – even asking the following week if we could once again play.
A mixed approach of using both “traditional” and technology-integrated curriculum is a great way to peak and keep students interested; however, no matter what, the lesson has to be meaningful, exciting, and student-centered – not teacher centered.
Develop leadership in promoting a friendly teaching environment that supports growth and learning.
I wasn’t the teacher, however, I was placed into a leadership role by conducting this project. I made sure to stimulate a friendly yet teacher-like disposition in the classroom by learning the teacher’s and students’ names and talking to them on a regular basis. I explained to the teacher and the students that I was there to learn from them; and I constantly reminded them how grateful I was for allowing me into their classroom. I made sure to always take everyone into consideration and to know when not to try to be the “leader of the classroom” since I wasn’t the classroom teacher.
Integrate developmentally appropriate practice perspectives into teaching methods
When looking for lessons I took into consideration not only what the students were interested in, but also what level they were at and what knowledge I wanted them to gain or to spiral over. I made sure to not do this by myself because I wanted others opinions: the classroom teacher, the fellow second grade teachers, and other educators who I happen to know personally. I also would review the TEKS (standards) to make sure that the lesson were DAP (developmentally appropriate practices). After that I would pitch the lesson or activity to the teacher, half the time it would be shot down for not being on target and I learned quickly how to be OK with that.
Fosterdevelopment of attitudes and dispositions to uphold the values related to equity and access.
I opened my mind to learn from others and their experiences. I wanted to learn and gain knowledge about the teacher and what the educator needs to be successful in assisting our students in gaining math knowledge either through technology or through “traditional” styles. I wanted to learn via the students by talking to them, hearing what interests them, and what is a total waste of an educator’s time (and money). At the end I did share my findings with the students and teacher, so I left with a win-win solution for all where everyone had learned and prospered from this project.
Experience guiding programs designed to form collaborations among schools, families, and communities.
At the beginning of my project I sent a note home explaining what I was doing and who I was, then at the end I sent another explaining my findings and expressing my gratitude of allowing me the chance to conduct this project. Lastly, I’m presenting this to you and am attempting to get this project published so that it will reach other educators as well.