Interview with a Technology Teacher

Report
Interview with a
Technology Education
Teacher
Emily Smith
MEDT 8461
Diffusion of Innovations
Dr. Carol Turner
Technology Education teacher at
Lee Middle School in Sharpsburg,
Ga.
Master of Science in Computer
Applications
Doctor of Education Specializing
in Technology
Teacher of the Year in 2003 and
2006
Published-April 2001,
Connections (Special Interest
Group of Technology
Coordinators), “How to Integrate
Technology Appropriately to
Support Effective Instructional
Practices Across the Curriculum”
What is your definition of
technological literacy?
Technological Literacy is concerned
with developing students'
awareness of how technology is
related to the broader social
system, and how technological
systems cannot be fully separated
from the political, cultural and
economic frameworks which shape
them.
When you hear the phrase “technology
integration” what does that mean to
you?
Effective technology
integration is achieved
when its use supports
curricular goals. I design
the technology
integration lessons in
such a way that is
accessible and
applicable to their lives,
as well as flexible
enough to be
appropriate for the range
of learners.
How should technology be used
in education?
Technology Education is teaching about
technology as a subject area like math or
science. Educational Technology is using
technology as a teaching tool to enhance the
teaching and learning process. Technology,
used best, involves high order thinking skills Evaluation, Synthesis, Analysis, Application,
Comprehension and Knowledge.
What principles should guide your
approach for integrating technology
into instruction?
My goal is to develop authentic work, which my
students see as relevant and challenging. While
balancing hands-on-activities or student-centered
projects, I have to activate the prior knowledge
students have locked away or provide instruction
on new material. By creating this classroom
environment, I am preparing students to be selfdirected problem solvers and self-sufficient
learners. This is one of the greatest
accomplishments that I as an educator can
achieve.
When can you expect technology
to be effective?
By teaching my students how to
develop dynamic, interactive
information, they develop their
literacy standards by learning how
to become independent learners
as well as developing their social
responsibility through the sharing
of information with others.
Students enrolled in Technology
Education begin their course of
study in a group setting, learning a
set of general skills that apply to all
technology learning modules.
What are some obstacles you have
encountered when trying to integrate
technology?
At the beginning of each nine-weeks in the
stadium-seating classroom, I provide whole group
instruction for several class periods. This instruction
is aimed at introducing technology concepts and
vocabulary quickly. As a common understanding of
module technology develops amongst the students,
my teaching becomes more dialogic. This teaching
format is used to present materials for discussion
while I listen and respond to student reflections and
questions on the module topics.
Do you have a technology
integration success story?
I feel that I have success stories everyday.
However I will share one story from last 9weeks. The module Urban Planning has
students planning and creating a city with the
software, SimCity. SimCity is an excellent
constructivist-learning tool, since my students
can negotiate environmental constraints, solve
simulated real-world problems, and witness the
effects of changes in variables. This is
accomplished by an interactive multimedia
simulated complex work experience, through a
game, and served as a critical tool to evaluate
skills that are difficult to measure in tests.
What makes the difference between
successful technology integration
and a failed attempt?
Staying organized, keeping
the equipment working and
taking technology one step at
a time is the difference
between successful
technology integration and a
failed attempt. Also providing
opportunities for the students
to interact with technology
and to understand and use
technology by encouraging
self-paced mastery, as well
as a student-team approach,
can be a success as well as
a failure if not handle
properly.
What should you do if you are not
convinced you can integrate
technology into your instruction?
Take it one step at a time.
Start with a simple
lesson, maybe only using
technology for research
or even using technology
to present your results
with PowerPoint. Keeping
it simple is the key. Trying
to do too much only
creates frustration and
fear in using technology
in your lesson.

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