EDUC 621 There are many developments and advancements regarding technology in the K-12 classroom.

Some technologies should only be used within certain types of educational environments, like AutoCad within the Engineering and Technology classrooms. However, there are many technologies out there that could be used within any classroom. Within this document you will find the seven technologies that I feel are absolutely necessary for any K-12 classroom. Cloud computing is a relatively new concept, especially in terms of K-12 education. However, as the Horizon report states: Its rapid integration into our everyday lives — from technology infrastructure to communication exchanges to the many apps and resources used for informal learning — has only accelerated institutional interest in cloud computing (Johnson, Adams Becker, Cummins, Estrada, Freeman, & Ludgate, p. 11). One of the largest uses of cloud-based computing has come from the integration of cloud-based tools. These tools typically work within any type of browser and allow for projects, materials and assignments to be completed no matter the type of device that is used (Johnson, Adams Becker, Cummins, Estrada, Freeman, & Ludgate, p. 12). Technologies like Chromebooks from Google allow for cheaper forms of hardware because the cloud computing eliminates the need for expensive software and file storing solutions. Other examples where cloud computing can be used in the K-12 classroom: Allowance of students, parents and faculty to share a virtual desktop from anywhere on any

device; school management software used to manage school records; real-time feedback given through use of cloud based tools like Google Drive; labs of workstations ran on only three computers using cloud-based tools; and an overall reduction of information technology expenses that can help each district due to budget constraints (Johnson, Adams Becker, Cummins, Estrada, Freeman, & Ludgate, pp. 13-14). Another technology that is gaining momentum within the realm of education is Mobile Learning Devices. The nature of our society is one in which we are constantly connected to the Internet. Mobile technology, like Smartphones, Tablets and mobile applications are allowing this trend to continue. A fact that is stated in the New Horizon Report completely blew me away. The report states:
At the end of 2012, the mobile market consisted of over 6.5 billion accounts, and subscriptions are expected by ICT’s Facts and Figures report to equal close to the worlds population by the end of 2013. This equates to about 3.4 billion users, or nearly one of every two people on the planet (Johnson, Adams Becker, Cummins, Estrada, Freeman, & Ludgate, p. 16). This was an astonishing fact to me but also one that aspires me to think of the implications for the classroom. This makes for a very viable choice for a Bring Your Own Device initiative that will help cut information technology costs. The various educational applications that are available on Mobile devices allows for widespread use within the classroom. Other ideas for the use of Mobile Learning devices are listed here: access information, receive instruction, record

measurements and conduct research; create music; create digital stories; learn about internet safety; real-time feedback based on mobile applications that allow for question and answer; develop fine motor skills, vocabulary, speech and design skills within special education courses; and use as a recording device to capture learning experiences for digital portfolio’s (Johnson, Adams Becker, Cummins, Estrada, Freeman, & Ludgate, p. 18).

Another technology that I believe is overlooked in K-12 classrooms is the need for good acoustics. As Johnson (2001) puts it: Poor acoustics interferes with speech intelligibility -- the ability of a student to hear and correctly interpret instruction or discussion. When a classroom sounds "echoey," or when outside traffic or noise from the gym class next door interrupts a student's concentration, it's likely that students will miss or misinterpret part of the teacher's lesson. If this happens too often, a student may tune out because it's too much of an effort to listen. As a result, learning suffers (Johnson E. ). When discussing acoustics we are not simply talking about amplifying the teacher’s voice, but rather distributing the sound equally throughout the entire room. According to David Parrish (2010), multiple studies have put the number of school-age children who test positive for mild hearing loss at 14 percent (Reinhard, 2010). There are many reasons for wanting to adjust the sound within the classroom, but the main reasons are to make sure that all students within the classroom can hear the teacher, and also to allow all students to hear students answering discussion questions. Increase in student engagement and motivation

is another reason for adding sound amplification, as well as student involvement within the classroom. According to Mello (2010), “I can’t think of a classroom I’ve gone into where the students weren’t reaching for that microphone. (Reinhard, 2010)” Interactive whiteboards are not a new technology in education, however they are a valuable asset to any classroom. The devices are basically a large computer screen that allows teachers to manipulate it much in the same way as a keyboard and mouse. However, there are other tools available that allow teachers to present slides, take notes and a host of other things directly on the board itself (Villano, 2006). There are and endless number of applications for the interactive whiteboard technology. Cindy Kicielinski of Jennings School District (MO) says that she has seen students collaborate in the front of a classroom, and then present the information they have learned in a way that all in the classroom will understand. This she says is a life-long skill (Villano, 2006). Other classes are using this technology with wireless transmitters to allow students to answer questions, record responses, and create a memory game simulation similar to the old game Concentration. To sum things up for this technology, whatever someone can do on a computer and whiteboard, they can do with an interactive whiteboard. Document cameras are another valuable tool that I believe can play a vital role within any K-12 classroom. There are an endless amount of uses for a document camera within a K-12 classroom. Most of the methods for inclusion of this type of technology deal with presentation of physical objects. In a six school

district study, teachers describe their uses of document cameras: science teachers are displaying beans sprouting, math teachers are putting manipulatives under the camera, history teachers are displaying artifacts, and younger children are viewing pictures of books that the teachers are reading from; spontaneity to project any image created by hand or found in others resources, students can use it to display work and work through problems (Shine a Light, 2009) Student response systems, or “Clicker Systems” as they are commonly referred, are another very useful technology to be found within a K-12 classroom. These systems benefit students in many ways including but not limited to: “preparing students to perform well on standardized tests, increasing class participation and enhancing formative feedback to the teacher on how students are doing (Penuel, Boscardin, Masyn, & Crawford, 2007, p. 317).” The main goal of any Student Response System is to improve learning and instruction. Other purposes for incorporating the student response systems are to increase student attention during lectures, stimulate class discussions, differentiate or individualize education, increase teacher productivity, and to receive instant feedback from students (Penuel, Boscardin, Masyn, & Crawford, 2007, p. 328). Throughout the other technologies I have discussed there is some form of connectivity that is either needed or used by each technology. Whether that connectivity be to share a presentation, research information on the Internet or respond to questions through the use of a response system, all these technologies can be connected to each other. The last technology I would like to discuss that I think is one of the most overlooked in education, is the use of

wireless connectivity. Without some source of connecting the various technologies they are basically rendered useless. According to Walery (2004): Wireless networking provides a tremendous number of uses in the K-12 environment. The creation of wireless hotspots on the fly allows teachers to set up wireless labs in classrooms, auditoriums, common areas and even outside of the building if there is a network drop near a window (Walery, 2004). There are a great number of uses for wireless connectivity within the K-12 setting including access to online gradebooks from anywhere in the building, submittal of daily attendance and discipline referrals without having to be at a stand alone computer (Walery, 2004), accessing network resources anytime, anywhere, communicating with others both in and outside of the classroom (Kim, Holmes, & Mims, 2004, p. 55). Above are the seven technologies that I feel are the most valuable and important to any K-12 classroom setting. Not all technologies that were discussed are on the breaking edge of technology, but sometimes using proven methods that help to integrate the technology for the betterment of the learning environment wins out over flashy and new. Using technology within the classroom is supposed to encourage participation, motivate students’ willingness to learn, and providing quicker feedback to the instructor and student for greater depth of knowledge. The technologies listed above will benefit any classroom and perform the tasks previously mentioned.

Works Cited

Johnson, E. (2001). Let's Hear It For Learning. American School and University , 73 (11), 28. Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Estrada, V., Freeman, A., & Ludgate, H. (2013). NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K-12 Edition. Austin: The New Media Consortium. Kim, S. H., Holmes, K., & Mims, C. (2004). Mobile wireless technology use and implementation: Opening a dialogue on teh new technologies in education. TechTrends , 49 (3), 54-63. Penuel, W. R., Boscardin, C. K., Masyn, K., & Crawford, V. M. (2007). Teaching with student response systems in elementary and secondary education settings: A survey study. Educational Technology Research and Development , 55 (4), 315-346. Reinhard, K. (2010, August). Giving Them An Earful. T H E Journal . Shine a Light. (2009, June). Technology & Learning , 29 (11), pp. 32-36. Villano, M. (2006). PICTURE THIS! THE Journal , 33 (16), 16-20. Walery, D. (2004). Wireless Technology in K-12 Education. T H E Journal , 31 (8), 48. !

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