Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Importance of Technology in the Classroom

The use of technology in our world is becoming more and more prominent. People interact with technology in countless ways during the typical day. It is becoming extremely difficult to function in society without at least a novice understanding of technological tools. One area where technology is becoming extremely significant is in the classroom. During my experience in my Instructional Technology class, I learned just how valuable technology can be to a K-12 teacher. There are many benefits to incorporating technology into classroom lessons. There are also some challenges that it presents.

The use of technology in the classroom is so significant because it serves as a means for reaching a generation that is completely immersed in it. Technology is such a large part of children's lives today that it is necessary to use components of it to keep students engaged and involved in a lesson. The simple use of lectures and books is not enough to keep the typical student interested in this day in age. Also, technological tools allow teachers to have a much larger and more diverse arsenal of teaching tools, so that they may keep their lessons fresh and cater to all different types of learners.

The use of technology in the classroom provides a host of benefits to both the teacher and the students. The amount of lesson options that tools such as computer programs, the Internet, SmartBoards, and video cameras open up is incredible. As I previously stated, all of these tools allow for the teacher to create a wide variety of lessons in which students can learn in a wide variety of ways. Technology can also blur the line between classroom work and out-of-the-classroom work. Through use of Internet tools such as wikis and other Web 2.0 features, students can pick up work at home right where they left off in the classroom. The Internet is also a great method for interaction between the students and the teacher as well as between students when outside of the classroom. Technological training will also help prepare students for work outside of the classroom, as competency in software such as Microsoft office is essential in many career fields.

The use of technology in the classroom also poses some challenges to students and teachers. Technological tools are always prone to glitches and breakdowns that could completely ruin a lesson if they occur at the wrong time. Students will also inevitably have different levels of competency in using the tools that they are asked to in the classroom. This provides the teacher with a dilemma of how much time to use teaching the students how to use the technology. Furthermore, access to technology outside of the classroom varies between students. This can inhibit the amount of technology-based work that students are able to do for homework. The amount of tools that schools are able to provide teachers with also varies, which can effect plans that a teacher may have to integrate technology into the classroom. These challenges must be accounted for by the teacher when for technology use.

I will take several important lessons away from my experience in the Instructional Technology class. First, I learned the value and countless functions that technology can provide in the classroom. Second, I learned that technology is most effective when geared toward student-centered lessons. Third, I learned that preparation is extremely significant when incorporating technology into lesson plans, so it insure that everything will run smoothly during a lesson. Overall, this class was a very valuable experience for an aspiring teacher.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Video in the Classroom Scenario

This goal of this project is to make a video that describes one of the regions that we have discussed this year. This video should focus both on the physical and cultural features of the assigned region. Videos should be 10-15 minutes long.

Content Area: Social Studies (Geography)

Grade Level: 11

Before the project begins, the teacher will likely have to spend a class or at least part of one reviewing some of the basics on how to use a video camera and video editing software. Students will also need to be broken into groups and groups will need to have a world region assigned to them.

Some of the challenges that will be faced in this project include technology issues and group work issues. Technology can always be unpredictable and certain students may not be proficient in using the technology. This could cause difficulties for or even ruin the projects of some groups. Another issue is group work. Group work can cause problems because certain students may end up doing the majority of the work while others do little. Since some of this work will likely have to be completed outside of the classroom, meeting times for groups may also be an issue. To combat these issues, I will take time to go over the basics of technology in hopes of avoiding technological issues. Also, I will assign certain tasks to each student in the group so that all students will be held accountable for certain amounts of work. Finally, I will urge students to talk to me if they are having trouble meeting outside of class so that we may work out a solution.


  1. Camera/video editing technology reviewed 
  2. Groups assigned
  3. Regions assigned to groups.
  4. Group research period (3 days)
  5. Group filming period (3 days)
  6. Group editing period (3 days)
  7. Class presentations (1 day)

Video Project Reflection

The video project that we recently completed in class was an effective method for teaching us how to use Windows Movie Maker Live and other tools involved in the creation of videos. We did many things well through the process of creating the video, but we also had some things that we could improve upon the for the next time.

For the most part, things worked out well in our video. The story-boarding and filming both went relatively well. We were able to write the lines for the video and film it in a relatively efficient manner. The editing of the video also went very well. The shots that we took with the camera all fit together nicely. We used screen transition effects to aid the smooth transition between shots. The editing and posting process also went along with no hitches or issues.

The thing that could have been improved for our video was just the organization. While most aspects of the filming and production went very well, we were sometimes operating without a very well-structured plan. This could have been a source of issues in our project. Luckily, we did not encounter any such issues this time around.    

The next time I do a project like this, I will focus more on the planning and organization of the video. I will make sure that I have a more explicit and well written-out plan. I will also try to locate my filming locations before I began filming, as we had to change our location several times. This will help ensure the smooth production of the video.

This project has helped me develop skills in both the filming and the production of videos. I now feel more comfortable using a video camera and it's functions. I also am more aware of how to find optimal lighting to make the video quality turn out nicely. This project made me aware of the features that Windows Movie Maker Live has to offer as well and I now feel comfortable making videos on it.