EEND 681 Artifact 2 – Institutional Technology Plan

For my second artifact, I’ve chosen to include my Institutional Technology Plan.  I spent a lot of time developing this plan and I think the final draft is really well done.  I am very proud of how it turned out and I learned a lot while working on it. It encompasses a lot of different aspects of technology use in schools, all of which I now feel like I have a much better understanding of.  I feel like it is a comprehensive plan that really demonstrates how much I have learned in this class.

One of the biggest challenges in developing this plan was learning about and understanding all the different parts that went into the plan.  Many of the different parts I had never considered before, or in some cases, had even heard of before. One part of the plan that I spent a lot of time considering and thinking about was the technical support plan.  It was really difficult for me to figure out how best to provide tech support to the students and staff. I had so many options and ideas that it was very challenging for me to decide which direction to go. It was something I had not considered before I had to develop this plan, but it helped me a great deal in the end.

This plan is something that is very useful in the classroom, because it shows where the school is headed with its technology usage.  All teachers, students, and staff would be able to look at a plan like this and understand what the main goals of the technology department are, and how we plan to accomplish those goals.  It gives everyone some idea of what they can expect and how they fit into the plan. Most importantly, it provides ways to narrow the digital divide and hopefully encourage more technology use in the classroom.

EEND 681 Artifact 1 – 21st Century Learning Space Design

I’ve chosen to include my 21st Century Learning Space Design as my first artifact for this class.  I’ve included this design because I am quite proud of how it turned out and I really enjoyed putting it together.  I had the opportunity to really think about what I would like to have in my ideal classroom and that was a lot of fun for me.  Most teachers don’t expect to get all they ask for, and I’m no exception, but this assignment was the chance for me to at least consider the possibilities.

One of the biggest challenges I had when designing my classroom, was trying to accommodate all the different students I might have, the space I would be working with, and the infrastructure I would need.  I think these are the types of things most technology departments need to think about when rolling out new technologies in a school building. I had to consider the physical layout as well as the types of technology I would like to implement.  I actually spent quite a bit of time planning before I even began putting a design together. I probably went through at least 3 or 4 drafts before I had a final design in mind.

Some of the items I wanted in my ideal classroom I am lucky enough to already have in my current classroom.  My school has put a large emphasis on technology already, so I have been able to get some of these items and I currently use them.  I use items like the chromebooks and headphones all the time. I also have access to iPads which we also use from time to time. The tech I put in my plan that I don’t currently have, but would love to get, are the virtual reality goggles.  I think that it would be great for my students to be able to visit and explore some of the places we discuss in my Earth Science class. I think the students would really get a lot out of it, and they could experience things they might not get to in real life.

Introduction

Hi, my name is Adam Wason.  I work in District 205 at Lockport East High School.  I just finished my 12th year teaching, all of them spent at Lockport.  I also graduated from Lockport, so all together I’ve been at the school for 16 years.  I am currently teaching sophomore level Physical Science and junior/senior level Earth Science.  I’ve taught Physical Science for all of my 12 years, and I’ve taught Earth Science for the last 9 years.

I really do like using technology in the classroom.  I think it’s something that all students today should be exposed to as often as possible.  We currently are 1:1 here at Lockport with the students all having chromebooks that they use every day.  I would say that I’m probably one of the teachers here that uses the chromebooks most often.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve printed off a single piece of paper in the last 2 months.  Almost everything the kids work on in my class is set up through our school’s PowerSchool Learning LMS.  They have their notes there, videos, practice problems, quizzes, tests, pretty much everything.

Some of my favorite tech tools I use are things like Kahoot and Quizlet.  Those are two that I use all the time in my class for review games to make it fun for the kids.  EdPuzzle and PearDeck are others I like to use for certain topics.  They also do a great job keeping the kids involved in the lessons.

As great as all this is, I do run into trouble using technology in class the way I do.  I have many students who don’t like online tests, don’t like taking notes on google docs, don’t like digital flashcards, etc.  As great as I think these technologies are, I still have to keep in mind that sometimes these may not be so great for all my students.

Overall though, it has been fun trying to come up with new and innovative ways to incorporate more technology into my classroom.  It has been really nice teaching in a district that seems to be ahead of the curve for many of these technologies and has a lot of support for the teaching staff.  With this class, I hope to learn more about the hardware aspects of Technology Education.  I would say that this would probably be my weakest area, because I have the least experience with it.  I really am looking forward to learning more about this throughout the program here at St. Francis and to round out my learning.