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DENNISON MASTERS PORTFOLIO 1

Technology Statement

When teachers don’t feel safe to take risks, we tend to fall back on teacher-

centered transmission of information. Modern technology has changed the

landscape of how we gain and communicate knowledge. Pedagogy should always

stay at the center of the learning but there are modern tools that allow students to

take control of their learning process in a way that was not possible a decade ago

(King, Dickmann, & Johnson, 2016). This artifact is a timeline of the internment of

the Unangax during World War II created using an online tool.

My timeline is a social studies project that was accomplished completely with

online tools. Information was researched, visual artifacts were gathered, and the

timeline was created with an available, free, online tool. Online tools are not gadgets

intended for novelty, but tools that help students work efficiently and effectively.

Higher-order thinking is still required in order to complete the creation of the

historical tool. The traditional method of reporting research findings in a written

paper can be replaced with more modern methods of communicating, such as

graphic representations, blogging, podcasting, or streaming media (Cuff, 2014).

There is a movement to expose students to different kinds of technology

through after-school activities and competitions. These activities often offer a

shallow exposure to the tools at the center of the education (Reed, 2018). With the

example of my timeline artifact, I do not believe students need to know how to

create a timeline for future employment but the tool requires a few basic computer

skills in order to be utilized. These skills include typing, uploading files, navigating a

new online tool, and embedding the timeline. These are all skills that translate to
DENNISON MASTERS PORTFOLIO 2

any new program being used by a student. Students become overwhelmed when

faced with learning new skills, so it is important I plan instruction in a way that

builds off prior knowledge and skills (Cuff, 2014).

The task of reporting my findings about the internment of the Unangax

during World War II in any other way than an academic research paper was

intimidating at first. Attempting to use a new online tool was a scary endeavor. Like

many other teachers, I am not highly skilled at leveraging technology for academic

goals (King, Dickmann, & Johnson, 2016). Fullerton (2013) found that most

teachers were waiting to be told what tools to use. This passive attitude toward

technology usage in the classroom improved when teachers shared their stories of

practice with technology. When teachers shared their successes and failures, they

felt safer to take risks trying new approaches and tools in the classroom.

Students are better prepared for life after school if they are comfortable

using technology to learn and communicate. These tools are often treated as novelty

and do not serve an authentic purpose in the classroom. My lesson planning will still

begin with Alaska Content Standards (2016) and enduring questions. Next, it is a

matter of knowing if there are tools available to enhance the learning process and

final performance tasks. As an educator, my perception of the use of technology in

the classroom and willingness to step out of my comfort zone has great potential to

influence my students’ ability to choose appropriate problem-solving tools.


DENNISON MASTERS PORTFOLIO 3

References

Alaska Department of Education & Early Development. (2016). Alaska Content

Standards. Retrieved from https://education.alaska.gov/standards

Cuff, E. (2014). The effect and importance of technology in the research

process. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 43(1), 75–97.

https://doi.org/10.2190/ET.43.1.f

Fullerton, T. (2013). A reflection on my experiences engaging teachers in

professional development on the integration of technology into their

practice. McGill Journal of Education, 48(2), 443–448.

https://doi.org/10.7202/1020981ar

King, E. M., Dickmann, E. M., & Johnson, B. Z. (2016). Kamstrupp's wow-effect: re-

examined and expanded. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 11(4), 899-

908. DOI: 10.1007/s11422-015-9687-3

Reed, P. A. (2018). Reflections on STEM, standards, and disciplinary

focus. Technology & Engineering Teacher, 77(7), 16–20. Retrieved from

http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eft&AN=12849599

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