Using Tech in Your Lesson Plans
Please answer and discuss the following upon reviewing the ISTE Essential Conditions. These conditions that "are the 14 critical elements necessary to effectively leverage technology for learning" are are available from http://www.iste.org/standards (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
1. Select three of the elements that you think would be the most challenging to meet at your school, and explain why.
2. Select three of the elements that you think would be the least challenging to meet at your school, and explain why.
3. Based on the description of the three most challenging elements, briefly explain how your school may need to do to overcome them.
Eat the Frog
As Mark Twain once said “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” Basically, it's that you should do the most difficult task first, then everything else is easy peasy.
This being said, I'll mention the most difficult elements in the ISTE for our school to meet: consistent and adequate funding, skilled personnel and equitable access.
You already know how I feel about WuTang, and yes, cash does rule everything around us. With only 14 students, it's nearly impossible to obtain the amount of cash and resources we need to fill our dreams. Without that cash, we aren't able to hire skilled personnel. A computer for each student??? We don't even have a computer for each group! Yet and still, each student has an account on Khan Academy, and are expected to make it happen with their assignments. I figure if they can play NBA 2K19 in the same chat room, they can be talking about their math homework at the same time. Not all of our students have a computer at home to do work on, but I do make sure that it can be done on a cell phone as well.
As I am writing our problems, I'm finding solutions at the same time. So I realize, that where there is a will, there's a way. I will definitely find a way to write a grant or something, because bake sales won't do it. However, if I can identify a group of organizations that would be willing to fund the kind of work we do at our school, then I can apply to small grants from their foundations to perhaps get some sort of funding or even volunteers. VolunteerMatch.org has loads of do-gooders willing to help, so that's a viable resource for the resourceful.
YouTube has everything you could ever want to know about, all in the comfort of your own laptop! I fixed my LG High Efficient Washing Machine last month solely with YouTube videos. I also changed the oil and the oil filter in my car, courtesy of YouTube. So, I figure that I could find some sort of free training out there that could get our teachers to be basic proficiency level on those big calculator things, at least enough to help the students through some minor difficulties.
On the flip side though, we love to learn, so ongoing professional development will be an easy condition to satisfy. Curriculum framework is my thing, I actually love scaffolding the benchmarks and making them palatable little snacks throughout the year. It actually comes naturally, which I'm sure is weird. But the easiest condition for our school to handle would be the student-centered learning. We are used to learning in centers in class and all of the students are familiar with working within a certain time frame as well as reading the directions to the younger ones in the group. Actually, we take an inventory every other month or so, to see what they want to learn about, and that guides us for the next couple of weeks and it really gets them engaged.
All in all the ISTE really lays out a great plan for students to get the knowledge that they need to function properly with the tools that seem to be necessary to be successful these days. I really wish that I knew about them sooner, but now, at least I have a new set of guidelines to work on achieving, and man, will our first graders be 'on their game' in a few years!