June 21, 2013 | Posted in: personal reflection
This week in our online and blended learning course we took a look at the Technology Integration Matrix. As I don’t deliver content in the areas of LA, Math, Science, or Social Students to a classroom of students any longer, it’s hard to pick a spot where I belong, because my job these days is working with teachers and helping them integrate technology into their own classrooms. So if I approach the matrix as a whole and look at each square’s description and think about HOW I work with teachers and deliver professional development instead of focusing on a traditional teacher’s subject areas, I find myself somewhere around the Adaptation column, wishing I was more into the Infusion section, but feeling like I’m working that direction. When I teach, I focus a lot on collaboration and the tools I like to use and share with teachers involves the ability to collaborate in a variety of ways or for a variety of purposes. When I read the intersection of Adaptation and Collaborative, for example, it says:
In my training environment I’m often introducing a new tool or demonstrating how a tool works in context of what the group teaches, to give them some practical examples that they can actually go back and use right away. I’d like to think that the development of my professional development has evolved to this point, where there are bite-sized chunks of modeling, and then opportunities for my “students” to work with others. Because the training is on something specific, I’m often providing the tool and then encouraging them to explore them and apply them in their area.
I feel like when I started my position three years ago, I was definitely further left. More Entry. When I was a classroom teacher several years back the idea of 1:1 or BYOD was newish and not very mainstream or widespread, and we all used the computer lab as much as possible usually for research and typing papers for homework assignments. So yes, we were using computers, but that didn’t mean it was more than just a substitutional use, when referring to the SAMR model. This makes me feel good, though, when I look at the Technology Integration Matrix, because I feel like I can see that I’ve come a long way. So has technology in the classroom, though! And seeing the Infusion and Transformation columns help me see where I want to be and where I need to go. I feel like I have a good grasp of these columns on paper and in my head, and I’d love to think that if I were back in a traditional classroom these days that I could say with certainty that I’d be Transformational all the time, but let’s be honest… I also know that in my head and the reality of day-to-day are not always the same. But I’d sure be trying, and that’s better than nothing.
Right now my focus is helping move other teachers who are more Entry or Substitution to move forward and progress with technology in a meaningful way. Heck, for some I’m still working on getting their feet wet. It’s a daunting task some days, and I know that if it is for me, it definitely is for them, but as long as we’re shifting our thinking towards embracing technology and shifting into the facilitator role and letting students drive the bus, we’ll all get there eventually.