Mrs. Taylor and the Beast
Mrs. Taylor had a spring in her step as she walked down the hall to her fourth grade classroom. Yesterday, she created a great PowerPoint presentation to introduce a rainforest unit of study. She was proud of her work and excited to show it off. As students entered the classroom, they were excited to see the projector was on and Mrs. Taylor’s laptop was out. They loved when Mrs. Taylor pulled out the classroom technology, although it did not happen often.
She started her PowerPoint and the class was intrigued. She got to slide four and clicked on a link to a YouTube video about poisonous frogs in the rainforest. The link didn’t work, so she opened her web browser and frantically looked for the video. She finally found it and clicked play. There was no sound! A student quickly came up and helped her plug in the speaker cord so that everyone could hear. When she went back to the rest of the PowerPoint, she couldn’t get the view to be as large as before so she had to read most of the information aloud. As she looked out at her students, she sighed, seeing they had lost interest. Later that day as Mrs. Taylor started planning the next rainforest lesson she hesitantly pulled out a science textbook.
Do you know any Mrs. Taylors?
In reading educational research, many authors and researchers point out that technology can enhance learning. Research also points to teachers as having the most impact on a student’s learning. So, how do you make good teachers that utilize technology?
In this project, I wanted to focus on technology and helping teachers to be better in using technology so they can use it more effectively in the classroom and for school-related work.
There have been many studies to show the benefits of technology in the classroom. Chris Dede argues that teachers who don’t use technology are committing malpractice. Technology is important for education, but it is a vast and sometimes daunting topic for educators. In this project I wanted to make technology easy, accesible, and even fun for teachers. In this project I worked with teachers in an elementary school. I held learning sessions to work with them on technology skills. I also worked with students and teachers to help both parties get on the same page. In the three cycles of this action research project, you can see how I worked to help make technology more accessible to teachers.