Explore My Work
Module 40 Capstone
Technology in our school systems is becoming an ever existing part of our daily classroom routine. And for better or for worse, it continues to play a key role in how we deal with the teaching of our students. My goal in this project is to discuss the findings at my school of how technology plays a role in the classroom and out of it. And perhaps more importantly, to find out the future of technology integration at our school. The teachers and administrators I interviewed for this were all quite varied in personality and teaching styles. The goal of this report also was to get as many different views on whats going well at our school for technology and the problems our school faces in this area. Because at the end of the day, the better we use technology as a tool to enhance our classroom experiences, the better off our team will be as a whole.
Our AA's Point of View
Technology should only be used as an aid, for a small portion of class time, and it should not interfere with the overall learning goal we are aiming for. Each of the students in the near future (ages 5 and up) should have their own Ipad to work on in class at a designated time of the class. The main device that should be added to our classrooms is an IWB. This can drastically improve multi tasking in the classroom, get the students more engaged at the board, and broaden the number of activities and games we can incorporate in our class. The challenges that are being presented to us at the moment come from worries from the parents about the students having too much screen time, and the potenital strain on their eyes. Our classrooms are not as ED Tech ready as we would like at the moment. In regards to homework, there is more of an active push for tech incorporation at the moment. Our school has developed their own app to keep track of homework, feedback for the parents, and even includes fun interactive exercises like dubbing for clips of the student's favorite movie. A lot of the girls like Elsa from Frozen, lets spike their interest by letting them "be" Elsa for a moment. The company has also recently introduced a smart pen into its line of products that can detect which book you are using and do an active readout of the readings and assignments without any human input. In 5 years my wish is to have each student be able to use their own IPAD in the classrooms and that the attention of ED tech incorporation both inside the classroom and out will be even better.
A different Perspective
FAM (Foreign Academic Manager)'s Viewpoint
Adding new technological advances to our classrooms would be great. The main device we could use in our classroom would be an IWB. We could also benefit from having speakers added to the classroom. Our classrooms are not Ed tech ready at the moment and unfortunately I don't think that will change in the coming year. 5 years down the road may be a different story. The difference between the AA and I is I don't have as much input to get the ED tech improvement ball rolling. In this area, I don't have that much say in, but I do continue to push the idea of ED tech in our classrooms strongly. The challenges to add this tech in our classroom mostly stems from expense issues and not enough investment resources are being allocated to bringing tech into our classrooms. The addition of IPADs into our classrooms would let the material presented on the IWB to be viewed and tweaked by a student and in turn would help save the time teachers have to explain and help each individual about a problem. We need more tech integration in our classes at all levels.
I decided to sit down with 4 teachers of our school to get differing opinions on how they use tech and how it can be improved at our school. I was able to speak with 2 Foreign Teachers and 2 Chinese teachers. Again in doing this I was able to get differing opinions from not only different levels of experience as a teacher, but also different views from around the world.
One thing that i have found, a common theme among all of our teachers, is the uncertainty of how often and exactly when should we use technology in our classrooms. A few think it's not necessary to use the tech that much, while others think it could be a crucial aid to our demos and the overall quality of our classes. The local staff were worried about too much screen time being a hindrance to the eyesight of the younger students, whereas the overseas teachers didn’t talk about that part at all. The range of time we should use tech in the classroom ranged from 10% all the way to 40%. 3 participants thought 20% or less was acceptable whereas one believed 40% or more was okay. Although it was a bigger range then i expected, there seems to be some agreement that tech should play a smaller role in the overall scheme of classes at the training school. Lastly, there is one thing that all teachers seemed to be able to agree on. The need for some sort of IWB or Interactive T.V. in our classrooms to make the class experience at our school richer, more vibrant, and to provide more possibilities in general.
Teachers Facts and Figures
How Ed TEch ready classrooms are
Amount of time we should use Ed Tech in our classes
Teachers that believe parents and students health are a reason new tech has not been incorporated into our classrooms
Teachers that think expense/budget is the biggest factor new tech has not been incorporated into our classrooms
The ratio of devices to students the teachers believe should be present at our school.
The amount of teachers that believe we should have an IWB in each classroom
How comfortable our teachers feel with ED tech
The average percentage of how Ed Tech proficient our teachers feel at the moment.
Number of teachers that believe Pens and Paper are out of touch in the modern day of learning
IT Director's Thoughts
As far as devices go he claimed there is no setup for each student to have their own device at the current moment. Since our school is a training center and the students are only in the building once or twice a week, the company believes it would not be feasible to get digital devices for pairs of students, or each student individually.
I was curious what his opinion was on how well the school responded to COVID. Most importantly how the school transferred our teaching model to an online teaching environment in such short notice. On this topic our opinions seemed to be on par with one anothers. The response was swift and they did a good job, just the lesson aims were not considered as much as they should have been in the development of the online curriculum. He believes we should embrace the fact we live in a digital world and like everyone else I interviewed, the students should have more chance with digital devices and there should be an IWB in every classroom. Because don’t have much tech if at all in our classrooms, he rarely has to attend to a tech problem. Like the rest of the overseas staff, be think budget is the biggest contributor to this reason.
After our study with LMS in this course I was curious to know what LMS our IT Director would choose for our school or if there was already one in place. He states at the moment the school has no specific LMS but uses the i2 app to act sort of as the schools own LMS providing feedback for the parents, homework assignments, when classes are taking place, notice of upcoming tests, and grades/updates on the students’ progress. Our IT Director himself says he would use Salesforce. He says that it can be used smoothly across all devices and that it can show a good overall display of the class plans for everyone.
He agrees that the tech implemented into the homework side of our classes is much better then inside the classroom. The i2 app provides a vast array of information for the parents, the new Charlie Pen uses smart AI to present our cirriculum in a fun innovative way, and the smooth use of Wechat ties all of this together in a good way. In this respect he gave a score of 8 for Ed Tech preparedness.
Success and Failure
All in all our school has both succeeded in a big way in bringing technology into our students lives, and failed some what at the same time. The fact the school developed its own app in acting like an LMS is a big deal and in that regard they have done an astounding job being ahead of the curve in the training school arena. They have taken a curriculum that was kind of dull to be honest when just in textbook form and have brought it to life. Wether it be through homemade videos of songs. The vivid puppet plays for preschoolers that makes studying at home more fun. The review videos of the readings and chats in the primary students curriculum. Or the smart introduction of the Charlie Pen’s AI to bring the review home for the students in an exiting more interactive way. As far as the out of classroom experience for our students, the school has spent a big amount of time on it.
In the classroom on the other hand, the school has failed to follow through with any meaningful tech integration. All teachers, Administrators, and the IT Director more than anyone agree we could vastly benefit from an IWB. They also agree there has been almost 0 Ed tech attention paid to the setup of our classrooms. You don’t even have a speaker to play your music or dialogue unless you bring your own bluetooth one (Hand on forehead emoji). There needs to be more integration between the homework tech involvment of our classes and the in class experience.
Can have up to 16 giving inputs at one time. Students can do interactive games, see reading content on a big screen, come up and give their own input, and the screens can be connected with Hi Fi Speakers for audios. With IWBs the skies the limit.
Hi Fidelity Speakers
Bringing a Hi Fi Set of Speakers into the classroom will help tremendously with songs, videos, and listening activities. Giving the students the chance to hear the audio in pure clarity.
Ipads give endless possiblities to the students at their fingertips. They can use them to take notes, follow along with media or readings , and give their own input into the class
Time for a change
The first thing I would do is have an IWB or interactive T.V. ordered for EVERY classroom that has a full time teacher. These devices can work in tandem with the whiteboards already provided in the classrooms and can enrich activies, games, readings, and introduce a plethora of other fun and innovative classroom ideas. The next would be to include dual speakers in every classroom. Listening excercies, readings, videos, and songs would all be drastically improved by this move, as it would allow the students be fully emersed in these audios. The big problem with bluetooth speakers brought into the classrooms. Sometimes they aren't loud enough or encompassing enough for all the students to hear clearly, and thus hurts the learning experience as a whole. Finally we could develop a system for the teacher to hold on to a group of IPADs for our classes. This way the students wouldn’t have to buy their own, and teacher can always keep track of the devices. To keep the IPADs somewhat safe, we can use Otterbox cases which are drop proof and water resistant. These would provide a fun and new way for the students to engage in the class, and we’d be able to integrate the tablets with the IWB to save time and bring new features to our classes never thought of before. As for trainings go, we already have training sessions every Friday at the school. Perhaps once a month could be IWB training day to provide instructing for the teachers.
A New Age
The time for ED tech in our classrooms has come. Gone are the days we can just write on a whiteboard and hope the students can stay as interested as other places using IWBs and all their glory. Through are the times when we play music or dialogue on our phones and hope the students can hear what is going on. We need to stand together and bring tech into our students lives in a meaningful way, in the classroom and out of it. Technology shall never be the main focus of our classes, but it is an invaluable tool that can make teachers, students, parents, and everyone else involved in education lives better. The Ed tech revolution is here, and we should embrace it to the fullest.
Lynch, Mathew (2017, July 30). How to choose the Right Digital Learning Device. The Tech Advocate.
Smart Vision (2021). Infared Interactive Whiteboard 16 Touch IWB. Smart Media.
Emily (2021). 9 Best Computer Speakers For the Classroom. Bose Companion. My Tech Classroom.
Matthewson, Terra Garcia. (2018, March 18) Laptops, Chromebooks, or Tablets: Deciding what's best for our nation's schools. The Hechinger Report.
Lueth, Alan (2021). A Message From Alan Lueth. i2education.