Teaching With Technology: Janet Adams

Welcome to Teaching with Technology! This series of guest posts asks educators to share how they integrate technology in their classrooms. These posts are written by a very special group, CK-12 Foundation’s Champions.

Today’s guest post is by Janet Adams. She is a Learning Director for Continuing Education at Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, CA.

How do you currently integrate technology in your classroom (e.g., products used, devices, etc.)?
Currently, I design, write, and produce 1 hour productions for K-8 classroom using chromakey technology in a studio production. We then connect live to the classroom with our program. I currently just finished Father Serra and the California Missions and have connected live with 4th, 5th, and a retirement center with the program. Videoconference cameras are at the schools sites.

What have been the advantages and disadvantages of using technology in the classroom?
Advantages of the technology we are using is that we can bring the experts live to the classroom aligning the lesson, vocabulary, and information that a teacher would not have the expertise or time to create. The school saves money by creating virtual field trips allowing students to travel worldwide.

Disadvantages: 1 hour programs from museums, zoos, science centers may charge 150+ dollars. However, a school grade level may be only able to secure funds for one field trip. The same funds for one trip easily allows 10 to 20 virtual field trips to take place with a live videoconference.

How have your students benefited from technology?
I have helped initiate over 500 videoconferences and attended them in class connections. Students are attentive with questions and conversation happening throughout the connection. Students are able to collaborate with other students/classrooms world wide at now charge.
Heightens Motivation
Improves Communication and Presentation Skills
Increases Connection with the Outside World
Increases DEPTH of Learning

If money were no object, what would you like to see happening in your classroom with respect to use of technology?
All students have access to iPads, time to use, create, publish work “epub” books, papers, draw and present. Apple TV installed in all rooms.
Students are introduced to the “Flipped Classroom” strategy
Connect to “Bridging services” to hold videoconferences in all content areas

We hear the phrase “21st Century Skills” often with respect to technology and education. What are “21st Century Skills?”
Tech skills are changing daily. I believe this generation is growing up with IT language, the skills, the ability, and ease of use and understanding. However, the teachers have not. There is a huge gap between the two.

21st Century Skills are the skills one might see in an Apple Store. The place is packed. That kind of interactive engagement has to be built in our classrooms. Why not have a blended class with content being offered online?
Collaborate worldwide!

Describe the “classroom of 2040.” What’s different? What’s the same?
Different: The Chief Technology Offer must be the cornerstone of classroom learning and administration. The CTO creates the tech access for teachers, students, and community integration.

Same: Budget wows. State and Government Ed Mandates. Classroom monies used for data and assessment and little time for individualized instruction and creative learning.