Teaching With Technology: Mike Joyce

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 Mike Joyce. He is a Technology Education Teacher at Tourtellotte Memorial High School in North GrosvenorDale, CT.

How do you currently integrate technology in your classroom (e.g., products used, devices, etc.)?
I use CAD programs with students to design items which we convert to run on a 3d printer, CNC router or laser cutter. I also have students create powerpoint presentations to explain their problem solving solutions. All our students maintain digital portfolios to demonstrate their accomplishment of schoolwide expectations.

What have been the advantages and disadvantages of using technology in the classroom?
The computers can increase productivity and the range of educational opportunities for my students. It is unfortunately very easy for students to get off task and do other things or copy other’s work.

How have your students benefited from technology?
They are able to solve real world problems in class because they can research, design, make models, and communicate their progress with the help of technology.

If money were no object, what would you like to see happening in your classroom with respect to use of technology?
I would like to see long range commitment to embrace new technologies as they evolve. This would include increased use of computers, tablets as well as online resources and cooperative groups.

We hear the phrase “21st Century Skills” often with respect to technology and education. What are “21st Century Skills?”
21st century skills essentially involve assuring that students graduate with skillls in technology, communication, problem solving, creativity, community and global awareness that will help them to become effective and successful workers.

Describe the “classroom of 2040.” What’s different? What’s the same?
I believe students will work on more interdisciplinary problem solving challenges. These challenges can incorporate opportunities to practice and develop core area skills.

Designing and managing these type of projects will require many changes to the operation of modern high schools.