For this assignment I’m going to focus on my present level of technological adoption in my professional life (as, sadly, it is far more interesting than my personal life). Andy Warhol once said,
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself” (Brainy Quote, 2012).
This quotation is not only true (in my opinion), but sums up my integration of technology within my own teaching practice. Time keeps marching forward, and with each tick, technology is developing, the world changing and with it, the needs of students alter. That does not mean that our teaching practices change automatically, the reality is that our pedagogy doesn’t change unless we change it. This year, finding myself mid-way through UOIT’s Master of Education and Digital Technologies program, I made the decision that I should put my learning to use; after all, I paid good money to learn this stuff I should at least give the theories an honest go within a real life context. So, to avoid complete educational blasphemy, I made a conscious decision to create a student-centered, technologically enhanced drama course.
I have various technological adoption levels within my professional practice, identified here by SAMR classification.
Image from: http://isupport.com.au/
Substitution (technology acts as tool substitution):
iPad apps for improvisation that replace audience suggestions (which in junior grades are often limited). Also, allows for the students to more easily run their own improvisation thus empowering them.
Completion and tracking of daily process and participation marks using Numbers app replacing the paper on clip board and manual totaling of marks.
Augmentation (technology acts as a tool substitution, but offers improvements):
YouTube is used to show performance exemplars such as monologues from movies, mask work, scene studies etc. A better alternative to me performing, handouts and movie clips direct from full movies (also, the added benefit of downloading and saving good YouTube clips for future use). I can have the students pull up examples instantly of their favourite selections and we can discuss them.
Modification (technology allows for redesign of tasks or approach):
Twitter as a means to send out thoughts on class and process to each other or brief self-reflections (using course code as hash tag), a short and public journal entry or reflection that promotes dialogue.
Redefinition (technology allows for new tasks that couldn’t have been done previously without the technology):
My students are each creating a digital portfolio showing process, which is so important in drama, and product, their scenes or monologues. Their performance can be captured, they can show the visual as well as add words or narration to add in reflection on rehearsal process and final product, there is creativity in format, choice in editing and inclusion/exclusion, utilization of cell phones for pictures and taping in class. At the end of the semester they will present their digital portfolios and demonstrate their journey over the course of the entire semester, the ultimate in culminating activities.
A course Wiki that allows for collaboration and redefines the written work normally given as part of theory making it interactive, publicly viewed and offering more choice and control over their subject-matter (I will not expand, for more information please see other blog entry “A SMARt semester).
Where I’m at: If examining myself through the lens of Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations Theory, I’d be a blip somewhere on the adoption spectrum on the cusp between early adopters and the early majority. In my personal life, I would fall into the early to late majority mass wave, with laziness and lack of time and money as key to my resistance. However, working in the public education system, which tends to lean towards being resistant to change, I find myself a progressive technological leader amongst my colleagues in the classroom.
Image from: http://professionaldevelopment.alyssaberry.com/
Target Level: My move is towards a more fully flushed out technological integration within all of my classes, not just one. I would like to explore more relevant uses for my iPad. Although I have apps that create checklists for instance, I still use good old pen and paper for to do lists, assessment checklists and learning skills tracking to name a few. I would like to explore ways to bring technology into a variety of performance classes (drama and dance) in meaningful ways and to not only use the technology to enhance the learning experience for students, but to create meaningful theatre with and through technology.
Motivators: I consider myself a good teacher. I believe in giving students an educational experience that is relevant and meaningful to them. Online and digital technologies are part of our reality, and therefore need to be part of our pedagogy. Creating an educational environment that is progressing with the needs of our society is motivation enough for me. Also, I absolutely hate the thought of becoming stagnate and redundant. I am constantly rethinking and reinventing within my classroom and within the curriculum, attempting to maintain my interest as well as the students’.
Inhibitors: As Hall and Hord (1987) made clear in their Concerns-Based Adoption Model, there are certain elements that must be in play in order for change and successful implementation to occur. Time is always a huge inhibitor, there just never seems to be enough of it. Also, support, most technology PD within my board is not focused on the type of integration that I am interested in (I am beyond the basics that the professional development focuses on). There is a technology integration committee within the board that discusses implementation and successful practice, but it is limited to people at the board office level and administrators. This is not only frustrating as it does not help to further my goals, but to me it devalues those that are on the “front lines” if you will. It empowers, educates and gives voice to those who already have those things and doesn’t include those who are actually applying technology at the classroom level. I think it’s great that my school has a Twitter account, but it is just one man’s voice (the VP) and it seems like a superfluous addition when the real technological integration needs to be in the classrooms, at the root. Finally, I abound with creativity when it comes to ways to use technology within my classes, but I lack the application skills to be able to make it happen. At times, I can see the vision but am unsure of what technology to use to make that vision become reality. Of course, with more time and support (see my other inhibitors), I am sure that I could find the right programs to make my new arts education imaginings come true.
Brainy Quote. (2012, April 17). Andy warhol quotes. Retrieved from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/andy_warhol.html
Hall, G., & Hord, S. (1987). Change in schools: Facilitating the process. Albany, NY: State University of New York. Retrieved from http://books.google.ca/books
Puentedura, R. (2011). Samr model. . Retrieved from http://msad75summertechnologyinstitute.wordpress.com/beyond-substitution/