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======================================================================= Unit 1 Policy Brief Part I:

Hattie describes the 6 factors that influence student achievement. At the epicenter of these factors, I think, exists the child. While I don’t want to discount the impact that a stable home life and nurturing teachers have on students, as a child centered educator, I like to empower the student with the ability to control much of their academic success. That being said, I also feel that the child is the factor that is most influenced by current technologies. Hattie references the constructivist theory and reinforces the importance for children to construct their own meaning from the concepts they are taught. That same reference applies to the technologies they use. When students are provided with appropriate tech tools, they are often able to create their own unique meanings from it. A great example is the use of simulation software by students. Hattie also refers to surface learning and deep understanding. He states, “But the task of teaching and learning best comes together when we attend to all three levels: ideas, thinking, and constructing”.1 Units that are supported with WebQuests and other types of discovery oriented learning enabled by technology speak to the heart of these three levels. On the opposite side of that coin, I see the school as being the least affected by technologies. As Hattie states, schools are essentially structures and systems. Some technologies lend themselves well to these systems, though overall a school can function without the use of technology. Technology infused instruction, delivered from a good teacher, can have an enormous impact on student achievement. However the area I feel holds the most promise for effective technology is approaches to teaching. The range of software and hardware tools on the market today give teachers flexibility and the capability of reaching children with diverse learning styles. Hattie states, “Learners can be so different, making it difficult for a teacher to achieve such teaching acts - students can be in different learning places at various times, using a multiplicity of learning strategies meeting different and appropriately challenging goals” 2. Looking at the various technologies listed in part 2 of the approaches, one can see a vast array of educational technology tools that facilitate and support differentiated instruction much more efficiently than traditional classroom tools. Currently, I think teachers are the factor that have the most problematic relationship with technology. Despite the fact that a considerable percentage of the current generation of educators grew up with these tools, using some for personal productivity and others for 1 J. Hattie (2008) Visible Learning: a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York: Routledge. p26 2 J. Hattie (2008) Visible Learning: a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York: Routledge. p23


communication and entertainment, I have not witnessed a commensurate percentage of teachers effectively integrating technology. Many teachers see technology as an add on, another thing to learn and implement on top of an already overwhelming list of district mandates. Anyone who has stood in the shoes of a classroom teacher should be able to relate with some of that mindset. However, it becomes paramount for District Technology leaders to ensure that teachers and administrators are exposed to concrete examples of technology’s added value in instruction. In addition, college and university teacher education programs need to teach pre service teachers how various technology tools can directly and seamlessly support student learning. Part II: In the second part of your policy brief, complete the table below with Hattie's 6 factors influencing student achievement, common technologies representative of those factors, the opportunities that those technologies present, and the challenges or problems created through technology.

Factor

Common technologies

Opportunities

Challenges

Child

•Computer •Word Processor •Play Station and other similar hardware •Video Games •Social Networking sites

•Technologies capture students attention •Students writing may improve since they’re writing for an audience

Home

•School Web Sites •Computers •Telephones,

School

•Student Information Systems •Intercoms •Computers •VoIP •EMail

•Increased communication with parents •offer language classes to support Parents of ELL’s •Increased Communication •Ability to analyze student data in various subgroups

•Sometimes the technology can overshadow the intended learning •Students need to use Social Networking appropriately •Students need awareness of the dangers inherent in CyberSpace •Not all homes have web access •not all homes may have telephones Staff need training in analyzing data and adapting instruction based on their findings


Curricula

•Web Based Resources exist •Extending the learning for some curricula beyond the immediate •Electronic versions of classroom (home, library, etc..) curricula •Glencoe Software: Exam •Modifying text to align with View students reading levels •Visual and multimedia •Connected Mathematics examples of whats contained Curriculum has extensive web based resources and in the text extensions

Teacher

•Overhead Projector •Laptop •In Focus Projector •Virtual Manipulatives •Document Camera

Approaches •Overhead Projector to teaching •Laptop •In Focus Projector •Virtual Manipulatives •Document Camera •Simulations •Speech to Text Software •Boardmaker Software •Wikis •Google Docs •Quizlet •Graphic Organizers

•Not all homes have web access •Teachers time may not be plentiful enough to leverage these resources •District pacing guides and prep for standardized tests may also impede use of these resources •Use technology for group •Will the technology be lessons available and functional •projector supports instruction when needed? in a one computer classroom •Not all students are •Provide dynamic visual visual learners, may representations of complex need to modify models in the Mathematics accordingly and Science curriculum. •Teachers can use tech tools •Teachers need training to add value to their in both the mechanics instruction of the tool, and more •They can provide similar importantly how the tool can support instruction experiences as those in a Science Lab •Are there enough tools •Tools give teachers more to meet students needs opportunities to differentiate •Budgeting instruction •Tools give teachers strategies for Universal Design •Tools give opportunities for meeting the needs of students with both physical disabilities and learning disabilities

REFERENCES

Hattie, J. (2008). Visible learning:a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. (pp. 22-38). New York: Routledge.


Policy brief assignment