Thursday, November 24, 2011

Time Constraints and Technology Integration

Immersed in my dissertation writing, as usual. Even on Thanksgiving, no break - write, research, write, research - does it ever end?!

But, I digress. I am focusing my writing and research today on technology professional development, which will be a short section in my literature review. It directly relates to some long-term (in terms of months) training I am about to embark on, and it just has me really questioning the value of what I am being asked to do versus what the research says I should be doing and what I know I should be doing.

In a nut shell, I know that to really integrate technology effectively, in this case, The Geometer's Sketchpad, I need to provide teachers with long-term, content-embedded training that focuses on how to teach using the software in the context of the content and work environments of the teachers. I need to ensure they have support both for the software skills as well as how to use the software to teach and help students learn math content. However, what I am being asked to do is going to hinder my ultimate goals, in large part due to the time I am being given and the expectations I am allowed to 'impose' on the teachers due to union rules.

Not going into much detail right now, as I am still trying to figure out how to make this work. But it just exemplifies I think a very typical problem I mentioned in a previous post- if we know what will make technology integration work, what do we do to ensure those principals/models/methods are followed? I had planned on doing my best, but outside forces are preventing it, so how do I combat that? Is it possible to still make research-based best practices happen? I certainly hope so.

Alright - too much thinking. Time to eat and drink. Happy Thanksgiving.

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