Our assignment was to find an article online using the ULV Library to find the latest research in how technology is being used in the classroom. There was, what seemed to be, an infinite amount of articles to choose from about education technology and after reading several articles there was one article that really stuck out to me. The article was featured in Teaching Exceptional Children (TEC), a journal designed specifically for teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and other practitioners who work with children and youth with disabilities or who are gifted. The title, “Supporting New Special Education Teachers: How Online Resources and Web 2.0 Technologies Can Help”, grabbed my attention right away because, unlike the rest of my cohort, I am going to teach Special Education. The authors address the struggles that new teachers continue to face when first starting out and offer high-quality web sites that incorporate resources specific to using evidence based instructional practices including teacher tools; methods for creating universally designed instruction and disability-specific resources. (Billingsley, Israel, & Smith, 2011) p. 22
I think that the problem with teachers not knowing how to use or implement technology into their curriculums starts with teacher education. The reason that a fourth grader is able to create a blog and talk about the latest Web 2.0 tools and resources there are out there today is because they were taught how to step by step. I think that teachers should have the same opportunity that most fourth graders have to learn how to navigate this ever-present and changing world of technology. Since I have been in school, I have gotten the impression from the instructors, through the assignments they give, that learning and incorporating technology into the assignments I turn in shouldn’t be as difficult as it is because of the immense amount of programs there are out for me, as a student, to choose from to use and experiment. That could not be farther from the truth. I get lost online quite often and spend more time reading about which new “cool tool” I should use to show off my technological prowess on whatever the latest assignment is, than actually working on and finishing the assignment.
In Table 1, the article, “Supporting New Special Education Teachers,” links specific online resources to the documented needs of new teachers. Based on a recent review of 18 studies of new teachers concerns, the content in Table1 is organized into the following six categories: (Billingsley, Israel, & Smith, 2011) p.22
- Content knowledge and Standards
- Effective Instruction
- Behavior Management
- Collaboration w/others
- Managing the job an Dealing with Stress
Billingsley, B., Israel, M., & Smith, S. (2011). Supporting new special education teachers. Teaching Exceptional Children, 43(5), 20-29.