Introduction to Technology in the classroom course

We are having a discussion in one of our classes, ETEC 533 (Technology in the Mathematics and Science classes) where we are all talking about how little support we’ve received over the years in our use of technology.  We’ve all come from different education programs, but a common thread is that these programs usually have courses about how to use typical technologies, like Word or Powerpoint, etc… but no courses on the integration of technology into education.  All of us complained that we have almost no professional development time devoted to the use of technology in our classes.

So I took a look at the course schedule for my Alma Mater, UBC, and I discovered that there isn’t a single EDUC course which mentions the use of technology at all in their quick descriptions.  I did notice that the standardized time-tables seem to include 2 cohorts which talk about how to teach technology or computer related classes but there seem to be no elective technology courses at UBC.

I thought this is such a shame, because I know that technology is integrated into the teaching practice of so many professors on campus at UBC that the Education faculty should at least provide a survey course in the use of technology in education.  I’m sure such a course would be very popular.

Anyway I had some thoughts on how such a course should be run, and I thought that I might as well share them.  This is still a work in progress, so I’d appreciate any feedback or suggestions anyone has.

The course would run something like:

Title:
Use of Technology in Education

Course Description:

This course is intended to be an introduction to how technology is used in classes today.  It will help prepare students for the changing future where it is likely that technology will become a part of nearly every classroom.  Students will complete this course with a better understanding of how to use and implement technology within their own classrooms.

Course plan:
Unit 1 – Historical use of technology in a classroom (1 week)

Unit 2 – How is technology used at <insert university here>? (1 week)

Unit 3 – Arguments for and against technology use (2 weeks)

Unit 4 – Ways to use technology in your classroom (3 weeks)

Unit 5 – Keeping on top of new technology, habits for life (1 week)

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2 Comments

  • David Miles wrote:

    I would say that the only way to really get on top of how to use tech in the classroom is to actually use it. So I’d strongly suggest that Unit 4 be practical, e.g. students have to give the classes themselves, perhaps before they begin that unit they need to have done some observation. Perhaps they’d need to go into other lectures around campus (one way to see how to use tech is to go see how other teachers use it in other subject areas)

    I think it’s an excellent idea. This should be an integral part of all teaching degrees now.

  • David Wees wrote:

    Yes, I completely agree. That’s part of the reason Unit 4 is so long, as it would give more time for the practical part of this course. Actually learning how to use some of these pieces of technology would be a big plus and it might be the only time for years that these teachers receive any training at all in technology.

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