Week One: Technology Matrix

August 29, 2013

The Technology Integration Matrix seemed very intimidating when I first looked at it. However, once I watched all the videos for the language arts discipline I started to understand how the terms relate to one another. I am particularly fond of the authentic learning attribute of learning because I believe this style can help students apply their knowledge and therefore retain the information for the long run.

I actually had a pretty exciting experience as a substitute teacher last year. I subbed during a school wide project based learning presentation fair. At Southeastern Alternative School in Fauquier county one of the requirements for students is that they create one project that demonstrates what they have learned throughout the year. The principal was so kind as to allow me to visit the fair during the day. I had worked at the school throughout the year so I had watched the students in various stages of the projects.

One particular assignment that I really enjoyed was a project in which an eighth grade student used his love of video games to understand statistics and the scientific method. For his project, he had students volunteer to play video games while listening to different genres of music to see if the music impacted their ability to play games. Volunteers listened to country, rock, rap, or no music. He tried to make a correlation between the number of kills students made in a game and the music that was playing. He used an mp3 player and Xbox gaming system. I believe this would fall into the authentic-transformation. The student used technology to link what he learned in the classroom (scientific method- independent and dependent variables, etc.) to his interest in video games. This is an example of transformation because his use of technology was self-directed but his teacher served as a mentor to help him along the way.

One particular example that I found compelling was the language arts authentic-transformation Video Game Design (http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/lessons/authentic_transformation_languagearts.php). I think I enjoyed this video because I have an experience with the use of video games in the classroom. I understand how beneficial it can be to help students that may be struggling to understand material. This lesson is authentic because it allows students to create a story and use technology in order to make a video game. It affords students the opportunity to explore key concepts, such as main character, while doing something that is related to the real world, gaming. It can be considered transformation because students use technology to build on the storytelling abilities. It is self-led and the teacher acts to facilitate the students learning while helping them produce a game about their story.

A video that I was skeptical about would be the language arts authentic-entry phonics game (http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/lessons/authentic_entry_languagearts.php). My skepticism may stem from the fact that there is a lack of information about the technology used, www.Starfall.com, within the presentation. I understand that technology is being used as entry. This means that students are learning their phonics for the first time so the teacher will theoretically go over the phonics lesson with the students after they have completed the lesson. However, I think I’m just a little skeptical of teachers using technology to introduce a topic to students for the first time. Technology can be a helpful warm up for students to get their feet wet in a subject but the technology used in this lesson doesn’t seem to be guided by the instructor but rather by a computer. It seems a little cold to me. I prefer lessons in which the teacher introduces a topic then gives students time to explore the topic using technology.

Florida Center for Instructional Technologies (2011). The Technology Integration Matrix. Retrieved          from http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/index.php

Grant, M. (2002). Getting a grip on project-based learning: theory, cases and recommendations. Meridian: A Middle School Computer Technologies Journal, 5(1). Retrieved from http://www.ncsu.edu/meridian/win2002/514/


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2 Responses

  1. I agree, I’ve heard a lot of stories about SAS that are negative but I absolutely love the school. The teachers are really flexible, the kids get to go on tons of really cool field trips, classroom sizes are small, and I love the project based learning approach. The kids there need a little more motivation but I think that the students who complete projects that genuinely interest them get more out of the school. You’ll have to tell me some of the stories you’ve heard about SAS sometime. Thanks for reading!

  2. lindsayroseSeptember 1, 2013 @ 10:30 pm

    I really enjoyed your post! I live in Fauquier County and am very familiar with Southeastern Alternative School. I know students that went there and have heard good and bad stories about the experiences teaching at such an alternative school. I think using video game interest to connect learning is a fantastic idea. The majority of the students I know who went to Southeastern are a population very disinterested in school and education in general. Utilizing an interest, such as video games, in the classroom is a great way to create a spark I think! I also agree with you that utilizing an activity obtained from Starfall.com may not be the best way to PRESENT a new concept. I think it is an excellant resource to repeat and practice learned knowledge, but as an introduction, I think there are better options out there.

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