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Standard 1: Faciliate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
When technology is used effectively it often helps engage students and keep them interested in a lesson. I believe technology should be integrated into the elementary school classroom because many students are intrigued by nontraditional methods of instruction. Podcasts, virtual tours, and videoclips can be a beneficial resource in the classroom to help inspire student learning and creativity.

Technology can be used in a variety of contexts. Teachers can use technology when planning and teaching lessons in the classroom. For example, a teacher may wish to take her students to a historical landmark that is just too far away or expensive to visit. Instead of a live field trip, this teacher could take her students on a virtual fieldtrip! These trips have the benefits of being both inexpensive and safe while also allowing children to learn about new places! Personally, I have created a lesson plan which includes a virtual fieldtrip to The White House! Click the following link to see the virtual fieldtrip my students would take to The White House. Students can also use technology by creating PowerPoints, websites, and podcasts. Another positive aspect of technology is that students who do not see themselves as artisitic may enjoy the opportunity to create documents using the computer. These students may feel more comfortable and confident using technology instead of only having the resources of pencil and paper. In addition, students who use technology are given the opportunity to express themselves in new and exciting ways. For example, students can independently or collaboratively create their very on podcasts! Click the following link for an easy how-to guide on creating podcasts. Podcasts allow students to be creative while learning about content knowledge and technology skills.

I believe that students and teachers should embrace technology in the elementary school classroom because it faciliates student learning and inspires creativity. Employing a wide range of instructional methods will keep the classroom exciting and engaging which makes it an environment more susceptible to learning. Creativity also has a chance to blossom in this innovative atmosphere. In the picture below I am incorporating the use of technology to engage my kindergarten students in a mathematics addition lesson.

Standard 2: Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
In our society which thrives on completing everyday tasks using technology it is important to also incorporate digital-age learning experiences into the classroom. For teachers, designing and developing lessons using technology can be very efficient because the lessons can be easily changed from year to year to allow for needed adjustments. After a lesson is taught the teacher may reflect on the overall effectiveness of the lesson and then easily make these changes to the lesson. Using technology only makes these changes easier for the classroom teacher. Also, students benefit from digital-age learning experiences because they are comfortable and open to new technology in the classroom. Most students have various forms of technology in their own homes and welcome the use of technology as a learning tool.

The lesson plan I created gives students the opportunity to learning about the job of the President and take a virtual field trip to The White House. This lesson was designed to expose students to an authentic digital-age learning experience. This lesson plan also accommodates students with diverse learning styles more than a traditional direct instruction lesson would. To see my lesson plan please click the following link: White House Virtual Tour Lesson Plan.doc . There are so many benefits when designing and developing digital-age learning experiences and assessments. For instance, students are exposed to new and exciting technology while learning content knowledge and essential skills.

Standard 3: Model Digital Age Work and Learning
By creating and maintaining a classroom website the teacher has an additional means of communication with their students' parents. I believe it is important for parent's to feel comfortable communicating with their child's teacher and a classroom website is an excellent way to accomplish this goal. Some parents may feel overwhelmed with numerous papers, forms, and calendars coming home with their child, however, they may not mind browsing a teacher's website to find relevant and useful information. The website I created is designed to be informative while also being user-friendly.

In addition to creating a classroom website, the teacher can model digital age work and learning by incorporating useful technology programs into lessons and activities. There are so many amazing websites, software programs, and tools that a teacher is sure to find some form of technology that he/she finds beneficial. For example, when students learn about symmetry in a mathematics lesson the teacher can direct the students to the following website which allows students to determine how symmetrical their facial features are. I have observed this lesson taking place with fourth grade students and they were very engaged in the lesson and seemed to understand the concept of symmetry after completion of the lesson.

By incorporating technology into classroom activities and lessons, students learn by example how exciting technology can be! I believe a teacher who uses technology when it useful and beneficial will inspire his/her students to do the same.

Standard 4: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
Teachers will always serve as role models to students and other community members. One way for teachers to embrace this responsibility is to stay up to date on copyright laws. Without education on copyright laws, teachers could easily break these complicated laws without realizing it. The Fair Use Clause attempts to make copyright more accessible for educational purposes, but is quite confusing and leaves teachers with some unanswered questions about copyright laws. There are various methods for educating yourself on copyright laws, one such method is to use the internet to conduct research. Personally, I created a document on copyright and fair use with the internet as my source. Teachers could benefit from reading the following document: Copyright and Fair Use Laws.doc.

Teachers must also address the needs of diverse learners in the elementary school classroom. By reading current research studies about new technology that may benefit diverse students, teachers are modeling digital citizenship and responsibility. The following online video, which is called Assistive Technology: Enabling Dreams, includes numerous examples of the latest technology that can be used in the classroom by diverse learners. Educators need to be aware of the amazing technology currently available before they can attempt to bring these assistive technologies into the classroom. Although some parents of students who could benefit from assistive technology may be knowledgeable on this topic, others may not. In these cases, the teacher can inform the parents and students of the remarkable technology that can make learning easier for these individuals.

Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
I believe teachers should be considered lifelong learners. There are constantly new developments in educational research including topics such as: diverse learning styles, assistive technology, and high-stakes testing. In order for educators to stay up to date on these topics they must participate in professional growth and development. For example, by researching new teaching methods and constantly trying out innovative lessons in the classrom, the teacher engages in professional growth. Personally, I created a document where I learned about a form of technology which was unfamiliar to me, the virtual field trip. Please take a look at the Technology Expert Module I created by clicking the following link: Virtual Fieldtrips.docx. I believe this is a form of professional growth because I am now experienced with an additional method of instruction.

Teachers can also engage in professional leadership by participating in a blog or maintaining a classrom website where they provide other teachers with lesson plans and activities they have created. These blogs and websites are useful to new teachers who are curious about lessons on a variety of topics. Please explore the following how-to link about creating blogs. Click the following link to see a great example of a teacher created blog. This educator has a blog which features a discussion about the benefits of technology in the field of education.