Teaching Methods Usage in the Classroom

Introduction

The introduction of the Façade Technology Checklist in the learning curriculums in the majority of academic institutions has significantly influenced the roles of students and teachers. It has been observed that teachers who incorporate technology façade checklists in their schemes of work record better result than those teachers who use traditional teaching methods in classrooms. Under the conventional closed classrooms, the educator has exclusive power to devise and convey learning instructions. The students on the other hand play a passive role as they just sit back to receive knowledge (Palak, 2004, p.15). However, the integration of façade technology checklist in academic curricula entails the active participation of students in the learning process. Students are compelled to take control of their learning process by partnering with their teachers and fellow students in finding a solution to intricate and real problems. Thus, students play an active role in the school curricula since they work in union with their educators as both learners and designers. They are no longer considered as “empty vessels waiting to be filled” (Palak, 2004, p.16).

The integration of the technology façade checklist transforms the roles of students and teachers completely. Teachers assume new roles as managers of knowledge while students become independent learners with enhanced roles of steering their learning process (Palak, 2004, p.16). However, successful integration of the technology façade checklist can only be realized when the principal transforms from his traditional role to become a technology leader. This is because the adoption of new technology in the classroom results in a major transformation concerning teaching plans and education syllabus. These changes can only be effective if a new management style is adopted to assist educators to deal with pedagogical and technological demands that come with this change (Kozloski, 2006, p.7).

According to Lawrence A. Tomei, not only are all students and educators in the learning environment affected by instructional technology but the entire society as well (2007, p.45). The invasion of technology in the 1990s in the form of laptops, computer labs, educational software, and the internet has transformed the mode of teaching and learning by teachers and students respectively. Nonetheless, the effectiveness of technology is only realized when educators are well prepared by the school’s administrators; the educators who teach students; and the ability of the school’s management to address various problems that arise from the use of the technology (Tomei, 2007, p.45). Following the swift use of technology in schools, my school plans to spend more on computers. The school administration has realized that using computers in teaching improves the quality of education. The façade technology checklist was made to assess how education institutions have integrated technology in the learning process. The following sections offer an example of a façade technology checklist that I developed from my field experiences in a district school. I will present a quick description of each item and an explanation of why it is essential to an effective technology program. My checklist offers a candid approach through which a learning institution can assess how far it has achieved in terms of making use of technology in its educational curriculum.

The Use of Technology

This section asks questions about computer services, hardware and software, technology-based skills, and the student-to-computer ratio in computer labs and classrooms. They comprise: (1) does your classroom educator use the school’s computer? (Choose one): Computer teacher only [1mark]; a handful of teachers make use of technology but not often [3 marks]; a small number of teachers regularly use technology [5 marks]; technology is regularly used by most teachers [7 marks]. Total Marks ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­…….; (2) Does your school have computer facilities? (Choose one): not accessible during unofficial hours for example lunchtime, recess, and after school [0 marks]; accessible before and /or after school [3marks]; accessible when classes are unscheduled [5marks]; accessible during lunchtime, break, and after school [7marks]. Total marks….; (3) where is your computer situated? (All that applies): library [1mark]; computer lab [3 marks]; classroom [3 marks]. Total marks…… (Tomei, 2007, p.46).

(4) Do classroom instructors utilize technology for (Order each independently, allocating 0 marks for “Never’; 1mark for “Rarely”; 3 marks for “Sporadically”; and 5 marks for “Regularly): lesson preparation; grading; homework tasks; professional development. Total marks…. ;( 5) is the computer instructor expected to put together lesson plans with precise student education plans associated with technology skills? (Choose one): computer training is not related to lesson plans [0marks]; lesson plans are not utilized. There are broad-spectrum objectives for training, but no specific education goals [1mark]; lesson plans enclose broad technical skills and education goals [3marks]; comprehensive lesson schemes mirror precise technological skills expected [7 marks]. Total marks….. ;(6) Does your software mirror present classroom curriculum? (Choose one): software is present but the input of the teacher was not considered during its selection. It rarely mirrors real classroom curriculum [1mark]; software was procured recently but students and teachers cannot access it [3 marks]; the input of the teacher was considered during software selection [5marks]; the software used is up to date and teacher’s input was factored during its selection and is regularly utilized by students and teachers [7points]. Total marks….. (Tomei, 2007, p.47).

Essential infrastructure

This section is mainly answered by the school board members. It covers areas such as professional staffing of technology amenities; strategic technological plans and financial support; and training, preparation, and inducements programs for educators (Tomei, 2007, p.46). The technology facade checklist under this section has the following questions: (1) to what level have the teachers been taught on technology? (All that apply): preliminary coaching over six months old [0 marks]; preliminary coaching at least two times in a year [1mark]; in-service coaching done at least two times in a year [3 marks]; at least two educators per school are persuaded to take up formal instructional technology classes [3 marks]; coaching classes offered on-demand, planned with the technology manager [5 marks].

Total marks….. (2) Are educators allowed to take part in the technology committee and support teams? (All that apply): educators are not an integral part [0 marks]; educators are part of the software/hardware acquisition panel [3 marks]; educators are part of the technology budget preparation panel [3 marks]; educators are part of the team that design technology curriculum [5 marks]; they are part of the strategic technology planning panel [5 marks]. Total marks….. (3) Is the technology panel and its support teams made up of community leaders, parents, students, and alumni? (All that apply): No [0 marks]; yes, they are on the software/hardware acquisition panel [3 marks]; they are part of the technology budget preparation panel [3 marks]; they are part of the instructional technology curriculum panel [5 marks]; they make up the strategic technology planning panel [5 marks]. (4) How does your school finance technology? (Choose one): financed via year-end fallout money [1mark]; contained in the operating budget under a sundry account [3 marks]; contained in the general operating account [5 marks]; catered as a unique recurring line item [7 marks]. Total marks…. (Tomei, 2007, p.47).

Instructional Strategy

This section presents the most challenging situation concerning measurement. The following questions are relevant here: (1) has your school designed a “scope and series” that expressly attend to student technology skills? (Choose one): none present [0 marks]; it is only accessed by graduate students [3 marks]; it is accessed by selected grades-1st, 4th, 8th, 10th, 12th [5 marks]; a detailed scope and series are accessible to all students [7 marks]. Total marks…..; (2) which specific technology-based lessons have been designed by educators and are used in class for teaching? (All that apply): text resources for example workbooks, study guides, and handouts to direct the lesson [5 marks]; visual resources for example PowerPoint slides to add to presentation [5 marks]; web-based subject home pages to enhance learning capacity for learners [5 marks]. Total marks….. (Tomei, 2007, p.49).

It is not proper to make a comparison between the outcomes of different schools. The proper way to apply the technology facade checklist is by acquiring the score of a specific school in the early stages of the academic year. The checklist should then be used again at the end of the year to compare the scores between the two periods to ascertain the level of progress made so far (Tomei, 2007, p.49).

References

Kozloski, K.C. (2006). Principal Leadership for Technology Integration: A Study of Principal Technology Leadership. Philadelphia, PA: Drexel University.

Palak, D. (2004). Design Strategies for Higher Education Faculty. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 3, 11-23.

Tomei, L.A. (2007). The Technology Façade: Overcoming barriers to effective Instructional Technology in Schools. American School Board Journal, 44-49.