Project Tomorrow

Tonight I read the Annual Report from Project Tomorrow titled From Print to Pixel: The Role of videos, games, animations, and simulations within K-12 education which can be found at http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/pdfs/SU15AnnualReport.pdf. While I was reading this report I learned that technology is growing at a faster rate than I thought. With the advances in technology, it makes sense that student engagement would be higher with games and animations as opposed to textbooks. This report gives several great examples of how teachers can use tools such as videos and animations in their daily instruction.

“This year’s 2015 data reveals that 46 percent of high schoolers are now using online textbooks, a growth of 53% from 2005.” The disappearance of textbooks is one of the advantages technology offers our students. Online textbooks allow the students to access the content at a more appropriate reading level and it also helps eliminate the chance of the students losing or damaging the textbook, which can be a stressful situation.

While reading the Project Tomorrow report I was amazed at how fast technology is coming into the classroom. I was aware that games, animations, and videos were being used more frequently, but I was stunned by the numbers. One of the quotes that I think demonstrates the dramatic growth is, “In 2012 less than half of teachers were using online videos within their instructional practice. Today over 2/3 of teachers are regularly sourcing videos from the internet and using them in their classroom to simulate class discussions and to bring a real world context to academic content.”

Even though I grew up without a computer until my twenties and do not categorize technology as one of my strengths, I know that it is highly effective at keeping students engaged. The Project Tomorrow report proves that there are multiple advantages of technology including increased engagement, learning outside of the classroom, and it provides more individualized instruction. As a teacher this means I am going to need to have multiple representations of content available for students. One of the things I like the most about having technology in the classroom is how it provides the opportunity to extend learning outside of the classroom.

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