Thursday, June 3, 2010

Module 3: Critical Thinking Paper

I found this article very interesting, which got me thinking about the students I will be teaching within the next few years. In the next few years I will be teaching the next generation of twenty-first century learners. Students in today’s society have grown up with technology and use it more now to perform day-to-day things than ever before. Some technologies have become the main tool used in the classroom. The classroom has become more visual over the years and I believe that students take away more in that visual learning environment.

In Royal Van Horn’s article, “Toward a New Model of High-Tech Schoolrooms,” he discusses the pros and cons on how to integrate technology into the classroom and school districts. I enjoyed reading his ideas on how to use and take advantage of the opportunities that technology creates in the classroom. Van Horn says that he would “try to match the technology to the grade, subject, and teaching style of the teacher” (Van Horn, 2006). I think that if teachers had the technologies that specifically fit their classroom and their needs they would be willing to use technology more.

Another idea of Van Horn’s that got my attention is when he stated, “I have always thought that schools paid too little attention to oral language development” (Van Horn, 2006). I completely agree with this statement. I wish that grade levels in elementary and middle school would put more emphasis on public speaking. I believe that it is extremely important to be able to speak in front of an audience at an early age. Using technologies such as Power Points to perform presentations over class projects would be perfect. Using these technologies in a classroom setting would also let students use their creativity and help them to feel comfortable with public speaking.

I love the idea of Van Horn’s on “using a teaching television studio to give students the opportunity to hear and see themselves speaking and presenting” (Van Horn, 2006). This would be a great way for students to critique themselves and to help them develop into strong public speakers. It may not work for everyone but I think that trying this would be worth the experience students can take away from use the technology.

There is definitely a new and exciting need for technology in classrooms today, but the sad thing is that these new technologies and their equipment are not cheap. At times schools do not have the funding to install or update the equipment. I wish that technology were not so expensive so that all schools and students would be able to benefit from using them. In the his article Van Horn talks about wanting to do an experiment to see if schools that can afford the technology perform better in the classroom oppose to inner city schools that may not have the funding to afford such technologies. He says, “Maybe then we could learn whether or not the students with best technology and the best ability to use it to do academic work move to the head of the class” (Van Horn, 2006).

After reading this article I have though about the ways that I want to take advantage of the technologies that are provided to me for my classroom. I know that this will mean that I will have to keep an open mind about them, because they are always changing and I will have to continue to learn new methods. If my students will benefit from them then it will be well worth the extra work.

Reference: Van Horn, R. (2006). Toward a New Model of High-Tech Schoolrooms.
Technology, 487, 551.


  1. As someone who gets paid to speak publicly, I absolutely agree that this is a skill that needs more attention. I like how you pointed out that Power Point can help someone learn to do a good presentation .... very good observation!

  2. You're going to be an awesome teacher! You definitely caught the core of this article and exploited it for Van Horn. I very much look forward to working with you in our group! Talk to you soon!