Digital Learning for Global Citizens
My class uses video conferencing tools to engage in discussion with people all over the world. This photo documents our first Skype session with our Fulbright ETA and Reach The World Traveler in Bucaramanga, Colombia.
Incorporating digital tools into the classroom has many benefits for all students. Due to the advance of technology in the workforce and in our daily lives, we can no longer see the incorporation of technology as enrichment or as optional. All classrooms need to prepare all students with 21st Century skills and the ability to use technology just as fluently as we expect students to read. The goals of Global Education align with incorporating appropriate technology in the classroom.
The 2020 - 2021 COVID-19 Pandemic, accelerated the use of digital learning tools in the classroom. Most school districts are providing teachers with support in applying these tools but that doesn't mean that students or teachers are completely comfortable in using these digital tools in an effective way. The pandemic also shined a light on the equity issues related to technology access, internet access, parent comfort with technology and safety. Teachers have always been aware of these inequities but the pandemic has made these inequities very apparent to those outside of education. We have also begun to have public discussions about the appropriate amount of screen time for children and what digital tools are cognitively appropriate for each age group.
Now, that we have had time to adjust to either remote or blended learning, it is a good moment to stop and reflect on the pedagogical thinking and planning that should go into incorporating digital learning tools in the classroom. SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. This framework was created by Dr. Ruben Puentedura (Schrock, 2020). Prior to participating in The Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Fellowship, I had made an effort to learn about, advocate for and apply digital learning tools for my students with disabilities. However, learning about the SAMR framework helped me to refine my choices and improve the way I have applied these tools in my classroom. Below are some links to recommendations based on my experiences during the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 school years. Some of these tools were applied during my Globalized Unit Plan on Colombia while other tools were applied during remote learning or used for professional learning.