Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Continuum of Self-Efficacy in Educational Technology

Today, the NCTE definition of 21st century literacies makes it clear that further evolution of curriculum, assessment, and teaching practice itself is necessary.

Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy. Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the twenty-first century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies, many literacies. These literacies—from reading online newspapers to participating in virtual classrooms—are multiple, dynamic, and malleable. As in the past, they are inextricably linked with particular histories, life possibilities, and social trajectories of individuals and groups. 

Twenty-first century readers and writers need to:

• Develop proficiency with the tools of technology

• Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally

• Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes

• Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information

• Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts

• Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments

Question for Blog Response:
Self-efficacy is the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner to attain certain goals.  It is a belief that one has the capabilities to execute the courses of actions required to manage prospective situations in the future.  Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as one's belief in one's ability to succeed in specific situations.  One's sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how one approaches goals, tasks, and challenges.  According to Bandura's theory (social cognitive), people with high self-efficacy- that is, those who believe they can perform well- are more likely to view difficult tasks as something to be mastered rather than something to be avoided.

Consider the list of skill sets generated above from NCTE that students will need to master before graduating to be considered productive and literate citizens in the 21st century.  In what way(s) is our course shaping your own self-efficacy regarding multiple literacies and your approach to teaching these skills to your own students (current or future)?


  1. Use of technology is essential in and out of the classroom. I am sitting in a San Diego public library using their wireless internet connection. There is not a single desktop computer available in the computer area. There are people waiting, five deep. I stopped at the San Ysidro public library prior to coming to the Otay Mesa library; and there too, no computer was available. Old people, youngsters, teenagers, mothers, families...they are all in need of ACCESS to cyber-world. We live in a world of technology and wireless tools. People access knowledge and information at their fingertips. How can we harness this phenomenon? Or do we? Shall we let it be? Why not? Look at what exploration has lead us to: blogs, glogs, tweets, rss, and e-mail to name a few. It is obvious that technology exists everywhere; inside the classroom and out. Knowing this, how can we as leaders/teachers provide for more learning to occur using the available technology we have? How can we assess students learning via educational technology? We are aggressively addressing these issues in class. I must continue to learn and strive to provide my students, my family, and myself the optimal learning experience possible. This HAS to be done through the use of technology. Wish me luck! I need it. Thank you.

  2. In the age of “information overload”, those of us who were not born into ‘generation tech’ (I just invented that expression but I think it’s applicable) have, no doubt, felt some unease with the overwhelming amount of technical resources now available. I have, myself, joked with colleagues in the teacher break room about students knowing more than we do about the technology available and even helping us troubleshoot said technology in class. What this does, in relation to self-efficacy, is disempower us and dissuade us from tinkering with technology.
    I know, as the NCTE lists, that to be proficient as a 21st century learner we must “Develop proficiency with the tools of technology” as well as be able to “Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information” but this task seems daunting, if not impossible, in the face of this aforementioned information overload.
    Thank goodness for this course then! I feel in the few, short weeks of this course that I have learned more than I would have in years (sad but true) of tinkering on my own. What it has done for me is consolidate key, useful technology and put it in the palm of my hand. These directed lists of cutting edge sites and programs, with explicit instruction and examples of how to use them or just the encouragement to go out and find out for myself how to use them, has lifted the veil on many things I would have otherwise been afraid to “waste my time” with due to the fear of failing. This technology now feels accessible to me and, ultimately, I feel not only empowered, but also inspired to go out and use this technology in my own studies and with my students. As a matter of fact, I already have. This information is golden and a million thanks wouldn’t be enough. I just hope to pay it forward by doing the same for my students!

  3. Before I attend this course, I have never heard of the term “multiple literacies” and I didn't realize the ability of using different kinds of technology is also a kind of literacy ability. In my previous opinion, literacy refers to the ability of reading and writing but now I know this understanding is too narrow! This lesson is helping me open my eyes and change my understanding of education. I have learned how to engage students into group work through Google Doc; how to use blog to do assignments; how to make information more accessible through iGoogle. I also got to know lots of good websites for students' learning like TED, Big Think, School Tube... I am becoming more proficient with the tools of technology in education. At the same time, I gained the ability to create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts. I am more confident to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally and I feel very comfortable to use technology in class. In sum, I feel more “multiple literate” now.

    All these abilities I have got from this course are so important for students to be successful in 21st century. In the future, I am going to keep pace with the development of technology and do my best to engage the most advanced teaching and learning methods into my classroom. I believe this is a way to make education more useful and interesting.

  4. I’ve never felt as if I were bad a technology, I’ve been on a computer since I was eight years old, but I’m not to very technologically savvy. So I don’t tend to use much technology beyond basic computer skills, in both my personal life and my work life. But after these five weeks of class now I feel better prepared to use technology, I feel like I know a lot more about what is out there and how it could be used in education.
    During these five weeks I’ve also come to realize that literacy is not just being able to read, but being able to communicate through various means, including through technology. My self efficacy has definitely increased and though I still prefer not to do PowerPoint’s I know that it’s not because I cant manage it, but because I rather do something hands on and more personal. I believe I will increase using technology in my work with the youth leadership, as well as introduce them to 21st century skills, which they will need to be successful in life. (I’ve already stripped with them and I love it, they’re still hesitant only because it MAKES them talk, but I know they will learn to love it too.) I will also increase my use of 21st century skills in my personal life because that will only make me a more well rounded person and a better teacher.

  5. This course has really shaped my understanding of multiple literacies and my approach to teaching 21st century skills to my future students. Like Qi, I really didn't know too much about multiple literacies before this course. After only a few classes of this course, I feel better prepared to teach my students 21st century skills using the tools and various technological methods we have learned in this course. Not only do I now have the tools but I also have a clear understanding of the importance of teaching 21st century skills to my students.
    Also, I've always been very tech-savvy and pro-technology in the classroom. This class has made me even more comfortable with technology than I was before.
    In addition, I've already begun to share and use the tools we've learned in class in my personal life(i.e. TED talks, google apps., alternative youtube sources, etc.). Thank God for this class! I now feel knowledgeable enough to teach my future students 21st century skills using what I have learned from this class.

  6. As an undergrad Instructional Technology minor I am pretty confident with my use of technology. As I began teaching I had such high hopes for all the awesome ways I was going to incorporate technology into the classroom. Looking back now (especially learning all of these new tools!) I realize that simply using a document camera everyday and the occasional jeopardy game on Powerpoint wasn't doing myself or my students justice. First of all I realize now that my use of technology was only a one-way street. Rarely did my students utilize the technology themselves, rather I used it for them. This course has taught me ways that I can utilize technology in a way that it becomes a two-way street. Just because I have the self-confidence in using the technology, doesn't mean I am spreading that confidence to my students. I am realizing that 21st century skills require so much more collaboration than people give "technology" credit for. This course is building upon my prior self-confidence and helping to show me how I can share that confidence with my students in a collaborative, cooperative way.

  7. After some reflection, I have come to realize that my self efficacy with technology is largely dependent upon what context I am using technology in. By context I really mean the people I am using technology with. I find my self efficacy with technology to be very high, for example, if I am explaining to my mom how to use her ipod or explaining that the sound on her computer was a Skype sound and means my sister is online (both happened this afternoon). On the other hand, I can be fairly hard on myself and have low self efficacy if I am trying to accomplish something with a group of peers that I consider to be “technologically savvy”. This class has helped with my self efficacy in terms of being more familiar with some tools that I had never heard of or used previously. It has also helped me realize that I can accomplish things with technology that seemed too hard, it just may take me a little longer.
    What I will take from this to apply to my future teaching has more to do with improving self efficacy than it does with using technology (not that technology isn’t important). I think with self confidence and efficacy, students will be more apt to bring on tasks that they would otherwise not. I also think that as a teacher, we should not be afraid to have our students help us with things like technology, but to do so with high self efficacy that we can figure it out and accomplish it next time. There are always going to be things that we see as difficult, or people who we think can do them better, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try and tackle them ourselves.

  8. To be honest, I did not even know what iGoogle, or Google Groups were until taking this course. Perhaps I had heard of them, but never looked into how beneficial they could be. I never thought about creating my own blog, or how I could create a classroom blog for my students to look at someday. I had never even heard of the virtual world ‘Second Life’, or ‘World of Warcraft’, which are both fascinating to me. All of this technological information is so new to me. I feel like a giant sponge just taking everything in. Everyday I find myself thinking of numerous ways that I will use technology in my classroom someday.
    I know that taking this course is making me a better teacher for students of the 21st century because I will be knowledgeable about what is out there, and will not be intimidated, or completely overwhelmed. I find that so many teachers do not know how, when, or where to find beneficial resources of technology. They just don’t know where to start. “People with high self-efficacy- that is, those who believe they can perform well- are more likely to view difficult tasks as something to be mastered rather than something to be avoided.” By exploring the numerous tools that technology places at our fingertips, and recognizing when and how we can use them in our classrooms, we will build our own self-efficacy, and become better teachers for the students of the 21st century.

  9. When I don’t know how to do something and have a low self-efficacy I tend to avoid doing it. I think this is why so many teachers don’t use technology in the classroom. It’s hard to create a lesson using technology if you don’t know how to use it or aren’t confident using it. It also takes time to learn the 21st century skills and most people don’t have a lot of free time. I experienced this when I was creating a lesson plan for my Technology and Learning class. I had to create a lesson using Second Life. I had no idea where to start as I have never played the game before. I sat down created an avatar and started exploring the world. Now I feel I have a higher self-efficacy and feel more confident in using Second Life in the classroom whereas before it wouldn’t have even crossed my mind.
    Before this course I had heard about some of the literacies we learned about but I had never actually used them. This course is opening my eyes up to the possibilities these literacies could be used for in the classroom. Last week I went on the CNN Student website and loved it. If I can I will try to use that in the classroom. When I teach these 21st century skills to my students I need to be aware that they might know more about them then I do. But that isn’t a bad thing. If students have a high self-efficacy then they might be more engaged and ready to learn because they feel like they can accomplish it.

  10. I find it extremely interesting after reading some of your responses that most of us have not had much experience or confidence when it comes to technology in the classroom. I feel that from day one in my teaching credential program my professors have discussed the importance of technology however, until now I haven't really had a beneficial class willing to teach all the wonderful classroom technological uses. It is interesting that a class full of grad students have similar patterns and we have all come from different universities. As I had mentioned in class before; previous to this class I had an understanding that using an overhead projector during a lesson was considered incorporating technology (embarrassing, right?) Anyway, my point is that I think if all teachers knew how easy all of these programs really are, they would be incorporating it into the classroom.
    I agree with those of you who said that most people assume it takes too much time to discover these wonderful technologies. Now that my eyes have been opened to these programs I can see myself wanting to take the time to discover the possibilities that are out there for teachers. I know there is still a lot for me to learn but I feel that this class has given me a higher self-efficacy and I am more confident and willing to implement some of these in my future classroom.

  11. At the beginning of this class, I felt my use and understanding of technology was pretty sufficient. In fact I still do because I tend to stumble upon things and can teach myself their use fairly easily. The fact is though that with every class we have, I feel I learn about several new technologies I never new existed. I couldn’t believe how many programs Google has. I’d always seen the iGoogle option at the top of the screen, but why did I never click on it? I have no idea. Plus the fact that on the Google homepage it’s pretty blank, so why would I even think to find its other programs? I definitely feel that if I taught older students, I could use so many of these technologies in the classroom. I suppose my self-efficacy is still low because I don’t currently have a classroom in which to try these new features out, and my experience is in the lower elementary grades. When I look back on my teaching experience in these classrooms, I really don’t think the students could handle any of the programs we’ve learned of so far. For my own personal use, I feel much more technology savvy, but I would need a chance to experiment in the classroom with these programs before I felt confident in saying I could use these multiple literacies to teach 21st century skills. I would guess the fact that I’m willing and hoping to try means that my self-efficacy is at least higher than it was a few weeks ago.

  12. This course has been broadening and strengthening my self-efficacy with regard to 21st century skills and, in so doing, modeled for me effective ways to do so with my future students. First of all, I have been introduced to an abundance of new tech tools. Though I would not say that I am proficient in the majority of these tools, class times spent exploring one or another technology has shown me that the best way to approach something new is with a positive attitude, critical mind, and fellow thinkers. Second, this course has been heavily geared towards in-class and online collaboration (whole class, small group, buddies), which has been reinforcing my ability to build relationships with others for problem solving. I think this latter point is as important as ever, now, because the internet bridges communication gaps between people from all walks of life - opening up and encouraging the possibility of increased cross-cultural dialog.

  13. The technologies that we learned in class truly helps me to develop my self-efficacy in some certain ways. In 21st century, the use of technology becomes necessary for educators. Before I have this class, I might be proud of myself in using enough technologies in my daily life, such as blogging. The use of technology, however, I never thought that I can incorporate into my classroom and become a "fashion" teacher. After introducing several technologies in class, I think that would be helpful for me and my students in some ways. For example, we keep talking about the Google applications, such as iGoogle and google groups, in these two weeks. In fact, these applications provide so many opportunities for students to communicate with their peer online. Even if there might be some drawbacks of using technologies in classroom, I would still try to teach my students how to use these technologies and my self-efficacy would show my confidence to instruct my students in using these technologies.

  14. I have always tried to incorporate technology into the classroom with my students, as well as for my own educational purposes; however, my self-efficacy changes when it is a program or idea I have never tried. For some reason I always feel I am going to mess something up or lose something into cyber world to be lost forever. I feel more comfortable when someone shows me a new technology and how it works rather than when I find a new technology and try to learn the ins and outs of it alone. Throughout this class, I can feel my attitude towards experimenting on my own changing. I think one of the most essential 21st century skills today’s students need is the ability to adapt to any situation. This flexibility is what will help them to succeed in a world with technology that has not yet been realized. This is one of the main 21st century skills that this class has taught me. The face of education is constantly changing; one day Google Docs is the new fad, and the next day Voice Thread is what we need to master. Regardless of what the newest technology is, we need to be open to trying new things and becoming familiar with new literacies.

    Most importantly, this class has showed me how technology can help my students take ownership of their learning. Using the internet is not something we do as an outsider anymore; now, students can be inside the technology, creating it, tweaking it to what works best for them, and presenting it in multiple forums to multiple communities worldwide. In order to be successful in tomorrow’s world, students need to be able to create, critique, and analyze multimedia—the only way they will be able to do this is through repeated exposure. By constantly immersing students in new literacies, they will become more comfortable and their own self-efficacy will increase. This comfort with new literacies will help students to master 21st century skills, and become effective members of tomorrow’s society. Finally, this class has showed me many of the resources available that will benefit my students in mastering these 21st century skills. As an educator, it is so important that we continue our own education; if not, it is our students, tomorrow’s leaders, who suffer.

  15. I find it’s very useful in this course that we had a study in different websites with false information. Since it is an age of overload information, it is rather crucial for us to have the ability to find and select the information we want. If we all have this ability, then we tend to have more self-efficacy in coping different situation and tasks. I strongly agree with the skill in the list that students should create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts. There was a ridiculous thing happened in China that a scholar with a doctor’s degree published an article in the newspaper the other day, which turned out to be false information. He just surfed the Internet and, without evaluation and examination, copied the explanation, which was only a trick that shared a similar pronunciation with a curse. After laughing at the careless Doctor, we should think about why this could happen. In my classroom, I would stress this skill to develop critical thinking of my students as what we did last time by asking them to find out false information that are misleading and letting them do a presentation on it.

  16. When I started this course it did not occurs to my mind that literacy is included modern technology. I was not expected to have all these technical information, I thought this course is related to literacy in a simple meaning, which is the ability to read and write. I surprised when I introduced to all theses technology. I finally realized how much I am not as technologically expert as I thought I was. This class has helped me to shape my understanding of literacy by using technologies, such as blogging, and to gain a new knowledge, which I would not learn it by myself so that I can incorporate into my classroom and introduce these technologies to my students.
    As a 21st century learner in learning new technologies and an educator, I have learned as much as I need to develop my self-efficacy. I have to be brave to explore and use new ways every day; my knowledge has to expand along with the ever-changing advances in technology.
    Nowadays, students have the world in their hands and the opportunity to affect positive changes, and it is my priority, as an educator, to pass out this valuable information not just to my students, also to everyone who needed.

    “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much" Helen Keller
    I also learned from this course how easy we could create collaborative environments not only for students- students but also for students- parents. And there is no need to mention the importance of parental involvement and collaboration in their children learning process. I’m more comfortable now in regarding of using technology in my classroom, I feel that I do have what it takes to succeed in the 21st century; I just need to hone my skills and pass them to my students to ensure that they will be able to succeed in their learning as well.

  17. I always like to read everyone's comments before writing- but tonight I feel like everyone has already said what I want to. But- I will say it again, I was surprised with this course as well. I love learning the technology and seeing how applicable it is to my personal use and especially my classroom. I had not really connected it to literacy- but now I truly see that it is intertwined. In the future, this is a way that people will communicate at least half of their time and thats meaningful. Examining my own life and how much it has integrated itself into my everyday behavior over the years, I cannot imagine what my students' futures look like.
    Prior to this course, I saw technology as individual but now I have seen how it is collaborative- like Eman. For me personally, I didn't see how technology was really a mindset. I have increased teaching technology to my kinders- but especially as a way of thinking. At the beginning of the year, I thought, "well they know how to use computers- they were born in 2005." Now I see that I can teach them how to use it properly and help them to think about it as more than just google. Oh- and I feel like Ashley- why did I never think to click on any google things on my own??? :)

  18. I don't like technology that much outside of using it to look up information, email or social networking. This class has been a larger introduction to different places to go and use for many functions. I never knew that you could have your own igoogle page. I think that many technology are intimidating and overwhelming for me which is why I am so reluctant. This class is making me break my ice with computers. I'm not horrible at understanding computers, I am just stubborn and don't like to change. This class is breaking down walls and making me more open to succeeding through technology.