Instructional Technologist Bruce
Who am I?
Welcome to Instructional Technologist Bruce, my website. This site was created as a result of my masters degree that I pursued at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) in New York In 2007. I completed this Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology (MSIT) where I received a Distinction with Honors diploma. To obtained this type of diploma, one has to receive all A's in all courses, which I did. I am proud, but humble at this achievement, as I want it to serve as a motivation to my son and daughter and my charges at the High School for Teaching and The Professions in The Bronx, NY; the young minds over which I have been granted the priviledge to lead and direct in both my family life and my professional life as a father and teacher respectively.
I do hope that as you browse through the pages of this website, that you too will be inspired to reach for the stars, as the sky is the limit. Enjoy these few pages, tell a friend, and come back again to see what's new at Instructional Technologist Bruce web site.Thanks for visiting. Now, keep reading and viewing my pictures.
My Personal and Professional Development
All individuals, irrespective of their positions in life, have a plan, whether it is obvious to them or not. As a professional, I have a plan; and as an instructional technologist, my plan focuses on, obviously, technology.I have been a high school teacher for approximately half my lifetime, teaching mathematics, economics, and the physical sciences. Throughout most of those years my teaching methods lack the use of high technology, otherwise called Hi-Tech. Hi-Tech, to me, includes the use of hardware tools (technology equipment) and software tools (programs needed to run the hardware). As an Instructional Technologist, I intend to break the trend that was set in the past by my mentors, with using technology as the foundation upon which I build my new teaching strategy, as I aim to encourage my colleagues to do the same at the workplace.As a teacher of the subjects mentioned above, my goal was, and still is, to be the best teacher there is, as I emphasized content with teaching methods/strategies. However, my best sometimes became my worst, as the strategies used to impart knowledge to my charges were not always the best selection. The lack of some basic technological skills were always not a part of the planning, more so, the implementation.According to Laura Turner, from the June 2005 edition of T.H.E. Journal Magazine http://www.thejournal.com/articles/17325 , there are 20 technological skills that every educator should possess. Sadly, I did not possess many of these skills then, so my methods did not succeed at times. Some of the skills I lack were; electronic presentation, web site design, the use of digital cameras, knowledge of networking, WebCt/Blackboard, videoconferencing, using a scanner, deep web knowledge, and computer security knowledge.However, since I completed my Masters program, I have acquired some of these skills, and have reinforced those that I have already possessed. I can now say that I am a part of that elite cadre of Instructional Technologists who is in great demand.My main focus, at this time, as I completed my masters degree is to train and encourage educators in the use of technology as an important tool that enhances the teaching and learning process. I am still teaching mathematics, but with a greater emphasis on the use of technological tools. My dream is to see technology becoming a part of every classroom of the future, though I really would not like to see these classrooms virtual.
Living, working, and studying in New York, USA
My first four years saw me teaching at Walton High School in The Bronx until September 2005, when I received a job at The High School for Teaching and The Professions, still in The Bronx. At Walton, I was the first teacher to have students who were successful in the Mathematics B examination, and if that wasn't sufficient I had over 50% passing rate where 14 out of 26 students were successful. I left Walton because of its closure in 2008. It was one of several large high schools that were slated to be phased out to give way to smaller learning communities by the NYC Department of Education. Since living in the USA, I decided to pursue more further studies, but this time in the area of technology. After studying Instructional Technology for 2 years at the prestigious New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), I obtained a Masters Degree with honors and distinction in that discipline. My intention was not to stop there, but to obtain a Ph.D. in this field of study. I am happy to say that I was accepted to pursue my doctorate (Ph.D.) in Educational Technology that began June 1, 2009 at Walden University. As a twenty-plus year veteran of teaching with four years managing in the business sector, and two years as a school administrator (vice principal), I believe education is the pathway to success for any young person. The teaching/learning environment plays an important role in the development of children so, teachers are indispensable.
My Taskstream Portfolio Webpage speaks to my success.
My Philosophy of Teaching
The art of teaching is the most important and skillful profession that exists. I believe this is so because as a teacher, one is operating on the most important ‘equipment' in life - the mind. It is with the development of this ‘piece of equipment' that the world and its entities operate successfully. Education is important to every society and to the world at large if success is to endure. Every learner needs a teacher if he or she is to be mold into the world and its activities. As a mathematics teacher, my need is of utmost importance because this discipline of mathematics helps to shape the world into what it is and what it wants to become. However, mathematics is a not an easy discipline to comprehend so it needs the best teachers to help maintain it and to impart it to the rest of the world. It is also the most universal of all disciplines as it has its own language (numbers). It can be taught to each and everyone irrespective of their language or culture, but as said earlier, not everyone can grasp it easily. Therefore it is imperative that all mathematics educators be prepared to meet the challenges that will face them among their diverse learners who may be hungered for this knowledge. Irrespective of the positions that I may hold in life, I have always wanted to teach the world mathematics because of the nature of its discipline, thus my changing jobs. It has always being my pleasure to share my mathematical mind. So, if it is with only one child, then I have shared it with the world, because this small child can make a big difference to society overtime. My intellectual ability is not the only thing that has impacted my life. Prior to graduating from high school, I became a part of the church which helped me to live a life that is free from society's ills. Because of my involvement, I was able to be free from drugs, crime, and sexual promiscuity, which befall some of my childhood friends. I am also the proud head of my family household consisting of my lovely wife and two beautiful children, one of whom attends college, while the other is embarking on a high school education. In addition to my religious commitment, I am an avid sports enthusiast where as teenager, I participated in tracks and football (soccer) for my high school. Even though I am not now ‘burning up' the tracks nor kicking the ball, I am still participating by attending or listening/viewing these sporting events over the airwaves.I hope my lifestory has been an inspiration to you as you visit my website, and I urge you to come again and invite your friends and associates to visit also. Peace out my brother or sister, and as I would say in my country of birth ONE LOVE.
My Philosophy of Instructional Technology
Creativity is the power tool that steers life in the direction in which it should go. Without this tool, life would remain stagnant, not worthy of the betterment that should enhance the very nature of its existence. One’s own creativity dictates to society the type of person that one is. Every human being should be creative, not merely for the satisfaction of the world but, for his/her own happiness. A creative talent is a very power tool to use to fix a society, thereby helping one to be satisfied with one’s own existence as a social being that has made a contribution to the enhancement of society. But what is this tool that is so powerful? I believe this tool is the power of knowledge that allows an individual to gain access and to exercise their right to an education. Education, as it is today, has come a long way from what it was nearly a half a century ago. A powerful ingredient in education today is technology. How, and what a student learns now, is very different from the knowledge that an individual should have acquired then. A major ingredient in this learning experience is the individual that shares this knowledge with the learner - the teacher.As a teacher, I see myself as fostering education. I am also a medium of instruction through which a student acquires an education. According to Smith and Ragan, in their book, Instructional Design“ It may seem a bit unusual ( if not quirky )to think of a person as a medium of instruction, but when you use people as instructional media, you call them teachers.” In addition to the teacher, there are other instructional media that enhances student-learning. Some of these include the Computer (PC and Laptop), the Print(Textbooks and other educational print material), Video(VCR and DVD), and Interactive Multimedia video and audio with interactivity). Educating students in today’s classroom without the use of these powerful technological tools today is like leading a blind individual to his/her destruction. But, sadly, this occurs in our classrooms even as I write and you read this article at this moment. Technology enhancement should be a major contributing factor to aid in the development of the students’ learning in the classroom. As a high school mathematics teacher in one of New York City’s Public High School, I endeavor to use technology in various forms in my classroom. In addition to the print media of the mathematics textbook, the most popular use of technology in my classroom is the mathematical computer called the graphing calculator. This is a mathematical technology tool that not only shows numbers, but displays graphs and tables as well as variables (letters of the English and Greek alphabets) and mathematical symbols on its wide screen. This is used on a daily basis depending on the lesson being taught. Some of my lessons lend themselves to the use of the computer by way of the internet. Lessons are modeled with mathematics websites as a teaching tool for direct instructions or for student assessment. When this is done, the personal computer in my classroom becomes active. At other times, the students use the internet as an interactive tool where answer and ask questions of the computer. Here, they use the laptops that are taken to the room. In addition to the usage of the computer, video lessons are also modeled. In timely fashions, I play DVD’s or VCR tapes with mathematics lessons. This medium sometimes displays assessment items for students to do. If there is no assessment on the video, I will use either the mathematics textbook exercise or prepared worksheets as my assessment tool. Now, with all that assistance to me as the teacher, why wouldn’t I engage in technological experience at my disposal? Technology is here to stay, irrespective of what critics may say (whoever those critics are). The only change that will affect the future of technology is the upgrading of its latest versions. So as teachers, and a technological medium, we should also be changing by upgrading ourselves constantly. I did that by engaging myself in pursuing a Master of Science in Instructional Technology. Why don’t you?