Thursday, April 25, 2013

Should we have Technology in the Classroom?

I decided to take a different approach with this blog. I questioned, has there ever been any research completed where it shows that students are improving with the use of technology in the classroom? I wondered this because all people learn differently. I realize that this is the 21st century students and that technology will be all they know, but sometimes I think a good 'ol fashion lecture and hands on learning is a good way to engage students as well. It's all about a well-balanced classroom.
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An article written in the NY Times goes to say that schools are spending billions of dollars on technology, but yet there are tons of budget cuts and teacher layoffs and showing little proof that having technology in the classroom is improving basic learning.

Some teachers argue, that although having the technology in some instances is helpful. However, having pen and paper is more personal. "There is a connection between the physical hand on the paper and the words on the page, it's intimate". "But, computers play an important role in helping the students get their ideas down more easily, edit their work so they can see instant improvement, and share it with the class". Other teachers argue that this is the only way to make this generation learn. "They're inundated in 24/7 media, so they expect it".

So, at this point in time there is unfortunately little data that provides proof that integrating technology within the classroom is clearly benefiting students. However, it is almost a must with some things. I feel that it should be up to the teacher individually. There are some things that really just cannot even be completed without the use of technology. It's just important to understand your students and figure out the best way they learn. I also feel that the older the students are, the easier it is to incorporate the use of technology.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ways to use technology within your classroom

It is important to realize that students of the 21st century grow up using technology in the home. They are going to be more excited using technology within the class to learn a lesson rather than listening to their teacher talk, or reading within the class.

Here are some ways that a teacher could incorporate the use of technology within your class. Not all need to be hands on with the students!!

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Using/creating a WebQuest

    *A WebQuest is created typically by the teacher, or something already created through a program. It will allow the teacher to eliminate the need to explain the project to the students. It is up to the students to read and follow the directions that are provided to complete the WebQuest. For example, students are to research the seasons within their state (within the WebQuest), so that they are able to then create a video with all the knowledge they learned to share with other students who are not entirely familiar with them.


Class Web Page

    *I think this would be something to create at the beginning of the school year. It is an easy way to keep family in touch with what we are progressing on within class. You could have students blog once a month. Some things could be left private from the public if need be. A great communication tool with the parents. Scholastic offers a free web page builder that is easy to use!


Online Grading System

    *Another great way to communicate electronically with parents. Most adults are now finding it easier to communicate through email. This would be a way they could continuously monitor their child's progress and current grade. Obviously, you will still hold conferences, but sometimes it is nice to keep in touch with parents so that they know where their child stands at the time. Thinkwave offers a free 30 day trial online grade book, that is easy to use.


Powerpoint

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    *Power point can be used with many things. Anywhere from creating a game show review to review for tests and making it fun, to using them to introduce new information. They are much more interactive than it would be to just talking the lesson out in class.



These are just a few simple ideas that could easily be incorporated within any classroom and designed at any age level and still all be used. It is important to adapt to the students of the future, technology is the easiest way to do so!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Incorporating the use of technology with Autistic students

I am also minoring in psychology. I find it so awesome that schools have been experimenting with the idea of incorporating the use to iPad's with Autistic students. Every video I have seen, watching the students, they're always so intrigued and wanting to complete the applications that they are using. I have done a lot of researching on Autism and I feel incorporating technology is a wonderful idea for students because the interaction that they are able to manipulate it and the consistency of the application not stopping helps the student remain focus. Their attention is distracted easily and this is a great way to keep them focused.

This is the first video I had seen:




This was an interview follow up to that video:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How Does Technology Affect The Classroom?

With the use of technology in the classroom, students and teachers roles are changed from how they would be without the use of the newer technology. With students being able to be more hands on with activities by using the technology, they are able to fall into a more active role, rather than passive.

Students on iPad's
Students are able to gain more confidence with using technology because they're able to use it as a source of locating information that they're seeking on their own. This also allows students to reinforce what they're learning and be able to retain the information better because they are learning it at their own pace and being able to relate it to their daily life at the moment of reading it, or completing tasks on the technology itself. Students are also able to build great relationships with their peers because they are always working together on projects and assignments or learning side by side in the classroom.

Teachers on the other hand are able to disburse their time more efficiently as well. With the students able to work more on their own or with other students while using the technology, teachers are able to walk about the room to help and monitor.

Computers and technology are so common now days that even in the early elementary level it is vital to have technology available. These are students of the 21st century and it important to let them have the hands on experience so that they are able to manipulate and experience it on their own to relate it and reinforce what they're learning better. Also, by allowing students to incorporate technology within the classroom it also allows students to become more familiarized with the technology and more confident with completing tasks on it as well. This will also prepare them for the 21st century with jobs and future schooling.