Hi there world!
For me, technology has always been in school with me, since around grade five. Then, our school purchased enough computers for everyone to have 4 in their classroom. This was a big help allowing students easy access to computers to work on projects, etc. In grade six, as a part of the ELP (Extended Learning Program), students were put in groups to design a webpage for each teacher. They sent us to Miller for a day long seminar on how to build a web site and we in turn went back to our teacher and built a class webpage. In grade eight, the principal purchased DDR for grades 6 – 8 classrooms to use during indoor recess, lunch hours, and as a part of the gym classes. This was exciting and got kids up and moving instead of sitting around. Also, this acted as an incentive for good behaviour for the entire class.
In highschool, we regularly made trips to the computer lab to build presentations or do research. In grade twelve, my entire computer science course was done with a smart board (http://smarttech.com/), which was very helpful in demonstrating how the code was going to work and what needed to happen for a successful program to execute. Also, in my AP Calculus course in second semester my teacher was granted the use of a big screen tv mounted in the corner of his room to which his graphing calculator was connected. This was extremely helpful because we could see what he was telling us to do or he could spew out a graph at the drop of the hat to reitterate a point.
In a K-12 classsroom, having technology could be very beneficial. Being able to contact other classrooms in different areas of the world or even across the country could enrich the learning experience greatly, especially in elementary school. Giving students the oppurtunity to explore the world through all the websites and programs available is very important. The computer has so many options for teaching one topic that all learners can learn how they learn best, where as a single teacher cannot reasonably teach seven or eight different ways for every topic to accomodate every students learning style. The twenty first century is so technology based, it would be almost cruel not to give students the chance to take advantage of such a wonderful advancement.
However, technology should not be abused. There is no reason for a seven year old to have a blackberry to do their math with. Lots of skills still need to be learned. There is a point where using a spellchecker becomes “abusive” to a degree. Certain skills need to be developed before technology truly can be enriching. As much as a calculator or cell phone can do, we don’t want to spoil students’ ability to function by giving them so much technology that they do not have to think for themselves – for example, when they grow up, they shouldn’t require a calculator to go grocery shopping and figure which can of soup costs more or how much half a kilogram of fruit will cost.
My reason for taking ECMP 355 is to be able to aid students by offering them the best possible education. Technology has the power to do so much, and I want to know how I can use it to benefit my classroom. I hope to learn great techniques for implementing computers into my teaching. I hope that my instructor can fulfill my needs and explain everything simply so that I can pass it on (so far so good!). I would like to learn about and how to use new technology.