Monday, September 1, 2008

After one week...

After just two class periods, I can already see how big of an impact this course is going to have on me as both a student and a future teacher.  I am already learning more about things I was familiar with but didn't have much practice using, such as the editing tools on Word.  Features such as these will be very helpful in the future, if the situation is right to use them.

The readings for this week were also very interesting.  I was surprised, for instance, at how much technology and computer use is coming into the elementary classroom (compared to my experience as a student).  While I'm sure it varies from school to school, technology is being introduced to kids when they are younger and younger.  I suppose this is a good thing in today's society that is so centered around being technologically literate; however, reliance on technology at a young age does make me somewhat nervous.  I think it's important that children still learn how to communicate successfully without technology.  If kids rely too heavily on communication through computers, for example, they may not develop the necessary oral communication skills that are so vital.  The text mentioned spell check and how that feature is good for students who get "bogged down looking for errors" and "lose focus of their main goal" (Hamilton 89).  I agree that some students can lose their focus when worrying about mechanical issues; however, those issues are an important aspect of learning language as well.

I'm not saying that exposure to technology is bad.  On the contrary, I think it provides many opportunities for learning.  I just think as future teachers, we cannot lose sight of the fact that everyone has a different learning style.  Some students may not benefit as much as others from doing things on a computer screen.  I know that personally, most of the time I still have to write things in front of me with a pen/pencil before I turn to my computer.  We just have to remember that providing variety and options in the classroom is key. 

4 comments:

Kimberly said...

You made a very good point with the spell check comment. It makes me angry when I correct someone's paper in a class and he says a comment about how he doesn't need to worry about grammar because the computer with check it for him. Even with the perks of spell check these days, it is still important for people to be aware of their grammar usage. I also agree with keeping variety in the classroom. This is definitely important for the future because not everyone is technology savvy, and this can frustrate a lot of kids.

Cara said...

So far I have learned a lot about technology from this course, and I'm looking forward to continuing to learn more. I know how important it is to be able to bring technology into the classroom, and after this course I know I will be prepared to do incorporate technology into my future classroom.
The readings for this week were very interesting because I learned about many new tools word processing offers. The readings also included great ideas for incorporating technology into the classroom and practical uses for it. I agree with Emily that a big advantage of having students type their work on word processing is the instant feedback that spell check provides. This enables students to focus on what they are writing and worry less about spelling errors. Using word processing also makes editing easier because it is easy to reorganize sentences and students can even use the built-in thesaurus. I also thought it was important to realize that word processing removes handwriting bias. As much as teachers may like to think they grade without bias, it is easy to grade based on the neatness and appearance of a paper, rather then the content. Word processing removes this problem.
From the Hamilton reading and the class activity, I learned how effective creating a word processing story is. A story embellished with hyperlinks, clipart, and other word processing tools creates a very educational experience for students. Students are more engaged and have numerous tools to learn from. However, it is important to remember that within the classroom students have many different learning styles. While creating stories using word processing may engage some students, it may hinder other students’ creativity and learning. It is always important to offer various teaching methods that appeal to different learning styles.
As we continue through this course, I hope to learn more methods for incorporating technology into the classroom. I think the methods presented in the articles for using word processing will be very effective and I look forward to learning even more ways to incorporate technology. I also am looking forward to learning how to use smart board, because I believe this is a very beneficial resource to use in the classroom.

Cara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth said...

I have also learned a lot about technology in this course so far. I had no idea that so much could be done with word processing, and there are many things that we have done that I didn't know existed!
But at the same time, I also feel a little lost in this class. I am not exactly sure why I am not listed as a "contributer" to this blog, and why I can't post something other than a comment on someone else's post...but I guess that's why I need this class!
I thought the most interesting reading in this class so far was the one about all the different things teachers can do with technology. It had some very good ideas, and it made me realize how important technology actually is in the education field.