Thursday, December 3, 2009

Managing the Classroom with One Computer

This chapter talked about different ideas to effectively incorporate computer use in an elementary classroom, when only one or two computers are available in that classroom. In the second grade classroom I help out in, only one computer is available in the classroom and that is meant to be the teacher's computer. The rest of the computers are located in the IMC. They even have a special time every week that they visit the IMC to do projects and learn how to type. I was never at the school when they went to IMC, but I also never saw the teacher incorporate much technology in her lessons when I was around. The strategies in this chapter are very important and useful to know so that every child can be associated with technology and how computers work.

It was also said in the chapter that these options for managing the classroom with one computer should match your teaching style. One that I really liked was called reward time. This is for students who complete their work early. This will motivate less productive students to finish their work on time to get the reward of having computer time. I also thought that a rotating schedule works well too. Students are allowed a half hour on the computer to do educational activities, then they are responsible for handing the computer off to the next student on the list. This way, everyone gets equal time on the computer and the teacher doesn't have to intervene. The only problem I saw with this is that it may disrupt other lessons that are going on at the time. It is important for students to have quality experiences with technology, even if not much is available. These ideas on managing the classroom with one or two computers really were interesting and useful.

Managing the Classroom with One Computer

This section was interesting to read about because in my current field placement, there are only 2 computers available in the classroom and 1 is meant to be the teacher's computer. This reading gave many different examples of how to adapt to having only 1 computer in the classroom. A few that I found to be most useful and beneficial in an elementary classroom were using the computer as an activity center for one or more students at a time, reward time on the computers, and work completion time. I've seen my cooperating teaching use her computers as an activity center during their reading stations where they can listen and view books online.
Using a computer as reward time is another good idea because not every student has internet or even computer access at home. Allowing students to do fun educational activities as a reward can motivate students to complete their work efficiently and on time.
Using the computers for students to complete work that they haven't finished can also be a good use of limited computer access. If there is work that students can do on the computer, it may be more efficient to have various students finish their assignment using the computer.
I think that it is unfortunate that not every classroom has more than one computer or a computer at all, but as this reading states, it is important that teachers make the best use of the equipment they have and continue to implement technology into their lessons.

Reality of Using Technology in the Classroom

Basically, the chapter was set up with excuses for not using technology in the classroom or for why it would be difficult to use technology. Each excuse is given solutions. The excuse that stuck out to me was "I already have lesson plans that address the standards that I'm required to teach. Why should I start using technology?" I think that this is one of the biggest reasons why many do not use technology in the classroom and it's no excuse!
The book says that if your teaching strategies seem to be working, "it is probably better to leave well enough alone." I disagree. I think that there is always room to improve, especially now that there are so many ways to include technology in a lesson.
I feel like students now-a-days are so accustomed to using technology, through video or computer games, that incorporating it into a lesson will be beneficial.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reality of Technology

This chapter discusses the reality of teachers using technology resources in the classroom. There is a wide variety of tools a math teacher can use to express a new idea, help students visualize a new idea, or manipulate something and see the outcome. Throughout this chapter, the author discusses different obstacles a teacher may face when trying to incorporate technology in the classroom. A limited number of computers, an outdated system, and problems with the internet are all common problems a teacher may face. The author gives plenty of ways to overcome these challenges. Over the course of this semester, I have not only learned the importance of incorporating technology in the classroom, but how beneficial it can be to incorporate different types of technology. Doing so can help many different types of learners. Year to year, the teacher should reflect on which methods worked, which did not, and what changes need to be made in order to offer the best learning experience possible to each student in the classroom.