Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chapter 6 Drawing

This was by far the best chapter I have read so far. This chapter highlighted many different activities that children could do besides just picking up a marker and drawing on paper. Technology offers so many more options! One thing I really liked about this chapter was the fact that they didn't push the highly advanced forms of technology. The chapter even mentioned that students shouldn't always use the most advanced technology because they might lose their sense of creativity. One of the most important factors when it comes to technology is creativity. The way in which the teacher presents has to be creative, but at the same time the teacher needs to make sure that the technology does not take away from the student's creativity.

There were some very interesting ideas in this chapter. I really liked the idea of children being able to draw concepts. Drawing concepts really taps into a child's creative side, and it makes it easier for some students to learn. Every student has a different learning style, and drawing and the use of technology help many students who cannot learn from simply listening to the teacher.

One example of a project stuck out to me in particular. The idea of Glyph is to give every student a basic item, such as a snowman, and the student has certain instructions to add certain things. The catch is that every instruction would have a different answer for a different child. For example, the child has to make the snowman's shirt the same color as his/her eyes. Or the student has to add buttons for every member of the family. With this idea, students will be doing the same project, but it will all be very personalized.

Chapter 18, Math

Jen talked about how using technology helps students remember topics in the classroom, which I think is the reason why technology can be considered a motivational tool. I am going to focus on the other roles technology plays in a mathematics classroom: as a management tool, a communication tool, an evaluation tool and a cognitive tool.
Technology can be used as a management tool because it helps teachers and students work together. Some examples of using technology as a management tool include internet home pages including activities, review, and lesson plans. Other resources include grade-book programs, spreadsheets, and databases intended to help teachers organize and prepare daily activities.
Next, technology can be used as a communication tool because it allows teachers to share ideas with one another. In the last chapter we learned that there are podcasts set up in which teachers can share lesson plans with each other. This is one way technology can be a communication tool. Also, teachers can communicate with parents and students at home through web pages (like the wikis we are creating).
Technology can also be used as an evaluation tool because teachers can use video observations or grading software to give their students feedback on assignments. Personally, I don't know if I would make video observations for each of my students, but you never know.
Lastly, technology can be used as a cognitive tool. Technology, if used correctly, can provide ways for students to understand mathematical concepts more clearly. Technology usually lends itself to hands-on-activities, which is a great way for students to fully understand "mathematical algorithms, procedures, concepts, and problem-solving situations" (280).
Who would have thought that technology could play so many roles in a mathematics classroom? As a management, communication, evaluation, motivation, and cognitive tool, it is clear that technology is a must have in the classroom.