Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ch. 18 - Roles of Technology

In this chapter, I learned about the many roles that technology can play in order to enhance the learning potential in the classroom. Creating real-life problems and allowing your students to see how different variable manipulate or change that data helps them see how math is truly used in the real world. I know I found it extremely helpful when my teachers would show graphs and tables to explain how certain equations work, however, only a few of my teachers in high school would actually show how changing variables in the equations would change the graph and/or table. I appreciated learning from graphs and tables, but when I was able to see how they could change was when I learned the most.

Since technology is becoming more prevalent in today's society, it is important to expose your students to new forms of technology so they can become comfortable with it. If your students leave without a proper knowledge of technology as well as mathematics (or whatever the subject may be), then they will have more difficulty down the road when all of their peers have been exposed to a certain technology and they have never even heard of it. In order to avoid that situation, it is important to incorporate technology that can be helpful for them in the real world. By showing the class simple manipulations in data using graphs and tables and letting the students explore the data as well, then they can learn both mathematics and technology. Using technology is such a great way for students to visualize the information and really get their hands dirty in the content.

Chapter 6, Drawing Elementary Education

This chapter focuses on the importance of simple computer drawing programs that could be used in elementary classrooms. Drawing supports non-linguistic representation which allows students to create their own visuals to show vocabulary and curricular concepts that they have learned. When implementing drawing programs into the classroom, big fancy softwares are unnecessary. Simple computer drawing programs that often already exist on the computer can be suitable. It's important not to overwhelm young students with too many options because that could disrupt their imaginative ideas.
There are numerous reasons for why teachers should use drawing programs in their elementary classroooms. A few that the book discuss are that computers are an integral tool of the classroom and students need to learn how to manipulate a mouse and keyboard, the computer can motivate some students, and they can help disabled students (non-literate students) to demonstrate their knowledge. This chapter provided great reasons why these programs are useful and examples of computer drawing projects that would be beneficial to use in the classroom, however my concern would be when there would be time to do these things.
While working in elementary classrooms it has become more apparent that time goes by quickly. Teachers barely have enough time during the day to cover core subject areas such as science and social studies. Also, not every classroom in every school has enough computers for every student, so again it could be difficult to use drawing computer programs. I think that using these programs in elementary classrooms could be beneficial and enhance some learning, but finding the time, space, and materials to make it all work may be difficult.