Monday, November 2, 2009

Elementary: Drawing

While observing at Hoose Elementary, I was walking in the hallway when I noticed that one entire wall was covered with computer "paint" drawings of a butterfly. I stared at them for a long time, as I was waiting for my co-op teacher, and thought that they seemed unimaginative and that they all looked the same! I would have loved to see crayon, or marker, or colored pencil drawings of a butterfly. These butterflies all looked identical, and it seemed kind of robotic to me.

After reading Chapter 6, I found that my mind was a little changed in regards to using computer paint programs in the classroom. I definitely agree that they are an excellent tool in teaching younger children that the computer is not just a toy, it is useful! I also agree that drawing projects can help the student practice manipulating a mouse; improving his or her motor skills. Our society is turning "totally technological" and I think it's great that programs, such as the ones discussed in the chapter, are helping to prepare students for the future. Yet I still just can't help but to think that art projects that aren't computer generated have a certain charm to them that can't really be replaced. Even after reading the chapter it's still hard for me to think that diagrams/pictures/drawings are better when they're computer generated.

As a teacher I will definitely be using the programs mentioned in this chapter ---- I just will not use them all the time. When my siblings show me their art projects from school, they are all "comptuer-ized". They have barely gotten to experience making a home made project. I understand that creating something on the computer is its own type of art, I just think that in elementary schools today, it can become overused - I've watched it with my brothers and sisters.

Math 18 - Role of Technology

According to chapter 18 of Technology-Supported Mathematics Learning Environments, there are five ways in which technology is being implemented in the modern mathematics classroom. First, technology is used as a management tool to help teacher and student organization and efficiency and to "facilitate their classroom activities" (p. 278). Second, it is given the role of a communication tool in order to help teachers connect with students, parents, colleagues, and other schools. Third, technology is used as an evaluation tool which provides teachers with feedback as to students' progress in the classroom. Fourth, it becomes a motivational tool which encourages and engages students in their exploration of mathematics. And fifth, and supposedly most importantly, technology is used a a cognitive tool which works to represent difficult, abstract concepts in new ways which are easier for students to understand.

I think that all of these reasons are excellent and support the idea that technology is a necessary component of any mathematics classroom. As long as technology is not abused or solely relied upon, but rather implemented as one or all of these tools, it can only benefit the students and teachers who use it. I agree with the statement on page 289, "Equally essential is that we use technology thoughtfully... so that we are not merely implementing technology for the sake of technology itself."