I love Smartboards.

February 24, 2009 at 7:26 pm (Technology in the classroom) (, )

Last Thursday, I was asked to substitute teach in a second grade classroom.  I knew the teacher and children pretty well and felt that this would an easy day. After seeing the plan left by the actual teacher, I quickly realized that this would be a REALLY easy day for me. Why you may ask? Because this specific teacher is a techno-freak and integrates technology whenever and as often as she can, thus this made my job as the fill-in teacher easy-peasy.  Almost every activity throughout the day was accompanied by some sort of technology. And because the students were so accustomed to  this type of learning, it wasn’t difficult to run the activities. For the first hour of the day, I was to set up centers, including activities on the Smartboard, a listening station, and computers. As I supervised the activities, I watched students work on the Smartboard together with total ease and comfort, use the listening station without any problems, needless, play happily on the computers. Several arguments that surround technology are based on the fact that the set up, planning and management when using technology doesn’t make it worth it. However, in this classroom, the students are so accustomed to the routine that it was probably easier than setting up a paper activity. They knew the centers and how to use them, and when the Smartboard was causing some technological difficulties, also gave me some friendly and effective advice on how to fix it. These students were in SECOND grade and were so on track with technology, they would probably put most students in our faculty to shame…but not me of course 😉 I guess my point is, that if you implement technology in the right way, it can be extremely successful for both the students and the teacher.

 In our readings this week, they discuss exactly that. In chapter 5, the author suggests different approaches some administrations should take when introducing technology in schools and in classrooms.  One approach that is discussed in great detail is the ecological approach to technology. In this approach, media ecology is explained as how media and technology affects our environment, and which technologies have greater impacts and why. I find this particularly interesting because this idea plays with the theory that certain technologies have bigger impacts on us, such as social networking.

If we decided to integrate social networking in education, it is imperative that teachers and the administration are aware of the effects of this media on the children’s environment.

Because as per the readings, certain media can have negative effects on the users. In addition, the readings also discuss the importance of professional development in education. Referring to my experience subbing in that grade 2 class, this was an example of a teacher that decided to develop herself professionally to improve the teaching and learning in her classroom. By taking workshops and doing work at home, this teacher improved her computer skills and established a classroom where technology plays a vital role in the curriculum. 

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