Technology and Education

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Me, Technology, and the Classroom January 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kris @ 12:09 am

In my 21 years of life I have experienced many wonderful things.  I grew up on a farm around a herd of sheep in my early childhood  years and in my teen years, horses.  I attended Lumsden Elementary and Highschool and am proud to say that I had some of the best teachers out there which to some extent has helped to guide me into the teaching profession.  Growing up, I really enjoyed piano and did not have to go very far to get lessons as my mom is a piano teacher.  I made the transition from playing only arranged pop music and despising classical music, playing it at least, to playing classical and making up my own songs.  I never penned any of the songs, I simply like to sit down at the piano and play whatever comes to mind.  Somewhere in these years I took up wakeboarding and made the switch from skiing to snowboarding.  During university I developed an interest in knitting and crocheting.  Currently, I work part-time at a small seniors personal care home and have learned a great deal from many interesting people.

My experience with technology has been quite varied and by no means do I consider myself an expert.  My earliest memory of computers goes back to about 14 years ago.  My parents had, and still have, this IBM Tandy computer (it still works).  It had a word processor with a blue background and yellow font.  We had a few different games on there that we were able to play, most of which significantly contributed to basic school facts that needed to be learned.  I still enjoy playing those games.  Ten years ago my parents upgraded and bought a new computer.  We were way behind in the technology game at this point and having the computer meant I could do computer related homework tasks at home instead of trying to finish them at school.  Then finally about three and a half years ago I bought my first laptop for university.  I sometimes wonder as young people that we are already born with technological capabilities.  I had never set up a computer before, but when I brought my laptop home I did so without any complications.  Since then, most of my experience has come from a motto of “Don’t be afraid to click on things.  If worst comes to worst you can hit the restart button on your computer and everything will be good to go again.”  Of all the computer classes I took in school, I don’t know that any of them really helped me to learn a program as well as through discovering things yourself, except for typing skills.

I think using technology in the classroom is a benefit to students.  During my internship I did not have a lot of experience using technology in the class because it was not available for use.  But, if you want to solidify information in students’ heads a youtube video clip goes a long way.  They can talk about it for ages,  sometimes it is the only thing they remember about the lesson.  However, I think that there needs to be a balance.  As you have probably experienced, too much of anything and the appeal or attraction to it quickly dissipates.  I feel that if we use technology too much in the classroom it will become like another duotang, another handout, or overhead they need to copy down.  Yet, there are countless benefits of using technology and since we are in that technology age where the student knows more than the professor about computers, cheat codes, and programming that it can prove to be a valuable learning tool as long as it is kept exciting and challenging for the students to utilize.  I have seen teachers set up a blog site for their students and use it as a home, school, and community tool, where parents are able to read their child’s blogs and write comments, where community leaders are able to understand what is important to a child.

As an education student taking a computer course in using computers in the classroom I expect to gain a wide knowledge base of tools out there for teachers and students to use.  It is sometimes challenging to find student friendly websites and it seems that the younger the age you need it for the more difficult it can be.  I hope to be able to learn how to develop a website that my students would be able to interact with, where they can post the work that they have done for the community to be able to see.  As for my technological literacy level, I know how to get around the internet, upload, download, know some terminology, fix minor computer problems and such.  When it comes to digital editing, pictures are one thing, but video clips… well, I am not there yet.  I don’t really see the point of twitter and some of those other things, but am no stranger text messaging my friends.  Internet on the cell phone, Blackberries… huh? I like to keep most things simple and basic.

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