Be all that you can be. Find your future--as a teacher.

Musings of a second-year teacher.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Reflections on Technology

All the educational resources available via Web 2.0 are almost overwhelming. Prof Nussbaum-Beach has introduced my class to so many resources. We've tried out TappedIn, blogger, Flickr, wikis...tons of things that I'd never heard of before. I'm excited about all the new possibilities but I'm scared that 1. I'll forget about these resources 2. That they won't work out realistically when I get my own classroom.

It's reassuring to see examples of classrooms that have been able to incorporate technology effectively (for collaboration and communication!). One example is of Anne Davis's class of fifth graders. I explored their blogs recently and it was quite interesting to see what they had to say. Most of the students only had about 3 entries so far. The first entry was just a short introduction of themselves, the second was a poem, and the third seemed to be a response to an article of their choosing. While these entries didn't seem to have any information overwhelmingly special, I was able to see the importance of using blogs with these students. Benefits I noted:
1. Prepares them for the real world
There's no denying the fact that computers rule society. If we don't teach these students the technology while they're in school, they are in BIG trouble when they try to enter the workforce. Blogging gives students a meaningful task to practice computer-skills. Not to mention, it's great typing practice. I guess typing skills probably come more naturally for students these days, but wish I had been able to have that kind of typing practice instead of forced typing games.
2. Excites them
I'm not going to lie- I usually check my blog just to see if I got comments. Usually, they're just from Prof Nussbaum-Beach, but none the less, I'm thrilled to know someone is reading my writing. If nothing else, I'm encouraged to write more, just to get more comments. What better motivation could you give emerging writers?
3. Gives them a different mode for publishing
If students are taught like the students in my practicum school, then they've been writing and writing and writing and writing....forever. Handwriting gets old. This is an exciting new way to publish their writing. Not to mention a great way to share it with audiences that otherwise would never have the opportunity to read it.
4. Encourages them to work on their own
If students have access to computers at home, they can add to their blog whenever they feel like it. I know when I was a kid, I wrote tons of short stories. If I had been able to post them to a blog that would have been amazing! It would also help to give the teacher an idea of how much (or how little) students enjoy writing and creating stories, and how they are progressing.

Logistically, I'm curious how blogging works in the classroom. Would this be a daily task? Weekly? Monthly? I know that my students have computer lab once every 6 days, but the computer teacher usually has a lesson assigned. There are 2 sets of laptops available, but this would seem to be a hassle if blogging were a frequent activity. My classroom has about five computers..maybe it could be set up as an "in class" centers activity.

Just some thoughts. I'm glad that I'll continually have the blogging world and the entire internet to use as resources once I get out into the teaching world. It's amazing how much easier and quicker the internet has made life!

2 Comments:

Blogger Lani said...

Hi there,

How exciting to hear of your hopes and plans for learning experiences infused with technology for your grade one classroom!! Your students will be so fortunate to have you as their teacher.

My 35 years as a classroom teacher were in middle and high school so I can't speak from experience-- You might find that Kathy Cassidy and her grade one classroom are just the example/model you seek. She blogs at Blogmeister, a blogging tool created just for educators by David Warlick. She just presented at the K12 Online Conference here where you'll find her blog address and her presentation.

I wonder if you might find aspects of Kathy's practice of value as you travel your path to becoming an accomplished teacher?

Best,
Lani

5:46 PM  
Blogger Anne Davis said...

Hi!

Nancy McKeand once asked edubloggers why they blogged with their students. See their answers on this link:
http://namckeand.blogspot.com/2006/03/and-yet-another-favor-to-ask.html

I thought they were great and I bet we could get many more thoughtful answers if we asked that same question again.

As far as how blogging could work in your classroom, you came up with many good solutions. Having five computers in your classroom is wonderful! The possibilities are really open for you!

Your blog is a great read! Keep up the good blogging!

10:46 AM  

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