Week One: Tech in the Classroom

Basically every year since I can remember there is always some new component of technology that comes out. Whether it’s a new device or an app, technology continues to grow and grow. It’s almost inevitable that it becomes integrated into schools and classrooms across the world. As a recent college graduate I could see it happening as a current student at the college level, but it’s really cool to see how it’s being used in elementary, middle, and high schools. I never had the opportunity to use an iPad or a smart board in a classroom when I was younger, so I think it’s really cool to see students having the chance to use these things that they enjoy using out of school in the classroom to learn.

In the video the teacher had the classroom set up in a sort of U-shape or circle, with his desk towards the middle and then two “special” desks set up in front of him. This set up is different to the typical classroom set up of just desks lined up in rows. The circle was composed of tables, where two students sat and shared an iPad amongst themselves. There was one iPad provided per table. I really enjoy this set-up and would definitely utilize it in my classroom because it really opens the classroom up and allows the students to easily communicate and work with their fellow students and partners. I also like it because it allows the teacher to easily see and communicate with his students.

The students really seemed to enjoy using the technology as well. It seemed like they were very comfortable with it as well. Most of the students said they enjoyed it because it was easier and very fast to get things done. They also seemed to enjoy using the different games such as word games and being able to use the internet to help them. The teacher stated that one of the best things about using technology is that if a student hands in an assignment electronically, he is able to edit it during the class, send it back to the student, and then have the student correct it and resend it in all in the classroom. He also says that he is a firm believer that things such as word games are great ways for students to learn.

Truth be told the only real technology I ever got to use in school was the simple desktop computers in my school’s computer lab! I never had the opportunity when I was in elementary school to use the technology that is used in classrooms today. I have two younger cousins and as far as I knew the most that classrooms really had were computers, laptops and smart boards. I think it’s awesome that students basically are provided with their iPad in the classroom and are able to do basically all of their work on there.

I think I would be very comfortable using this kind of technology in a classroom simply due to the fact that I’m surrounded by it constantly. I have my own laptop and am very used to using the Internet and other technology to find information. I am very familiar with how to use most technology and I think the only thing I don’t really know much about and would have to become more comfortable with is the actual apps that are used for educational learning purposes and can be used in a classroom.

I think being a 21st century connected educator means being truly familiar and comfortable with all the technology that is available today. I think honestly that if teachers and schools don’t become familiar with all the new technology that can used in a classroom it will put their students farther behind. I think it’s important for teachers to use technology because students in today’s society are no doubt going to have to use it at sometime. I also think if it will make learning easier and more interesting for students, it is important for teachers to be familiar with technology. One of my favorite ideas is actually the use of blogs for students to prove their learning. I think blogs have become so big in today’s society and a great way for people to communicate and share ideas, that it’s great for student’s to learn about it. I also think the Internet in itself is such a huge tool for students, not only in finding information and news, but in communicating and connecting with one another.

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