Thursday, October 17, 2013

Technology...apprehensions...hurdles...student observations...what can I do?

Technology is moving at lightening spread and the generation I am teaching knows more about it than I do.  I’m not afraid to admit that or to ask for help.  Just the other day, I was trying to find the photo album on our iPad that just went through the new upgrade.  I needed it NOW and I had some 4th grade student council members in my room so I asked them to show me how to find it.  It was simple and they helped me find it in seconds.  I’m sure they felt great “teaching” the teacher and I was relieved and happy to have learned something new!  I am on the technology committee and though I don’t feel I have the strongest knowledge base, I’m excited to use it and want to try incorporating it as much as I can.  However, I still hold strongly in developmentally appropriate practices and worry about the risk of too much screen time.  Our children are getting an overabundance of screen time with all the gadgets out there and worry about the risks and lack of development of certain skills.  I also worry about the correlation to attention disorders and a removal of the quality family and real life interaction that seems to get lost.  I guess those are my biggest apprehensions of technology.  Also, the lack of resources in using the tools in my room is another hurdle I have.  So I guess I need to make the most of the time I do have when the tools are available even if it means upsetting my daily schedule and interfering with my concrete sequential way of doing things.
As far as my observations of students and technology, I see kindergartners very excited and eager to be on computers, iPads and any other gadget.  They want to use it and are not afraid.  Mostly I see them wanting to play games and don’t realize they are in fact learning.

Our school district has adopted the SAMR model and each grade has set up goals to adjust and heighten the level of lessons using the SAMR model.  I think that is the most important thing we have done.  We are not saying “add more” to your curriculum.  We are saying what are you doing now and how can we use technology to enhance and heighten the level of learning.

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