I guess I am still trying to grasp all of it and how to use all of it in the classroom. It is hard to envision all of these changes, my brain wants to remember the classroom of the past that I learned in 20 years ago. I accept the challenge to learn the technology and to continue learning as time goes on. I think that the role of the teacher will always be there, the function may change. The teacher in the future may be more of a moderator that helps the students on individual learning paths. I think the classroom will always exist but maybe not the way it did 20 years ago. We have to embrace the technology and change with our students so that we can keep them engaged and teach them skills not just facts.
I think the idea that was presented in the video of teaching the students to develop a learning network is important as well as the idea of not being afraid to ask. With the technology that is available, the students can be exposed to so much more than I ever was as a student. All I had was an encyclopedia which doesn't even come close to the information that is available on the internet. But, I think the students need to be guided and taught how to use the internet effectively. They need to know it can be used for learning and for meaningful conversation not just for entertainment. All in all, I think teachers and students need to have a learning network available to them, it needs to include the internet and technology as well as human interaction and discussion.
A 7th Grader's PLE
I was totally impressed by the video of this 7th grader. It can be found by clicking on the following link. Welcome to My PLE.
This video really amazed me! These students are really learning skills that they can use for a life time. She didn't just learn about the gecko or the jellyfish, she learned where to get information about it, how to organize that information and how to communicate and share the information! What a lesson! My PLN is a bunch of websites written on sticky notes, the back of envelopes and scraps of paper. How much more efficient would it be for me to have this information organized on a personal page? I think I need to go back to elementary school to learn these skills! As I have been progressing in this class, I have tried to not be overwhelmed and have tried to be open to change but after seeing her PLE and thinking about mine, I realize I am still holding onto the old way of doing things with pen and paper! I will make more of an effort to utilize what I am learning and to incorporate it to make my learning process easier and more efficient!
To use a Smartboard?
Positive Uses of the SmartBoard
After reading the first two articles, I wondered if there was a positive side to using the smart board. These two educators seemed to think the only benefit to the smart board was to make it appear that the school was using technology. They argued that all the smart board did was allow the teacher to have a neat new gadget that enabled her to continue to teach in the "old way" of stand and lecture. It also seemed to argue that the expense was outrageous and the same outcome could be accomplished with the old methods, the tried and true, projectors and computer stations with keyboards.
My assumption after looking over some of the comments to these two articles and the link that I have attached, is that maybe these teachers didn't have significant training on how to use the smart board. It appears that teachers, have very distinct feelings about the smart board, you either love it or hate it. There seems to be a significant argument for both. It appears that it is more successful if the teacher is creative and has enough training to be able to use it effectively. It seems to be successful when it is used interactively and keeps the students involved in the process. They seem to be very successful in math classes and in teaching special needs students, ie the deaf and hard of hearing. If the students don't participate in the lesson, how is the technology beneficial? The use of technology is to involve and engage the students. I think the smart board is just a tool as is all technology. It is not the answer in every situation. If the money is going to be spent to obtain them, take the extra time to train the teachers to use them effectively. If the training isn't going to take place, use the money on something else!