Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011: Embracing technology in education

Old news: technology is a way of life for most kids today.  Club Penguin is as popular with 2nd graders as Facebook is with teens. Children's computer use has tripled in the last ten years.  Although obsession with technology may have its own variety of implications, it only makes sense that the educational system began to use technology for their greater good:

Canby school district is incorporating ipods & ipads in their elementary classrooms to help kids learn to read and do math.  My little brother learned to search for his favorite videos on youtube before he learned how to write, so I definitely see why this is catching on.  Not only are kids enjoying these devices - they are proving to actually increase test scores - and as we all know, the education system today is all about test scores.  New York Times agrees.

For a while, students were able to take advantage of technology for their benefit, as their technologically challenged teachers caught up with the times. Not any more.  Schools are now using technology to combat the very thing kids used to rely on to cheat. 

I'm taking a course this terms called Computer Apps in the Classroom...clearly I'm already excited about the topic since I write this post even before my first day of class...but it is almost certain that I will be engaging this topic further in the coming months. 

Do you feel it is important to consider the implications of technology in the classroom?  What excites you about increased technology in the classroom?  What worries you? 

1 comment:

Anna said...

Let me know what apps you recommend from your class. My kids got an ipad for Christmas, so I've been looking around to see which apps I might want to put in there to help with homeschooling. So far we are going with:

Amazon/Kindle app. (Free app, and there's a lot of free ebooks out there in the public domain.)

This Day in History. (Although I think I will get more out of this than my kids).

24/7 Spanish App.

Google Earth.

Mathboard. (I plan to pay for the full version soon).

I also plan to buy Table of the Elements, the best-looking of the periodic table apps.

Overall, I think of technology as a tool. Use it where it makes sense to do so, but like all tools, it will have its limitations, and it can be important to recognize those. (For instance, the downside of doing math problems on the ipad is that the kids don't get practice writing the numbers, so that that needs to be supplied elsewhere).

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