Monday, September 13, 2004

3 rules of thumb:

1) Teachers should be well educated in integrating technology before incorporating it into the classroom. (Nicole)
2)Technology does not take the responsibility away from the teacher, neither does it replace the teacher (mine).
3) To make technology work in the classroom, students need to give the program intelligence and not the other way around (Caroline).


"When learners use computers as partners, they off-load some of the unproductive memorizing tasks to the computer, allowing the learner to think more productively."

This is a quote from the article off Blackboard. As I read this, I admit gave the computer a funny look, as if the author could see me. I don't agree at all with her statement about "unproductive memorizing." Although memorizing often seems like busywork, it is very necessary in education. There is no way to get along without at least a few rudimentary memorization skils. The very ability to read comes from memorizing letters, combinations, and sounds. How much longer and more difficult will homework assignments take if students are not required to memorize? Students would be constantly looking up information that should be found in the cannon of knowledge of an educated person. I'm not sure if she meant this statement to be as strong as I have made it seem, but I maintain that memorizing should never be deemed "unproductive."

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

K12 Experiences with Technology

My senior year in high school, I took a psychology class. One assignment brought the school’s set of thirty laptop computers and their wireless internet connection to our classroom. I thought it would be really fun to use these computers in the classroom, but it turned out to be a really difficult experience. First of all, not once did all the computers work. At least one was not able to connect to the internet or not able to save the assignment for one reason or another. The second, and perhaps more detrimental problem, was the lack of specificity on the assignment and the failure to monitor carefully the student’s activity on the internet. I noticed a lot of wasted time and inappropriate activity in that technological classroom. This could have been averted by a teacher who was more confident in her abilities with the computers or had written a better assignment. The experience did not kindle a great desire in me to use computers in my own classroom.

In my Economics class my senior year, we had to complete a budget assignment. The teacher took us to the library’s computer lab one day to work on it. Before we went to the lab, we had to have a list of the information we needed to find because of the limited time frame we were given. In general, this time in the computer lab was focused and useful for the completion of our projects. Still, I was concerned about some of the students in the class. Some said they would rather complete the assignment at home and didn’t want to work on it at school. These students, like some in my psychology class, saw the computer lab time as play time rather than valuable work time. Those who played rather than worked on the computers made it difficult for others who wanted to work hard on their assignment. In this case, I think the teacher did what he could as far as specifying the assignment, but strict discipline must be maintained in the use of computers in the classroom.

Rules of Thumb

Rules of Thumb for using Technology in the Classroom:
1)Technology does not take the responsibility away from the teacher, neither does it replace the teacher.
2)Not all students will respond to technology or computers, so teachers should maintain a variety of assignments to appeal to a variety of learning types.

PS: It's a Pitaya. I know--it's an onomatopoeia for a spitting motion, but it's actually rather delicious.