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c6g c6g is offline
 
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c6g
 
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Ode to technology
Old 03-03-2019, 06:53 AM
 
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Here's an observation about computers and iPads in classrooms.

About a month ago I subbed in a 4th grade classroom, and the class had a one-page writing assignment that wasn't hard. There were plenty of Chromebooks, and students were permitted to use them if they wished. Some got the assignment done quickly, but others did a lot of fooling around. When it was time to end 45 minutes later, many still hadn't finished. There was then a mad rush to retrieve pages from the printer. We needed to move on to a science lesson (without computers), but a large number of them didn't want their computer time to end, continually telling me, "Just a minute." Putting away Chromebooks turned into a major ordeal, and they lost about 15 minutes of science time.

Last Tuesday, I was back at that school in a third grade classroom. The assignment was similar, but the teacher wanted them to do it with pencil and paper. This time, everything went smoothly. They got the assignment done in about half the time it took the 4th grade class.

When I was a young teacher in the 1980s, there were a few Apple IIe computers in every classroom, but most kids didn't use them all that often. In the 1990s school computer labs began to appear, but students were generally there for at most a few hours a week. In the last ten years, as costs have come down, sets of classroom laptops and iPads have became common. When smartphones are added to the mix, modern classrooms begin to look very different from those of only a few years ago. When students use this technology responsibly, as some do, it's a positive thing. When they don't, which we all know happens too frequently, classroom management becomes a nightmare.



Last edited by c6g; 03-03-2019 at 07:08 AM..
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SubMan SubMan is offline
 
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:01 PM
 
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Too often technology is used for the sake of technology and not because it enhances the educational experience.

While I earned my MSEd I worked in an elementary school supervising the computer lab. I saw the same kind of lessons over and over again. Do something on the computer, play a game or "surf the Internet" when you are done. As a result students see the computers as a reward and rush through their assignment to get to the reward of free computer time. The end result is low quality work from the students.

The school district where my niece and nephews attend provides each incoming freshman with their own iPad. They have digital (multimedia) textbooks that they can access from school or home. They also take tests using the iPad and are shown their score at the end of the test. Teachers are also saved from the burden of having to grade over a hundred tests.

Technology can improve a students education but I feel many districts are doing it wrong. Where I am it seems to be a game of one-up-manship; that district has a one-to-one iPad program, we need to have an iPad program in order to remain "competitive." One nearby district has a middle school with 8 computer labs, that's one computer lab for every three homeroom teachers.
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Technology done right
Old 03-04-2019, 06:52 PM
 
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My district is 1 to 1 Chromebooks. Students begin working with Chromebooks in third grade. By sixth grade, students all receive Chromebooks. To get on the internet, they need to sign in through the district page, even when at home. That way, they aren't going to inappropriate sites. Teachers use a good mix of Chromebooks and paper/pencil. Many students choose to use the hard copies of textbooks, but unless they don't have home internet access, the textbooks stay at school. They seem to take more ownership of their learning with the Chromebooks. Plus, when I sub, they always have the option of emailing the teacher. Also, the teacher can monitor student work, which can be very startling to the child who isn't doing their work. Google Docs is awesome for teachers to track their students.
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