Saturday, November 2, 2013

Blog Post 3: Technology Implementation Strategies

Technology plays an important part in children’s lives, both at home and at school.  Because of this, programs need to be implemented in the schools to provide technology so that it can become familiar and comfortable for all students. If teachers are able to implement numerous strategies in the classroom then technology can be used as a teaching and learning tool.  I found this article, “Meaningful Connections - Using Technology in Primary Classrooms” by Karen L. Murphy, Roseanne DePasquale and Erin McNamara, it provides ways to implement technology in the classroom.  As a kindergarten teacher, I can see the importance of having children learn how to use technology in a powerful and authentic ways.
Technology as a tool, should be incorporated in a classroom in enriching ways. According to Murphy, DePasquale and McNamara (2003), they state:
For technology to fulfill its promises as a powerful contributor to learning, it must be             used to deepen children’s engagement in meaningful and intellectual authentic  
curriculum (p. 2)
Teachers must decide what and how students should learn based on the curriculum and then determine the best way to develop teaching practices to implement technology in the classroom.  
Children come to the classroom with limited experiences on technology.  So, they must be taught the necessary basic skills that will allow them to become comfortable and develop the foundational skills needed to produce advanced applications as they grow older and produce purposeful work (Murphy et al, 2003).   When students are in the the primary years of school, Murphy et al states that adults can model other appropriate uses of technology to children in many different ways such as through digital and video cameras, multimedia slideshows, and using websites to find answers to questions and eventually be able to use technology on their own.   
The two technology strategies that I can use to improve my instructional strategies are digital imagery and concept mapping software. Digital imagery can be still or through the use of video. Murphy et al states that video imagery allows the children to be able to relive their experiences and process their learning in many ways.  We can then take these images and use them in writing and in many of other forms of student expression.  I can also use the digital imagery in our classroom blog and facebook page.  This will allow the parents to see and share our classroom learning experiences.  The digital imageries can also be used in student presentations through Movie Maker, Animoto and through Powerpoints. When I first started in LCISD, I was trained in using the following concept mapping software program, Kidspiration but I chose not to use it.  We use a lot of thinking maps in the classroom and they are wonderful but to have the children to be able to create their own webs through Kidspiration.  The children can play with their own ideas and it will allow me to check their understanding and see how they think by choosing their own pictorial symbols and webs.  It will be fun for my Kindergarten class to explore and play around with Kidspiration before I model how we will use it in the classroom.  I can’t wait to see their thinking.  
Technology has had a major impact on our lives and especially how we use it in the classroom.  It should be used in ways that are meaningful and intellectual authentic.  Teachers need to expose technology in a safe and challenging ways so that children can become skilled and confident users as adults.

Murphy, K., DePasquale, R., McNamara, E.  Meaningful Connections: Using Technology in Primary Classrooms, (58)3, 12-18.

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