Lately, I have been thinking about technology and its place in the classroom. Students come to school with varying amounts of experiences with technology, but I have found that students take to using technology with ease no matter their prior experience.
A few days ago, a speaker discussed the use of technology to build prior knowledge in the classroom. For example, if the students are learning a topic in science that has a lot of new vocabulary, a teacher can pose a question to the group and have them research it through use of various technology sources; computers, ipads, etc. Once they have researched and used the information they gained to answer the question, then the teacher can then go into the topic utilizing the new prior knowledge that the students have built themselves.
I really want to try this in my classroom, but I am worried about letting the students free roam the internet – which leads me to worry about the time it will take to set up safe internet sources for students to access.
This year, I have been utilizing technology more than I have in past years and I find that the students truly enjoy using it. The only issue is that my second graders constantly run into difficulties with navigating the programs. I run around from student to student, computer to computer to try to help them understand that if they just click around they will find what they are looking for.
Is there a way for students to become technology literate to a point where they can navigate technology independently? Is there a way to have students freely use the internet to research?