Technology in the Classroom

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?

4 Responses to “Technology in the Classroom”

  1.   gracia022 Says:

    The websites that they go to all the time, they actually just pick up on their own. The websites that are more unfamiliar I make a page for them to click on to surf through. The internet is just so vast for a first grader so it helps to narrow it down. But like I said the ones they go everyday they know exactly how to get there.

  2.   moniquegareau Says:

    I was reading a post here on Edublogs where the writer was praising the use of technology in classrooms, and stated that technology sort of levels the playing field in that lowers the skill level required in order for students to be creative. I also agree with you that with this comes a lot of challenges, especially for children who are not as familiar with various aspects of using technology for certain purposes. I think that this is something that comes with time as they grow more comfortable with certain programs and sources. I like Gracia’s comment about being able to create a page for students where they are able to easily see which websites will be most beneficial for them, which could cut out a lot of the time they spend searching for them.

  3.   andersem Says:

    I think the saying “practice makes perfect” applies directly to this as well. Students have to be explicitly taught how to research using the internet. They also have to practice using the internet to research in a variety of ways. However, no matter their age, researching is hard and they have to be okay working through it. I teach fourth grade and I still feel like pulling my hair out every time we research. We talk a lot about the internet is not a genie that pops out answers to your question. We also talk about how you can’t type your question into google and expect an answer. Even with this direct instruction, children struggle with the idea of not finding their answers right away. Finally, I don’t think there is a way to allow kids to freely use the internet at school. There are so many websites that are great but have advertisements that are questionable. Unfortunately, most things these days are not kid-friendly. Although, that may be a good thing because it requires parents and teachers to be diligent about internet safety. :)

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