Leah Dewhurst’s Weblog

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Sandbox Reminder February 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — leahdewhurst @ 8:33 pm

               As the EC&I 832 class gets set to play in our “sandbox,” I read a great blog article by Tanya Roscoria, as sited by Faire Alchemist that had some key points to keep in mind while we play.  As we can easily become “enamoured of the technology… we need to realize that it’s just a tool. Whether the tool is a computer or pencil and piece of paper, they should use it to help their students learn.”  This quote definitely resonated with me as my instructor of the course has passed this message to us in many ways.  There is a lot of fancy technology and tools out there but we need to find the ones that help our students learn best. 

                But as I continued reading this article and the ways technology is being used in many different classrooms, I was in awe. However it brought fourth many questions.  Will my classroom ever become that way?  Will I have access to the tools beings used (such as; netbook computers, document cameras)? Who funds the technology in their schools? Do all classrooms have the same access to the technology available? Who and how many tech teachers are available to in service teachers? And the questions can continue on and on.  I work in a school division who used to have three tech teachers to come out to help and in-service teachers and now we have been cut back to one.  How can we ask teachers to implement technology into their lessons, if there is very little support for them to explore and find ways to implement technology ‘naturally’ as this blog article suggests?

                However, I am glad to see that many of the tools that are used to help students learn such as; Google docs, skype, twitter, facebook, blogging etc. are available for free.  So in the end, I guess, “it’s not all about what the newest and latest and greatest is… It’s all about you have what you want the students to know, and you just have to find the best way to get there with what you have.”

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3 Responses to “Sandbox Reminder”

  1. Todd Volk Says:

    Leah,

    Your questions are very valid. As fate would have it, I just finished writing about the same article. Your questions are similar to mine as I saw the lack of support being a concern. Teachers need to be supported so that they can properly implement technology ideas into their classroom as effective tools. My answer is to develop leaders from within each school. More cost effective and time efficient. What do you think?

  2. Michelle VG Says:

    It is sad to see the amount of support and technology use in the classroom. I think it will do students a disservice.

    I think the pressure to use these tools increase as students move into post-secondary – an many assume they should know and feel comfortable with them.

    I can’t wait until schools supply a netbook or other mobile device for in school use per student. I wonder what year that will be?

    I posted this video back in January but it shows how technology has helped a school – and what prevents others from doing this?

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/learning/schools/how-google-saved-a-school.html

  3. gatinb Says:

    You all make really strong points. I think most of us are all in the same boat – we want to implement new technologies in our classrooms, but not without understanding how to properly use these tools (I also liked how you emphasized the “tool” side of things – couldn’t agree with you more!).

    Michelle, I actually attended my first year of university at a college in the States that provided each student with a laptop. It was fantastic! We were connected anywhere we went and it was a phenomenal improvement to the traditional way of “doing school”. With that being said, I may have played the odd game of pacman when I should have been taking notes but…..


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