Archive for August, 2012

Technology Matrix

Friday, August 31st, 2012

I found the Elementary K-2 lesson “Cloud Book” to be compelling.  This lesson successfully integrates science and language arts.  The students use the software Kidspiration to create graphic organizers to further their comprehension of various types of clouds and the weather associated with them.  Graphic organizers also allow the students to build upon their prior knowledge of clouds.  The software is easy to use for early elementary students and more importantly fun for them to use.  I like that the students work together in teams which allows the pairing of a stronger student with one who may need extra assistance.

I am skeptical about the effectiveness of the Elementary K-2 lesson “Fact Families”.  This lesson uses an interactive whiteboard to demonstrate the concept of fact families.  The teacher models how to build a fact family house.  Students then create their own fact family house with a partner.  Many teachers successfully use the fact family house to help students comprehension about fact families.  However, I do not see the benefit of drawing the house on a computer rather than paper.  I do not think the use of technology added anything to the lesson.  The lesson was not interactive nor engaging.

As I mentioned in my introduction, I have been out of the classroom for almost a decade.  When I was teaching, there was little technology in my classroom.  The student computers were in a separate room to be used by students during their one hour weekly computer class.  Computers, smart boards and digital cameras were not integrated into the curriculum.  However in the last few years I have seen technology creeping into my children’s classrooms.  I have seen BrainPop software used in an active approach to an entry level of technology integration in a few classrooms.  One teacher used this software for introducing and reviewing a topic.  Another teacher would allow students to use BrainPop independently while she worked with others in a small group.  This teacher also gave students the opportunity to self assess through BrainPop.  Overall the program seemed to engage the students.