Technology Matrix

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.

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5 Responses to “Technology Matrix”

  1. Joy Haley says:

    I like Kidspiration as well. It is very easy for younger students to use, and is also useful for older students as well who may be lower level learners. My high school students with Intellectual Disabilities have used Kidspiration several times to do various activities ( science, language arts etc..), which were put into their VAAP portfolios.

  2. alongerb says:

    Hi, Jill!

    Nice post on the Technology Integration Matrix. I have also seen a lot more technology used in the classroom recently, including the use of BrainPop. I substitute teach for Fredericksburg City Schools and Spotsylvania County Public Schools and several teachers use BrainPop quite often in their lesson plans. I have seen this form of technology used well, and I have also seen it overused in the classroom. For example, one teacher had students complete fill-in-the-blank worksheets to several BrainPop videos. By leaving the video to teach the concepts, this led to a lot of confusion for her students who had no background knowledge of the subject activated before watching the videos. New forms of technology can be very helpful, but only if they are used properly.

  3. jsmith35 says:

    I also explored examples from the K-2 grade levels, and completely agree with you about the Cloud activity! I had never heard of the kidsperation website, and was unfamiliar with how it was used in the classroom, so this particular example shed light on that for me. I have also never heard of BrainPop and definitely will check it out!

  4. pamrose says:

    Hello. I have used ESL Brain pop with my ESL students. They love the program. Just recently, both middle schools were I teach have subscribed to Brainpop for regular classroom use. As for technology in the classroom, not every teacher has access to smart boards. Also, there are only a couple classroom sets of laptops in each school, which teachers must sign out ahead of time. I believe the Technology Integration Matrix will be of great value to us in the classrooms. The videos and lesson plans alone are priceless.
    However, the effectiveness of TIM is dependent on the access and availability of technology to the teachers. This must happen across the curriculum in all subjects. This won’t happen until all teachers have the same technology and it becomes routine in their teaching.
    Education has changed so much in the past ten years… both for students and teachers. Welcome back to our world!

  5. krazza says:

    I think for the grade level, the “Cloud Book” lesson is good for the students to learn about the different clouds and weather conditions. The teacher does a good job of incorporating technology with the actual textbook and a Cloud Book, by Tomie de Paola. This lesson allows the students to look for information in the textbook and the Cloud Book then apply the information they find about to make a chart or graphic organizer. For young students this seems like the perfect activity to learn the information about clouds and weather while also incorporating the excitement and engagement of using the computer to make the graphic organizer. This lesson also allows the students to work with a partner, which teaches them how to work with someone collaboratively.

    I have also seen BrainPop used to review material for social studies and it is a great tool! Students love using it especially when they are able to go up to the computer and answer the questions themselves.