My name is Brandee Calder. I grew up in Weyburn, Saskatchewan with my mom, dad, brother and sister. After finishing high school in 2007 I moved to Regina to study at the University of Regina. I got accepted into the education program and am now halfway through my fourth (and final) year of education. I plan on either applying for jobs for September, 2011 or continuing on to get my Certificate of Extended Studies in Inclusive Education.
In my spare time in Regina I enjoy getting involved with university recreation programs such as slow pitch, volleyball and floor hockey. I also love to read outside of school. I do not have a part time job but am hoping to get in some volunteer work this semester and spend time with my internship classroom.
What I am Hoping to Learn
Things I am hoping to learn about technology in the classroom:
How often should we use technology in our classrooms? How can technology be used with students in primary grades (K-2)? What are some great sites that I can use to create lessons with? How can I make learning with technology more interactive? How do I know which websites are good or not for my students to be using? What are the major benefits of students learning using technology?
I do not know much about technology. I keep myself updated with some of the newer sites. I am also good at exploring websites on my own and figuring out how to somewhat use them (for example creating this blog). I am unsure how to effectively use technology as a learning tool and have only used technology minimally in the classroom. I am looking forward to learning how to use technology as a teaching tool.
My Use of Technology
During my pre-internship my teaching partner and I started a blog for our grade 1 classroom. We had a combined page where we would post pictures and updates on what the students were doing with their teacher. We also had our own pages on the blog each where we took the time to fill the parents in our each of our units, what the students were learning and the benefits of each unit. We passed out the blog address to each of the parents and we were given many compliments on how nice it was to stay updated on what their children were doing.
My technology experiences go beyond my blog, although that was the biggest thing I did. During my internship some of the teacher in the school were involved with online report cards where marks were posted through the semester and parents had access to those grades. This saved a lot of the ‘shock’ that may have came with report cards and parents were always updated with how their child was doing.
I have also had the opportunity to let my students use laptops for researching, webquests and informational sessions on using internet sites. We have hooked up the data projector to the computer to watch informational videos and create rubrics and assignments together.
My Views on Technology Use
For every technology experience I have had in the classroom, whether it be blog and report cards or showing a video, I believe the more that technology can be incorporated, the better. I know there are great websites that you can have you students save their work to and the teacher can open it from any computer they have access to. I know there are great websites that you can turn text to talking characters and create informational lessons for all subjects. I am not there with my technology yet, but if I was I can imagine how it would benefit my students.
I think that technology, along with education, is constantly updating. With smartboards coming into the classrooms there are so many great sites to use that have lessons for all of the subject areas, it is also possible to create a lesson for all of your subjects on the smartboard. But with technology use comes time. It takes a lot of a teachers time to set up a blog, create a smartboard lesson for five subjects every day, to get access to laptops or computer labs. But with anything, it takes less time the more a person does it.
Students are very involved with the technology world, they know a lot about the internet and what is available to them. They have accounts with twitter, facebook and youtube. They play online games and are using cell phones. I believe that with such a high interest from students, using them in the classroom would be befenficial. I am unsure how it would be possible to use them. I know teachers have alternative facebook accounts to keep in touch with students, or you tube accounts to teach lessons. I think it would be a great way to really connect with the students which in my mind is one of the most important things for a classroom.