Learning is FUN!
What type of technology were the K-12 students using throughout your field experience observation?
I sat in on a few different class. The first day I spent 7 hours with a 3rd grade class. Ms. Gross was using a device that was like a microphone ( Red Cat). She wore it around her neck, and the speaker was in the back of the room. She also used the smart board to do math activities. Students were later split up into groups. A few of the kids were to use the lap tops with head phones to complete their assignments. The next day I spent 3 hours in two different kindergarten classes. They used the smart board to teach the students how to write letters, dance, and do an art activity.
Did students appear to be more or less engaged in the lesson content while using technology?
This was the first time I had ever seen the " Red Cat" used in the class room. I felt like the 3rd graders were more engaged. It allowed everyone to hear her talking and follow along. When she was talking or explaining to other students about something everyone was able to hear and stay focused. For the smart board, all the kids were engaged. She played a video to help with skip counting. All of the students stood up,danced and sang with it. As for the kindergartners they all enjoyed the smart board. It gave every student a chance to go up and draw the letter with their fingers. They also got to pick out the dancing videos and participate to get out all their wiggles.
What was the teacher doing while the students used the technology?
The teachers from all classes were engaged with their students while using the technology. They used it as well as letting all the students have a chance. For those students who used the lap tops and headphone the teacher had them on their own.
What pros and cons did you observe related to the use of technology in the classroom?
Observing the students using the technology seem to have a positive effect on them. It kept their attention and let each of them be engaged. As for cons, the only thing I can think of is that one of the special ed students wasn't able to go to the smart board and participate due to his equipment. I personally think technology is great for the students as well as for the teachers!
What are the benefits to students using technology in the classroom?
I asked all the teachers whose class I observed that they thought. Ms. Gross said the Red Cat is the best. She said it keeps their attention and she doesn't have to talk loud. She said she loves to use You Tube videos to keep them engaged and helps them memorize the material. Mrs. Tracy and Ms Smith both said they loved the smart board. It allows the children to participate and gives them a chance to show off what they know. When they are able to interact with everyone they learn better.
What are the disadvantages for student use of technology?
When I asked the kindergarten teachers why both of them did not wear the microphone around their necks they said, "It just doesn't work well for the young ones. The louder I am, the louder they get." They felt like it was best used for the older kids. As for Ms Gross she felt that sometimes the use of technology (specifically the laptops with headphones) didn't keep the students who needed the extra encouragement what they needed. When they can't figure out what is being asked they get frustrated and completely give up.
What is your favorite classroom technology? Why?
All three of the teachers I talked with agreed on the smart board. They all agreed it was a simple and fun way to teach and keep the kids focused.