My Time With Mrs. Mastin

technology use in a 2nd grade classroom

Her Education

BS in Early Childhood Education at Oklahoma Christian University

MEd in Curriculum and Instruction at Wichita State University

What types of technology were the K-12 students using throughout your field experience observation?

On Wednesday (11/05/14), I went to observe Mrs. Mastin’s 2nd grade class for the first time. She was teaching the students about “Immigration” using PowerPoint. On the first slide, she asked the students what an immigrant is. The definition was in a purple box, so the students knew the answer. Mrs. Mastin found a cute little video on YouTube that showed bookworms immigrating into a different library. The second slide asked the students, “What would life be like coming to a new country w/o other family living here?”. She was able to find another video on YouTube about early immigration. The teacher also introduced the students to Ellis Island. She told them that if you traveled there today, it’s a museum. The children were shown a map & were asked what it was a map of. Since they spotted the Statue of Liberty, they knew it was New York. Further on into the PowerPoint, Mrs. Mastin asked the children “What cultural contributions did they bring to America?”. The list consisted of new languages, different foods, kinds of clothing, kinds of cooking and music. The teacher gave them a couple samples of the music, by using Pandora. Finally, Mrs. Mastin gave them some reasons why the immigrants came to the States; religion, education, war in their country and better jobs. She played a cute little video about “The Great American Melting Pot”. Unfortunately, when I went on Thursday to observe, it was the same PowerPoint, but with a different 2nd grade class.

The last day that I observed was Friday (11/07/14). The students were participating in small group centers, when I arrived. In one group, students were using iPhones, microphones & headphones. These students were reading their books into the microphone & listening to how they sound. Later yesterday, Mrs. Mastin worked from a smart board during math, while the students used dry erase boards. They were working on open number lines & addition. One of the first questions was, “what does 27+4=?”. To find this answer you would start with the # 27 and hop by ones 4 times. A question that was a little harder was, “what does 23+30=?”. For this equation you would start with the # 23 & hop by 10s 3 times. She then tried to trick the children by, “what does 82+36=?”. For this equation, the children started at 82 & hoped by 10s 3 times & then by 1s 6 times.

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Italian Songs in Jazz

Un bacio a mezzanotte by Italian Songs in Jazz
Schoolhouse Rock - ''The Great American Melting Pot''
double digit addition with an open number line

What pros and cons did you observe related to the use of technology in the classroom?

Smart boards, allow teachers to teach & share information easily & enjoyably with students in a lot of ways. For example, PowerPoint presentations have audio-visual capabilities. PowerPoints presentations allow the teacher to present information in an interactive manner, which invites greater interest from the students. Using projectors, speakers & microphones, teachers can teach a large number of students at the same time. It has been proved that teaching aids increase concentration of students & has led to improvements in attendance. Another pro would be easier accessibility of information. With internet & technology increasing, children are finding out that it’s an effective way for obtaining information. Children can now learn any type of information easier & faster than ever before. Unfortunately, technology can also hinder education. For starters, it can become a major distraction, because of communication, entertainment & manageability. Kids get into discussions & fights with other kids. They pick up computers or tablets and carry them around the room. Also, I did spot one girl who was reading her book into the iPhone. All of a sudden it died, so she went over to the group that the teacher was helping & distracted that group. The last con that I could see being a problem, would be cheating. Since students can easily search for a solution to any type of problem, they could make good grades with little effort. For example, a student could take a picture of their assignment & email it to one of their friends. That kid could now copy it and turn it in as their homework.

What are the benefits/disadvantages to students using technology in the classroom?

Mrs. Mastin was able to inform me of both benefits and disadvantages to students using technology in the classroom. Some of the benefits she told me were the facts of; it promotes independent learning, there is easiness in studying and answering for their homework and it promotes exciting ways to educate students. When it comes to promoting independent learning using the internet, students can easily learn on their own, without the assistance of parents or teachers. As years and years pass, quick accessibility & being well-equipped with the skills and knowledge in operating a computer will only help. Furthermore, when it comes to easily being able to study & answer their homework, children don’t need to tote around all their heavy books. This is because students, through the use of technological gadgets, can surf the internet & find answers. Lastly, more students are feeling excitement through technology, since there are lots of images, videos, other graphics and text found within the computer. However, while using technology, students can become lazy while studying, forgetting the basic way of studying and can discover unusual things in the computer. Students are slacking in reading their books and answering their homework, since they can find their answers on the computer. Also, by allowing the students to surf the internet doesn’t necessarily mean that all the things that they are going to discover are good for their mind and studies. There are several things that are found in the internet which are not good for the students hence they need to be properly guided by their teachers and parents every time they are going to use the computer.

What is your favorite classroom technology? Why?

Mrs. Mastin couldn’t just give me her top choice for her favorite classroom technology, so she gave me her top 4. These apps were “DragonBox+”, “Brain Quest”, “Math Bingo”, and “Speed Geography Lite”. When it comes to “DragonBox+”, this app helps with complex math in a fun & interactive way. With each round of this game, you are supplied with a treasure chest card on one side. The student’s goal is to drag cards from the deck that would cancel each other out. These problems would be just like real algebraic equations, where you have to solve for X. This app provides several levels, so her students never stop learning. This app also provides a star reward system & goofy pictures. Her second top choice is “Brain Quest”. With this app, kids take on adventures through Wisdom Islands, while solving tasks. These questions cover all of the 2nd grade skills; math, social studies & language. It makes students answer quickly, in order to complete the levels in time. “Math Bingo” is another one of Mrs. Mastin’s favorite apps. With this game, students can choose whether they want to try addition, subtraction, multiplication, or even division. Once someone calls bingo, they win bugs for their collection, so they can play “bingo bug bungee”. This part of the game is an addictive slingshot game where bugs collect coins. Her 4th choice is “Speed Geography Lite”. This particular app helps teach and review students on different regions. When it comes to the free version, the countries that are included are; North America, South America, Oceania and Europe.

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