Sunday, June 17, 2007

Future Use

I think I can use this blog for next year when our school goes full day Kindergarten. Since we'll have more time to do more activities next year, I can use this blog to post what's happening in our class. I can post future and current activities. I can post my reflections as well as my student's. I can post pictures of our activities so that busy parents can still take part of their child's growth. My students can also share their days with their family and bring them closer together.

Blog Post Assignment #5 for John Rivera's Learning & Teaching with the Read/Write Web

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Love Video Streaming

I learned about video streaming last year when I took a class on how to create my own web site. I loved video streaming the moment I learned about it because it engages students and offers them experiences they may never encounter.

This past February I taught my students about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I read books and showed posters and pictures about him. I read a part of his speech, "I Have a Dream". I talked about segregation and the Civil Rights Movement. But even after all of my efforts, I still felt that it did not and could not give the same impact as if they saw and heard it... because that's exactly what happened to me when I was in grade school. My elementary teachers read books and showed pictures and posters, but, when I first heard his speech on television, that's when I really understood what my teachers were trying to convey. I wanted my kindergartners to really understand as well, but I couldn't leave it to chance that they would individually see a video or clip of the speech; so I used video streaming to bring the speech into the classroom. During the video, my students were engaged and the responses were doubled from our typical daily discussions that don't incorporate technology resources.

In short, try to use a video instead of you doing all of the acting.

Blog Post Assignment #4 for John Rivera's Learning & Teaching with the Read/Write Web

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Wikis and Barriers to Technology Use in the Classroom

After exploring some educational wikis, I found some benefits of using technology with students. Using technology with students captures their interest and raises enthusiasm in learning and participating in class discussions. Also, using technology in the elementary classroom now prepares students for the immediate future, for high school, and college. Teaching students how to use wikis for research will save them a tremendous amount of time, time that they can pour into out-of-the-classroom activities and interests.

Some challenges of using technology with my students are the usual barriers. One major barrier in my school is not having enough updated computers for our students. There is an average of four or five computers in the fourth through sixth grade classrooms and two or three in the Kinder through third. We don't have a computer lab and having just two to four outdated computers in the classroom is a challenge to get some projects done. Another challenge in using technology with my students is the lack of tech support in the school. When we begin experiencing technology problems that I can't solve, I really don't have a "go to" person that will come quickly and is knowledgeable. Interruptions such as these on a daily basis can be very challenging in keeping up with student technology use.

Blog Post Assignment #3 for John Rivera's Learning & Teaching with the Read/Write Web