Monday, February 16, 2009

What Type of Technology Should I Use?

One of the tricky things I am finding at the moment is that there seems to be too many types of technology that I can use in my classroom. I am lucky enough to work at a school that promotes risk taking in using technology in the classroom, as well as the resources to support this. Last weekend I spent 3-4 hours looking at the different options available, and how I would use these options.

However, that was what was what made it so confusing. I want to use technology in the classroom, however I want to use it effectively. I want it to be a tool to enhance both student learning and my teaching. I want to use it to develop rich and rewarding tasks and activities. What I don't want it to be is an add-on. A GLAT (gosh, look at that) use of technology with no real outcome at the end. And this is why I did need to spend so much time looking at the use of technology in my teaching.

I eventually decided to work a little bit with trial and error, as well as limit the applications to one at a time. I designed a blog for all my classes, as this allows me to provide an overview of each lesson, add links and it also allows students to add comments. Each of my classes will work to create a class wiki and this will become our main resource for reference and revision. (The school does not use textbooks). And finally, I will definitely be using applications such as Keynote, iMovie, ComicLife and mapping applications (Google Earth, Google Maps and possibly other software) in each of my lessons. My classroom blog can be accessed by clicking the following link - Bec's Classes.

If any of this becomes confusing or is not helping my students learning I will be the first to know. As stated by David Nettelbeck in Computers, Thinking and Learning, "the best ideas get nowhere unless they can be applied, and our most critical audience is always our students".

Something we must remember as teachers is that change is happening all the time, and we must attempt to keep up. This may require a little bit of effort (for me, most of last weekend), however the rewards will be in my teaching. The You Tube below is called 'Shift Happens' and provides an excellent explanation for us all on the exponential nature of change or 'shift' that is currently occurring. This in itself should be a clear indication that any use of technology, however small but effective, is better than nothing.

I wonder if things were this tricky when technology went from chalk and a slate board to pencil and paper....

Image taken from rutty on flickr.

1 comment:

  1. Your students are very lucky to have such a contentious teacher. You are right about our students being our best critics, they will let you know if the technology is working or not. Great to see you not using technology for technology's sake, you will be rewarded in the long run.

    Keep working hard!