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Mary Beth, I really enjoyed

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Mary Beth,
I really enjoyed reading your blog and the relevance of technology in education today. It's amazing how many new "toys" they have available to teachers.
Our school just ordered Memios for every teacher and I am so excited to implement them into my lessons. I teach first grade and the engagement and excitement my students exhibit when we use the interactive lessons is amazing. Although my students are only six it is unbelieveable the skills they have on a computer and the ability to maneuver through websites and online games.
I look forward to incorporating the new technology in my classroom and the reactions my students will have.

Thank you for sharing your post.
Sarah

Seventeen year first grade teacher in Woodstock, Georgia at a public school

When I began teaching in

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When I began teaching in 1989, there was little technology in the classroom. I didn't even have a computer in my classroom until 1997. It wasn't until 1999 that I had more than one computer in my classroom. I now have my own laptop, 5 student’s classroom computers and a smart board in my room. I can't imagine not teaching without the available technology. My first graders love my interactive lessons that incorporate the smart board! I have an interactive lesson for every curricular area, daily. I just received the smart board this school year. I was a little intimidated to learn how to use it. However, once my colleagues showed me how, I look forward to executing my lessons, daily! It sounds as though you too were a skeptical towards technology use in the beginning. Please remain open minded. The students respond so well to technology; moreover, it enhances your instruction.

Technological Conundrum

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Mary Beth,

It is interesting your blog was the first one I saw today as I just submitted a paper for my masters discussing the need for higher technology in my school. I agree with your thoughts that technology is often viewed as what skills students need to learn. The broader scope is what tools and applications should students be introduced to and eventually learn the in's and out's of in an effort to futher their learning and skills? More often, students learn how to type using a Microsoft Word program, change font and text but rarely understand the broader purposes of this particular tool, especially in their further education and upcoming careers. PowerPoint is another tool widely used, but rarely is it discussed in depth for its versatility. Students understand they can incorporate photos and text to slides, make interesting transitions occur and explore their creative side to their hearts content. However, they are not learning the impact a well-designed presentation can have in a job setting, or when presenting to a group of peers.

I am fascinated by the technology available and disheartened by the honest fact that many corporations are sorely underprivileged to the stellar tools and applications that could be utilized. Furthermore, I agree that teachers need to understand certain skills and be able to fluidly use specific tools in their every day. I know certain teachers who still struggle with a copying machine. This baffles me. Being more technologically sound than some of my fellow colleagues, I find myself being sequestered for my knowledge of certain tools, systems or programs. I do not mind helping my colleagues, but what I have grown to understand is the need to TEACH THEM instead of doing the actions for them. I often ask myself, "What is the best way I can help this person so they can learn from this situation?"

Your blog has lit yet another spark in my ever whirling mind. I plan to discover the versatile uses for many tools/applications available to my students and attempt to redirect my teaching in a way that focuses on the tool itself more than the skills. Through developing learning about the tools, the skills students need to acquire will follow suit.

Thank you for your insightful thoughts! You have challenged my thinking and added fuel to my passion and determination.

Heather

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