I am fortunate to teach in a school system that invests in technology and in my classroom I have a teacher computer, laptop and iPad to help me create motivating instructional opportunities for my students. I also have two touch screen student computers, a student iPod, 9 iPads, a SMART table, a SMART dual user interactive white board with a wireless slate and a document camera. All of these resources are fun for my students and designed to create excitement for learning. The struggle I have is keeping all of these resources new and exciting in order to keep the children engaged and learning. In researching my current assignment, I attempted to see what new information or sources were available to encourage me in updating my classroom technology.
This is a great site for educators or parents created by the George Lucas Educational Foundation. You can choose the age level of child or just browse the site. I found a great video with John Seely Brown on motivating learners where he discussed how important it is to teach children to be able to change. He pointed out that the world of technology is moving so quickly that what they learn today will be obsolete in several years. He also talked about how children that are interested in gaming constantly need change and that change engages their attention. The important point that stuck with me was he was an advocate for play based learning because the child scaffolds his learning based on interests and prior learning. When children direct their own learning, they become more tolerant of change and their brain becomes wired for self-directed activities. This type of early childhood instruction will assist children in creating habits that will carry them through life by thinking for themselves with problem solving skills. Mr. Brown helped me understand that technology must be constantly changing and challenging my students in order to engage their attention. He also validated my belief in child based learning where my students take every day activities and materials and use them to guide their learning.
How do you incorporate technology into your classroom?
What types of technology do your students have access to at school?