Tag Archives: Education

Technology in the Classroom

For my mentorship project, I have been working with Ms. Edward’s classroom on helping her students write news stories to publish on their wiki.  It is a major learning process for her students.  They have been working on practicing interviewing and questioning skills to gather information for writing their stories.   As well, they have started the writing process because I received a link from Ms. Edwards for their new story drafts.

I read through each of the drafts and I can see the variety of interesting stories developing in her classroom.   I learned something very interesting about Ms. Edward’s students from reading these stories.  Currently, Ms. Edward’s students are visiting through Skype with the Presbyterian Day School in Memphis, Tennessee.  The reason for their Skype meetings is to teach the students from Tennessee  about Native American culture and dances.  The first meeting was on March 4, 2009 and the students from Ms. Edward’s class welcomed their new friends by sharing traditional Native dances.  It looked like a wonderful experience for the students to share their dances and teach the students more about Native American culture.

After reading about this story,  I looked at Ms. Edward’s blog as well as Mrs. Trefz blog (teacher from Tennessee) to learn more about the learning experience happening between these two schools.  I can see that this is a wonderful learning experience for both classrooms. The students are sharing important things with each other and learning about the similarities among these two cultures.

From this experience, I think it proves how valuable technology is for bringing together collaborative learning around the world.  These teachers would have never been about to develop this type of learning without the tools and resources in technology.   These students are able to see each other and talk with each other, even though they are miles apart.  As well, I would have never been apart of their learning without technology.  I am able follow their experiences through pictures and comments on their classroom blogs.  Technology opens doors to sharing experiences, so it is like I am in the classroom with them.

Throughout this semester I have been reflecting on the importance of technology in the classroom and how I can use it with my future students.  I can definitely see the benefits of technology and how creating relationships with other people will expand the learning for students.  Technology can develop a rich learning environment for students and invite them to become active learners. In the future, I will use technology in my classroom for providing my students with active, engaging lessons.

I am going to continue to follow this journey with these students and reflect on the valuable learning and relationships that are being made because of technology.  I want to thank Ms. Edwards and her students for opening up their classroom and sharing their learning experiences with me!

If you are interested in learning more, here are some links:

Ms. Edward’s Blog (Coulee Dam, Washington)

Mrs. Trefz Blog (Memphis, Tennessee)

My Mentorship Projects:

Miss Teale’s Blog (Regina, Saskatchewan)

Education + Games= ???

On Wednesday we also had a presentation about Games in Education from Sylvia Martinez.  I really enjoyed listening to her thoughts and suggestions for using games in education.  Sylvia is not a teacher, but she talks and works with educators about educational games.  I liked that during the presentation we were able to try out some games and discuss what was good/bad about the different games. As well, we discussed what could be changed in the games to become more appropriate for the students to use.  I appreciated her honesty about choosing games and the problems with most games published for children.   She provided us with a list of things to watch for and avoid when choosing games for students.  As well, she gave us suggestions for choosing quality games.

From the presentation I learned that just because a game is labeled educational, does not me that it is good to use in the classroom.  Sylvia suggested to avoid using the games that are labeled  educational software.  Also, I learned that it is important to play the game and explore the possibilities of it before using it with students.  She told us that it important that we are evaluative of games and ask tough questions about educational purpose of games.  Is it worth the time?  What is the educational value of using this game with the students?  This presentation was very informative about and allowed me to reflect on these questions:

Are games useful for learning?  Are games useful in school?

After the presentation, I was left to reflect and think about my own experiences with games in the classroom.  I honestly had never thought about the value of using games in education.  In my experience, most of the games students are exposed to in school are not good quality games.  The games are “click and drag” games, which do not involve much problem solving and learning opportunities for students.   I think from this experience, I developed a bias against using games in school.   This presentation definitely opened my eyes up to the value of education games and the learning that can happen for students who use quality games in the classroom.   As a beginning teacher, I will definitely look into providing my students with the opportunities of using games in the classroom.  I know that I will gradually incorporate games into the classroom once I feel comfortable with it and I know it is useful for my students learning experience.  I hope to learn more about quality educational games from teachers who use them in their classroom.  If anyone uses educational games with their students, I would love to hear about it and how it benefits their learning experience.

EDUCATION + GAMES = ENGAGING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES AND SKILL DEVELOPMENT

During the presentation, someone made reference to this video from James Paul Gee.  I suggest you take the time and watch it.  I think that he raises some very important points about educational games and the value they have in the classroom.

Here is my list of interesting points from the video:

  • Collaboration:  creatively working with others
  • Assessment: no division between learning and assessment with using games
  • Games are based to develop problem solving skills
  • Production: Children want to build, design and participate in the learning process, which games provide this experience
  • Social connection:  teaching and learning new skills together
  • Model learning: teachers learning new games with the children creates an engaging learning environment

The interview with James Paul Gee about video games.


Also, check out this TED talk with Alan Kay about better techniques for teaching students with using computers.

Alan Kay: A powerful idea about teaching ideas