Tech Task #1–About Me
Posted January 7, 2011on:
a) Hi, my name is Danielle Degelman and I am a 4th year elementary education student at the University of Regina. I completed my internship last semester at St. Theresa School in the east end of the city. I had a very enjoyable (yet busy!) experience working with 32 grade four students and my wonderful co-op, Charlene Rudderham.
As for my personal life, I was born and raised in Regina and have been going to school here my entire life. I attended W.S. Hawrylak School for grades K-8 and LeBoldus High School for grades 9-12. I attended school with my younger sister, Michelle. My mom and dad have always inspired me to work hard, do my best, and always love the little things in life. While my dad’s family is mainly from Saskatchewan, my mom’s parents immigrated from Italy in the late 1950s. Therefore, I have always been used to eating home-made pasta from time-to-time, listening to the Italian language in my own household, and going to the Italian Club for frequent family gatherings.
Even though I have already been to Italy twice, I hope to do some more traveling, and visit places such as the Caribbean, Australia, Spain, Greece, and Brazil. In my spare time, I enjoy listening to music, playing the piano, singing, running, playing softball, reading, shopping, and being with friends. After graduation, I hope to find a full-time teaching job in the city and eventually make a difference in the lives of many children.
b) During my internship, I got the opportunity to incorporate technology in a few of my lesson plans. For example, students got the chance to find information on specific websites that I provided for them, conduct a Google search about a topic, and watch me teach a Google Earth lesson using the Smart Board. From these experiences, I believe that students became more interested and motivated to learn about the topics of study. They were more keen on showing me new information that they had learned, more willing to participate in class, and more excited to take part in future lessons involving technology.
Even though it took a lot of time to learn how to use some of these technologies, it was worth it in the end! From my students’ reactions to the computers and Google Earth tool, I have already gained an appreciation for the technology that can be used to enhance their learning. I am increasingly interested in learning about new technologies, and how I can best adapt these tools to meet students’ needs.
c) As stated before, I believe that technology can be used to increase students’ knowledge and interest about a topic of study, as well as get them more involved in the learning activity taking place. In other words, technology can be used to carry out student-centered learning, so that learners feel more “in charge” of the topic under study. Another potential benefit of technology is the online interaction that students can have with other students and the teacher. For example, it may be possible for students to learn about blogging and commenting on other blogs and personal spaces.
A possible limitation of technology may be the time that it takes for teachers and students to get used to the new ways of viewing and communicating information. As an intern, it took me quite some time to acquaint myself with new online tools and websites. Another limitation may also be students’ growing dependence on the computers. For example, students may want to spend more time on the computer, rather than engage in face-to-face interaction with friends.
In order for teachers to avoid this, I think it is best that they summarize the “DO’s” and “DON’Ts” of technology in the classroom. This may include a list of websites and tools that students are allowed to use, the length of time that students are allowed/not allowed to spend on the computer, a series of activities that need to be completed, and strict rules that students are to follow. I also believe that teachers should incorporate technology into their lesson planning and subject matter, rather than simply add it to the daily schedule. This way, students view technology as an essential part of their lives, rather than “extra” time they need to spend on the computer.
Teachers also need to be cautious of technologies that students use in their personal lives, such as Facebook, YouTube, and the use of mobile phones. I believe that students’ constant consumption of these technologies interfere with the time they need to complete homework, study, exercise, and develop healthy relationships with family and friends. However, I also believe that if students (or parents) regulate the amount of time they spend with these technologies, then their success and achievement will not be nearly as impacted.
d) Even though I have already gained valuable experience using different technologies in the classroom, I would like to learn more about the tools and online resources that can enhance student achievement. Of course, I don’t know about “everything out there”! Although I have only used some of these technologies before, I am still somewhat uncomfortable introducing them in the classroom setting (due to computers not starting up properly, time that it takes for websites to load, freezing, poor connections, etc.). In this class, I hope that I can learn how to deal with the common problems that teachers encounter when using technology. I would also like to recognize how young learners can form the strongest and safest online interactions with their peers and teacher. Lastly, I would like to become aware of how technology can be incorporated into a variety of subject areas and topics of interest for students. I really look forward to this class, as it will be so important to the type of online environment that I provide for young learners!