Thursday, May 24, 2012


Hello! This blog was setup to fulfill a requirement for a master's class. However, I am excited to use it as a place to record my growth with using technology. First, of all I love technology... I tried to use it as much as possible with my 4th graders. My team often comes to me for help with different applications or figuring out ways to incorporate it with various projects. But now, I am headed to first grade. This will allow for new challenges of incorporating technology! So as of right now I am not sure where I want to go with technology, because I don't even know where I am starting :)

My students will have an hour of computer time with our computer teacher every week. That is a huge help in helping my students get comfortable with the logging in process, typing, and exploring different aspects of the computer. I want my students to learn purposeful uses for the computers, not just for games and keeping busy. My top 3 elements for my 21st century classroom are: Computer literacy, using technology for communication, and allowing for students to explore their creativity through technology.

Most of the other first grade teachers find it easier to avoid using technology because the amount of time it takes to get setup and logged in. Therefore I can use the laptops often in order to create an environment of frequent use. If I could even setup 3 to 4 laptops daily to demonstrate frequent use. I want to create a learning environment where it isn't just that we use it frequently but that we complete meaningful products.

After watching New Learners of the 21st century, I feel like I have been living in a cave. This video opened my eyes to technology that I hadn't even realized was available to kids. More importantly I often catch myself thinking "that is too challenging for my age group." Seeing kids that are fairly close in age to children I teach and seeing what they are capable of opened my eyes. One of the narrators mentioned, 'we have to be careful because we are calling gaming an addiction. A kid that stays up all night to read a book gets rewarded, but a kid who stays up all night to finish a video game is labeled addicted. WOW, my husband is quite the gamer and I cannot tell you how many times that this exact scenario has happened between the two of us!

I also am amazed the products these kids are developing. Another narrator said that instead of consumption (which I interpreted as learning from teacher or reading) to production, this type of learning is production to participation. It's so true as you watch the kids analyze their peers products and share their interpretations. This is where reading and writing take on a role in this learning. Students are not writing APA style papers, but communicating through feedback on blogs and other forms of communication on the web.


  1. In regards to your comment on having colleagues who are not interested in technology due to the setup time, I hear you! In my building logging in can take upwards of 5 -15 minutes sometimes. I also connect with what you're saying about using technology to learn, not just playing games and keeping busy.

    Looking forward to seeing what else you have to blog during our class.

  2. The students at my school also get an hour of computer time with our computer teacher. It is nice to have someone teaching the students the basics of logging on, getting on the internet, saving things to their specific drive, etc. I love your idea of setting up the laptops to use daily to complete meaningful products. My students use our laptops mostly for listening to reading online. I would love for them to use the laptops more in depth though, creating projects and participating in educational simulations.

    Good luck in first grade!

  3. It amazes me how much my 6 year old neice can do with computers and the iPad. Somethimes, I think that teachers get scared to incorporate technology with younger students. I think you have a great idea and plan of action, but making it "no big deal" by using them often!

  4. I too was in a bit of disbelief as I watched the video on New Learners in the 21st Century. I had no idea that many of those technologies and opportunities were out there for students. I felt that all of the educators in the video were really focused on students and how their particular students learn best. I think it is important that we, as educators, take a step back and really get to know our 21st Century students and try to incorporate their learning styles into our classrooms.

  5. The PBS video, New Learners in the 21st Century, was incredibly eye-opening and motivating! I love the idea of incorporating more technology into my classroom, but I often become discouraged due to lack of knowledge and confidence in my own technology skills. I was taken back by a comment made in the PBS video, "The best way to learn something is to teach something." I have heard comments similar to this before and have often used that concept with my students in the sense of having them teach skills to help them learn the skill. This time I took this statement much more personally. I, as the teacher, will only learn to use technology more readily, if I force myself to use it and teach my students how to use it. I need to step back and be willing to learn and accept that technology will have glitches, but overall the learning outcomes are so valuable and real-world applicable. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn about the many resources available to me, so I can share them with my students and colleagues.