Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Technology in my classroom today!

My students had the use of the school’s computer lab this morning. Our main focus was to learn about organelles and to use power point to make a presentation for the entire class. The first plan of action was to find internet sites from which the students could obtain information. As I watched them, I noticed that they just went directly down the page that appeared on the screen from the search engine. This gave me thought as to how to teach them about finding reliable information on the internet. I would need to be able to teach them how to tell if a site was a good source or not. With this thought still in my mind, I checked with our librarian on possible software we have available to offer our students. I mentioned how my students didn’t know how to determine whether a site was reliable or not. She referred me to a handout that she had made from another librarian’s website, with permission of course. She than gave me her permission to use the new format she had designed to help teach my students. This brought up the idea of teaching my students about plagiarism too. They have no idea what this word means, or that it is illegal to use someone else’s work as their own. References and citations are foreign to my students. Plagiarism and citing references are both possibilities for future lessons too.

When we came back to the original issue of available technology, she referred immediately to Power Point, Excel, Word, and Publisher. I asked if we had any additional technology my students could learn. It was then suggested to use such literary learning aids such as Start to Finish. This is a great system for helping students with literacy, but only requires the student to read, and then answer appropriate questions regarding comprehension of the section just read. I asked her if she had any other systems that I could possible teach the students that would help them beyond their high school education. She suggested teaching them how to use databases to research topics. Since these databases are used in public libraries, and college libraries, it will benefit them through out their lives. I will give these some serious consideration as whether or not to use it for my proposal on technology. The main point I learned today was our school is really technologically challenged.


  1. I appreciated your blog. I see the potential to use technology in our classrooms but the reality is we cannot really access much in the local public schools system. I have heard that other areas of CA and the United States have classrooms that are completely set up to use the latest technology.
    I use the computer to check email and complete assignments for CSUMB classes. I tried to figue out yesterday how to send a group email. It took about an hour of my time.
    I have mixed feelings about blogs. I was rewarding to set one up so quickly but I do not see the benefit. May be someone could explain to me the benefits of blogs?

    I think may be our collaboration time should be used to train teachers but then again there is no money or equipment to use.

  2. I think the main point of blogging is to be able to receive and give input on a common subject. By expressing your opinions on the web it gives you a wider audience, therefore allowing more responses. As far as technology in the school, I know that schools are limited in funding, but when I was discussing this with a colleague she mentioned that just meant we just need to be more careful with the money we do spend on technology. Hopefully, our administration will be vigilant in regards to technology and our students’ futures. You brought up another good point, training our teachers to use the latest technology on a regular basis. Since it changes so quickly, it feels like we are forever behind the times. Anyway, thanks for the comment.

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  4. It was kind of an eye-opener for me to read your post tonight. I was curious as to which grade you were teaching on the computers. It surprises me that they are so "computer challenged" (to be polite). Most of the kids that I know, even when I use to teach 4th/5th combo class, they had myspace pages and knew how to "pimp" out their page.

    It surprises me, not they they don't have computers at home, but that they aren't using them at friends houses or libraries. A lot of the kids I know without CPUs go to their friends house for e-mail and myspace-ing.

    There are some great online tutorials available for your students to watch and learn different computer skills that way. It would really beneifit them to do these! There are ones for gmail, library databases (such as CSUMB's), microsoft office...there are even turorials for plagarism. Some are better than others, obviously!
    Here are a few sites for you to look at and see which would be better for your students:

    here is one on plagarism:

    Here is another on how to use lots of different things, such as which search engine to use, evaluating websites, and ethics with technology (plagarism, etc.):

    Hope this helps!

  5. Thanks for the websites. I am sure they will be a great help. My students are in grades 9-12 but they are learning life skills. This is a Special Education Class for students two standard deviations below average in their cognitive and academic levels.

  6. I think it is a great idea to work on showing students how to check for reliable websites. So many students as well as adults think that if something is posted on the web it must be true. I saw that Lori commented on districts blocking access to many sites. My district has gone overboard in blocking sites. Many of the educational sites with reading games have been blocked. I think that it is sad that districts are not fully thinking about their actions. By over blocking sites they are stopping students from being able to fully search the web. I understand blocking sites that might be inappropriate, but students should have access to information.