This week I am at Liberty University. I am taking EDUC 730 Technology Practice for Instructional Improvement. Technology is an essential part of our daily lives. I believe that technology is a tool that can be used in the classroom to enhance the learning experiences of students. However, poor use of technology can leave students with a bad impression of a specific type of hardware or software.
For the longest time, I was terrified of Apple computers. I am not familiar with the operating system. The shortcut codes on the keyboard are not the same as a Windows operating system. So I avoided Apple, except for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. Then my husband purchased a MacBook. One day, I needed to print something and my computer was not being cooperative. The only option was using my husband’s computer. After much frustration, I eventually asked Mighty Man to help me print a document. Needless to say, that 8-year-old (at the time) enjoyed being able to brag that he knew something about technology that his mom didn’t know.
The lesson in this event was that as an education student I cannot be afraid of new, or different, technology. I have to do my own research and exploration of the latest technology. I may not have the funds to purchase said technology, but I can read articles and watch videos to have a general knowledge of it.
I fully support having appropriate technology to make the learning process effective for a student. Mighty Man struggled for a long time with reading. He would become so frustrated that he would get angry. Princess, who is two years younger, was reading at a level higher than him. Dyslexia was preventing him from achieving in reading. I threw out all the old fashioned rules that students need to read from traditional texts and certain types of materials. Yes, I agree with the concept that traditional books are needed and an important part of learning to read. However, when that is not working for a student, try something else! I started using an online program to help him read and we back an frequent shopper at the local comic book store. The program was full color and interactive. It engaged him to want to learn to read. The comic books were something he wanted to read. I was not going to argue with him wanting to read anything!
When implemented properly, technology can make learning more fun and engaging. During this course, I will be exploring game-based learning. I chose this topic because of my experiences with Mighty Man. Throughout this week, I will be creating posts about my experiences in the classroom, what I have learned, and how my views change or are reinforced.