Blog Post #1

Computers are an important part of the education system because they provide opportunities for a better communication of information to students. Computers can work quickly and efficiently, and there are computer programs with creative uses to allow for a fuller, more personalized, and hands-on interaction with the material at hand, like academic games, or even programs like Microsoft Powerpoint or Microsoft Word, as well as countless others. For teachers, a working knowledge of technology can help them better run their classrooms and organize their work. The issues raised in this chapter, like social, ethical, legal, and human issues, that come with technology use in the classroom, are valid concerns. While computers can be very helpful to transmit information as well as to prepare students for the workforce and life in general, they also allow for treacherous activity. If teachers can be good technological role models for students, in regard to cheating, plagiarizing, hacking, cyber bullying, and inappropriate message sending, the students may be less likely to engage in those activities than if they were not guided. I agree that these issues are important and must be addressed in the classroom to encourage safe, legal, and moral technology use for the younger generations. 

In the classroom, as (hopefully) an English teacher in middle and high school, I will use computers for my duties as a teacher, projects for students, and every day lesson activities. As a teacher, I am sure I will have to input grades and attendance into the computer on a daily basis. Perhaps I will even create a class website to communicate with students and parents, or provide extra resources for those interested, in which case I would update the site daily as well. For students, perhaps I will go through some helpful features in word processing programs, like how to find the word count, use headers and footers, and any citation tools available. Perhaps I will assign presentations that require knowledge of software like Microsoft Powerpoint, in which case I should do a tutorial for the students. Furthermore, for daily lesson plans, I will surely use the computer’s document camera to project images for the class to see, as well as perhaps pulling up a student’s paper to point out common errors or reward good work for the entire class to view. Also, I am sure I will use my email daily. In this class, I hope to learn shortcuts in word processing programs to help me organize any files I will have and otherwise more effectively use computers as a teacher. I also hope to learn about new ways of communicating information to students using technology, perhaps in ways I didn’t even know existed. 

Today’s youth do seem to fall under the category of “digital natives.” They tend to use technology on a regular basis, and their constant experience with computers and phones and technology of the like make them comfortable with using technology in different ways. This comfort allows them to continue experimenting with technology’s uses, which will help them adapt to new technological advances, whereas “digital immigrants,” in the older generations, may have a hard time with this. The majority of my teachers seem to stay away from technology for the most part. The introduction of new technology in the classroom, new “Document Cameras” and computer attendance taking, for example, spurred much grumbling in my middle and high school classes. Their frustration with the technology spreads negativity towards new technology, when in reality technological progress can truly help communicate ideas in the classroom in a fresh, helpful, and more effective way. In the future, I would hope that I would be able to remain a “digital native,” but I am sure there will be technological knowledge that my students possess that I will not understand the way they can. I believe we will have differences in our use of technology because they will experience it in a way that I would not be able to, for the simple reason that they will be introduced to it, and grow comfortable with it, faster than I can: our lifestyles and the people and trends we are exposed to will create this gap in technological knowledge. As technology continues to advance in astonishing rates, the younger generations will have a leg up on the older generations because they will spend more time using the technology in their spare moments.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Blog Post #1”
  1. cef1213 says:

    I agree! I hope to stay in-the-know about technology but I’m sure my students will know more than I do by the time I become a teacher.

  2. I definitely agree that as an English teacher you’ll have to be familiar with technology. Working with older students will make it important to have multiple forms of communication and I think that a class website for both parents and students is an awesome idea. The document camera is smart too, it’ll make it easier to demonstrate good and bad habits for the class to learn from.

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