Blog Post #8

I plan to use presentation software, like Microsoft PowerPoint and Prezi, in my classroom, but I do believe there are pros and cons to its use. Some major advantages, and the main reasons I will use it, are that it is a simple, quick way to organize information that needs to be presented to a group of people. There are many options as far as design goes, which can make presentations applicable and interesting. Students can be engaged by visually looking at the words or images I need them to remember, but also they will be able to listen to my voice speaking the main ideas, which will help them memorize and understand the information. The major disadvantages, and things I will have to look out for, have to do with an overload of information, not making the presentations engaging enough, and resorting to simply reading off of the screen. The students must be interested, not just zoning out, staring in the direction of the presentation, so I believe they are listening. Somehow, I must make the presentations grab the attention of my class.

I am on the side of the digital divide that has had access to technology. My parents got a Windows 98 computer when I was still in elementary school, and my schools have always had computer labs available. In elementary school, we had time in the computer lab every week, and there we learned about the internet, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and many other useful computer skills. I even have my own laptop now, and I use it on a daily basis. It will be difficult to teach to all students, whether they have access to a computer or not, especially as an English teacher. At the beginning of the year, I might add a question on the “student information” papers that teachers generally hand out to learn more about their students, about whether the student has access to a computer or not, so that we could work out a way for them to turn in their papers some other way. I would work with students individually to tell them their options (public library computers, for example) or perhaps give them time before, after, or during the school day to work on a school computer.

An educational technology issue that I am now interested in has to do with the digital divide and its effect on students. I read an article last year about how Microsoft was donating money to nonprofits to help young people use technology to their benefit. Access to technology can help young people be competitive in a high tech world, because with access to technology comes a strong handle on how to use it effectively. I wonder what the future holds for technology and the youth of the world, especially considering how it is growing so quickly, and this rapid growth means there is more content that perhaps we need to filter for young people. Basically, the issue I am interested in is how we can give more young people access to technology so that it can help them in life, but also, with the growing technology, I hope we can shield them from some of its ugliness.

One Response to “Blog Post #8”
  1. cc12k says:

    I agree with your pros and cons about Microsoft Powerpoint.

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