Technology in the elementary classroom
Our world moves and changes so quickly. Our devices are with us everywhere, we are always connected. We receive news reports in real time, access information anytime we need to, look a family pictures from long lost friends and connect with the people we need to at the drop of the hat. We expect this instantaneous access. The older students in our schools expect this too. Our elementary students are moving quickly towards the same need for instant information and technology assisted education.
The elementary teacher, especially in the primary level classrooms, is the captain of the ship. While an elementary classroom can be very student centered, it is still strongly guided by the teacher. Generally, the elementary teacher chooses the learning paths that her students will take, and has a strong influence of the experiences that a students has in the school environment.
When looking at the question of technology in the elementary classroom, it is important to consider both the hardwares and softwares that are available and suitable for grade 1-6 learning, but also at the elementary teacher as the gate keeper of what her students are encouraged to employ in their learning.
This blog will look at both of these factors to explore how much students experience a more 21st century approach to teaching and learning. In my view, there is a a wide spectrum out there of what teachers are doing in their classroom behind closed door from 9-3 everyday. Some classrooms are infused with rich, meaningful and varied experiences with technology, and some teachers are still afraid of their email, a fear and resistance that transfers to his students. I think I fall somewhere in the middle, where my heart is in the right place to facilitate awesome experiences for the learners around me, but lack of time and energy sometimes stall my creativity and drive. Through exploring in this blog, I want to find a “secret recipe” of the most fitting technologies for the k-6 classroom, the proper support system and a vision of the possibilities. I would like to also develop a short list of great things that I can pass on to colleagues eager to use technology but nervous to take the plunge. Just yesterday, I showed a fellow teacher our district D2L site , which is full of resources for teachers, that has been available for a couple years. She was surprised and thrilled by all the resources available in one neat little place, and told me she wished she had known more about it sooner. I believe that elementary teachers want to do well by their students and want to offer them the best of the best. This blog will explore best practices in technology in the elementary classroom.