I thought I would post these links in this discussion - the Lakehead Parent Involvement Committee hosted a session for parents on social media last week - a very informative session. Check out Sheila's blog, re-posted here. The presentation by Andrew Campbell provided some really interesting (and surprising) information.
I thought this article was really good regarding social media use in the classroom. It is meant to help teachers moderate their students' blogs and Facebook groups, but there is also some good stuff there for any age about responsible conduct in online communities.
It's interesting but I guess I'm the dinosaur here. I'm not a big fan of technology in the classroom particularly with the earlier years. Sorry, but I want a good foundation in reading, good old fashioned writing, and math. At the Indian school in the Middle East, the children do not have computers until high school and believe me they are brilliant with computers. It's expensive and you will have to change the technology every time companies want to make a buck. It's really gone over board here.
I'm with you Susan. I believe that schools have and are going over board with bringing "technology" into the classrooms in order to "teach" math and at the primary level, that is translating into precious little real learning math. Don't get me wrong. I do believe in the need for hands on learning - and the technology that can support math (e.g., the manipulatives) - but screen time? Way too much happening and it is costing our younger students in particular.
The Globe and Mail had this to say about it: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/back-to-school/laptop...
The students were excellent in math and there wasn't any technology but the system was very thorough and the teachers didn't have a lot of distractions. No gaps in learning math over there! Sure, there were issues but different but what I honed in was how effective they were in the early years in reading, writing and math. Tutoring was big, very big. One cultural experience was that the lovely people we met there were "very" visual learners. Huge movie industry there. Sorry to digress. Here, I find the teachers are being expected to do way, way too much. The British educators I met told me it was best to introduce computers after what they termed the "critical thinking" stage. I guess here that would be grades 4 and 5. This makes a lot of sense to me. We had interesting conversations and one thing I was told was that writing was the toughest subject to teach. The students are exposed to it much earlier than here. Can't help but think that there is some sort of synergy between early writing skills and reading. Wish there were studies on that one! And if you want the children to learn to self reflect , well, writing will do that. Believe it or not they were not that self absorbed on technology with young students as we are here. They figured out if the children have a good foundation they won't have a problem learning the technology but. . . you need teachers. Just our experience.
65% of the world's learners are visual learners? Or is it: We are producing visual learners with the early onslaught of visual distractions everywhere - from the moment infants are born (Early Einstein anyone?) to teens who are bombarded with visual imagery via technology that they are told they just have to have to get anywhere in life (or simply to be one with the crowd) to adults who have become major consumers. In doing so, we are compromising necessary skill development in other areas. I believe we are being conditioned to think we need all of this technology in order to learn but what I have read somewhere is that all of this technology is actually causing us to lose some of our more innovative and creative intelligences.
My ECE training and elementary training was all based relationships between oral and demonstrative language (e.g., writing, drawing, sculpting, movement, dance, music....) and from my observations of young and adolescent children at work, all of this comes naturally to them. It is natural to ALL of us. What isn't natural, in my opinion, is simply putting children in front of a screen thinking that they will actually learn in meaningful ways by what they see....Letting them manipulate a few keys in order to activate changes on the screen isn't all that meaningful.
I hear I forget
I see I remember
I DO I understand