My name is Stephanie Gehman and it’s my pleasure to be a guest blogger for your class. I completed this course last summer and thoroughly enjoyed it! I am working on my Master’s of Education in Instructional Systems – Educational Technology.
I am currently a 3rd grade teacher in the Solanco School District. This is my 3rd year teaching. In my classroom, I don’t use any mobile devices, but I do have ActivInspire Clicker devices, which resemble cell phones, but can only be used to answer questions that I send the students. This software also allows me to use an ActivSlate, which is a wireless tablet that I can use anywhere in the classroom with flip charts created with the ActivInspire software. My students love using their “clickers” and I use them most for activating strategies, summarizing strategies, or for reviewing units. This allows me to see which students are getting questions correct, and which may need some extra support with the concept.
I graduated from Millersville University in May 2010 and through my undergrad classes I was able to use many internet technologies as well. Some of these include, googledocs, wikispaces, audacity, and inspiration. I also use googledocs, moodle, and diigo at my elementary school. Googledocs is a great resource that really allows you to be organized, which I love! I am even using multiple googledocs to organize different things for my upcoming wedding!
In the classroom, I believe that using technology allows students to get excited about learning in a different way. Students live in a technology driven world and see technology everywhere they turn. However, the most significant challenge I see technology causing in education is the lack of personal face-to-face interactions. We no longer live in a world where you have travel somewhere to connect with someone. You can text, call, Skype, FaceTime etc. While these are great tools, and while I see this aspect helping the more shy students in a classroom, they also take away from live interactions between people, which is incredibly important, especially at the elementary level. Being “social” and having “social skills” is already hard enough for elementary students. I fear technology will only make it harder. So much time behind a phone or a computer screen, also allows students to do or say things they wouldn’t necessarily do if they were face to face with a peer. This is a worrisome component of technology that I hope this generation and ones to follow don’t allow to happen. I believe we as educators and our students now and in the future can use technology to enhance education and our daily lives!