Monday, May 30, 2011

Technology in Kindergarten

Ad from Leap Frog
What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word technology?  Is it computers? That is only one part of technology.  There is so much more to consider. As Alyssa Marie Davenport  states in her article Technology in Education: "Digital cameras, projectors, scanners and "Leap Frog"-type systems are also ways to incorporate technology into kindergarten." She also includes: Digital Cameras, Palm Pilots Language Audio Card Readers,  Televisions, Smartboards, and Microphones.
Chris Gathers talks about how technology has been the most exciting changes in her 30 years as a kindergarten teacher in her article: Using Technology with Kindergarten Students. Her article is full of examples of how she uses technology with her students.  She starts with "Mouse Practice" then uses the Broderbund program Kid Pix Studio Deluxe.

I have been exploring the possibilities of using iPads with younger children in the classroom.  The iPad seems very durable and easy to use and can be set up to use on and off the internet. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Technology in schools

 Here is an interesting video about the lack of technology in the school called "Learning to Change-Changing to Learn"
Are you going to be a change agent in your school?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kids and Technology

I've been reading my Selection and Integration of Materials student's "Getting To Know You" discussions and am surprised by the fact that many have not been using computers as much as I would have thought by now. I realized that I have been using either a pc or apple or mac since 1984 daily. I am not sure what I would do without one. I now have a Dell desktop - old but still works and an old mac, and for the present am borrowing a computer from the University's IRTS lab to teach my class this summer. I also have a kindle and Ipad. I find that I can do a lot of my computing on the Ipad so long as it doesn't require a flash player.  I am glad to hear that many of you that don't feel the computer come naturally to you are not afraid to learn from your students. In saying that here is one of my favorite youtube videos:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Gaming and Education

Gaming seems to be the new buzz word in Educational Technology so I thought I would talk about two types of games that I think might fit into the educational setting.
The first is farming. I started with Farm Town on FaceBook. An innocent but addictive game for those who like to win. What I found educational about Farm Town is that if I calculated the money I had to spend on how much a plant cost vs. how long it took to grown and how much I would profit from it I could move up quicker in levels. So I actually created a Farm Town Hints to help others do the same thing.  The next thing I created was a chart of how long the crops grew in real time: ie: Growing day = 20 hours. 1 day crop = 20 hours; so 10% = 2 hours; 1% = 12 minutes (potato, strawberry).
I love math and bringing math into a way to use it was exciting for me and I think it would be for kids. The funny thing is that I hated word problems as a student yet, having visuals like this game would make it fun to unravel word problems that went with it.

The second is a memory type games - there are many different ones and typically we think of them for our younger children, but I have found one for adults! On FaceBook there is a game called Gardens of Time. The object is to make a garden of pieces from history, the pieces are buildings, artifacts and/or decorations.   There are also challenges  you have to finish and then you get awarded "Wonders of the World". To be able to purchase the garden pieces one must earn money by going to different pictures and finding 6, 12 or more hidden objects. The objects stay in the same place in a picture, but what you have to find changes each time, sometimes you have new objects to look for and sometimes it is a combination of ones you found before and new objects.

Images are screen captures from my games on FaceBook.