As I was going over the syllabus for my Comp 355 class, I started to think about my internship experience ( at Dr. AE Perry school) and everything that we did in the class in connection to some form of technology. As I was reflecting I began to realize that the classes in which we used some form of technology were the classes where the students were the most engaged. It amazed me how the simple use of an interesting you-tube video could capture the almost instantanious attention of the class. Further more I started to remember how technology helped to engage students that ussualy were disengaged in learning in a school setting. I remember struggling with a certain boy in my class whom did not want to participate in any from of writing or class work. I was stressed that I was struggling to connect with this particular student. The more I got to know the student, the more I learnt about his abilities with leadership and computers. I used this skill of his to engage him in the class, to empower his learning and to get work from him. If I ever had a problem with the computer ( which , I am not going to lie, happened a lot!!) I would call on this student to help. This seemed to encourage him to get involved in the class because he had a role that he could contribute to. Further more, if we were ever brainstorming as a class I would ask him to type the class conversation ( which for some reason – he LOVED!) which not only presented him as an active participant in the class but also got him to produce written work.
This experience really made me think about how important it is to a) get to know you students and make that relationship with them and b) the power of technology to encourage and engage students.
I am really excited to learn about even more ways that I can use technology in the classroom. I am particularly interested in how social networking and Skype could be used to connect students to the rest of the world. I think that having real connections with people from around the world would help create a sense of connection to the issues that students are learning in school. Does anyone have any stories or ideas of projects that could incorporate social networking into the classroom?
Till next time– Emily.