Monday, May 14, 2012

Teaching with Technology

I feel that it is very important to teach with technology.  Technology is the future for my second graders.  It is imperative that they know how to use many different programs, and they feel comfortable on each.  I start off every year and make sure that my second graders are knowledgeable in Microsoft Word. We publish our writing in Word, giving creative control to the students with choice of font, size, color, and pictures.  And they LOVE to have control!  It's amazing how exciting fonts and colors can be to seven year olds.  Teaching in Times New Roman Size 12 does not motivate a child...but cursive fonts.  Beyond exciting!  Last week I introduced my children to Microsoft PowerPoint.  It's amazing how quickly they have picked it up.  I showed them once as a class, and then carefully chose partners with a strong and weak computer skills children. Then I let them go. They are learning designs, transitions, adding in pictures and text boxes.  Their goal is to create a ten slide PowerPoint on a habitat they have researched.  For their first time I have given them a guide as to what each slide should contain.  They do need guidance and support, but it's amazing to watch them go.  Each group of two to three students are researching a different habitat which will be presented soon.  Students have also created Voki avatars during both a Biography and Autobiography unit.  This online program has been both exciting and entertaining for the students.  Their ability to create characters, change backgrounds, add in speech, and make their talking avatars have been delightful for me to enjoy.  Many of my students have gone home and created "Extra Credit" Vokis as well.  Combining education and online technology, their learning is growing is expanding.  What a better way to spend a night than creating a Voki of a historical figure?  The alternative is a television show or a video game.  I hope to continue integrating technology into many educational experiences!

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