I learned many things about using technology in the classroom from the videos. One thing is that adding technology also adds another skill that the students practice and/or learn. If a student already knows how to operate a computer for example, then they can practice, but not all students already know how so it is a great opportunity for them to learn. Technology gets them involved in ways that they wouldn't be otherwise. They are actively learning and experiencing things. There are so many different technologies available that are easy enough for young students to learn how to use so they can have a more active role in their own learning. A lot of help and guidance might still be needed from the teacher, but I think it is well worth it to use the technology. The best thing to do is to plan easy and simple activities when using technologies because it is not worth it if all the time is spent learning how to use the technology instead of learning the content.
The article I chose to read was titled "Technology and a House of Learning". The video resources we watched were by a company called i-Safe. It dealt with all the dangers of the internet and how to avoid them. It gave specific examples of what can happen when someone make unsafe choices when using the internet. It also gave startling statistics about internet use among children and teens. There were many important things that I learned from the video and the readings. One of them was that it is important for parents to be involved as much as they can in their children's use of technology. Parents should also stay informed and inform their children of present dangers and new dangers that may arise. Another important thing I learned was that all children who have access to the internet are at risk from the dangers of the internet. This means that all parents have to be cautious with their children's internet use. I shared with someone the things I learned about internet safety and they knew a little about the topic, but not all the specifics I told them. I wasn't surprised by their reaction because she knew that communication on the internet happens and that a lot of people are more comfortable with talking to people in the internet instead of in person. She understood how that can happen but thought that only communicating on the internet can be more of a hindrance because on order to get anywhere in the world you have to know how to communicate with people.
What I have learned about TPACK is that there are three parts: pedagogical knowledge, content knowledge, and technological knowledge. Pedagogical knowledge is the knowledge of how to teach a concept. For example, having the knowledge to make accommodations for students with disabilities. Content knowledge is knowing the facts and information that you are going to teach. An example would be a high school English teacher knowing the different parts of speech so they can teach their students. Technological knowledge is knowing the different kinds of technology to use and how to use them. For example, a teacher knowing how to use Powerpoint to make a presentation and also the laptop and projector to show it to the students. One example of teaching from my past would be from a health class I took in high school. We had to pick a subject, make a presentation about it and teach the class about it. I chose lung cancer so I made a Powerpoint presentation about it and then showed it to the class. I had the technological knowledge about how to use Powerpoint and present it to the class. I had the content knowledge to make the presentation because I did research. I also had the pedagogical knowledge because my peers were my age and I knew them well enough to know how to present the content to them. Some of the technologies that we have explored in this class are Google Earth, Stellarium, Mind Meister and blogs. All of these use visual representation. Some of them like Google Earth and Stellarium also use dynamic representation because they can explore and manipulate things. All of these technologies would be useful because a lot of students are visual learners and these technologies are fun and easy for the students to learn how to use.
The first online technology I looked at was Prezi. Prezi helps you present content in an engaging way that is much more interesting than a Powerpoint. Basically, you create a giant poster and you zoom in and out on the content on the poster. It can be found at http://prezi.com/. The second technology I looked at is called Gliffy. Gliffy is an online diagram software. It helps you to create pretty much any kind of graph, floor plan, or chart you want. It can be found at http://www.gliffy.com/. The last technology I looked at is called Mindmeister. It is an online mind mapping tool. It helps you brainstorm and get your ideas down and organized. It van be found at http://www.mindmeister.com/.
Some ways I can tell if I have successfully integrated technology into my lesson is if more time is spent doing the activity involving the technology than figuring out how to use the technology. Also if it takes a lot of time to set up the technology, then it is probably not worth the teacher's time. To add to a lesson, a technology should not distract from the subject matter being taught. It should facilitate learning and not hinder it. The indicators that can tell if a teacher has chosen the right technology is if it is not too hard for the teacher or the children to figure out, if the students seem to enjoy and like it, and if it functions properly.