Kindergarten Teacher

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Technology Focus: The Learning

In college I remember learning about how important it was to always mention the child first when discussing special needs. They are children first so it was important to say a “child with autism” rather than an “autistic child”. I had never thought of the importance of that before discussing it in class but that really hit home with me and I have always tried to make sure not only mentioned the child first but made sure to recognize the child before the disability.

That lesson came to mind this week when I was asked about technology goals. Someone mentioned to me their goal was to use more technology in the room and asked what I suggested. This teacher is doing great things in the class and we chatted about ideas to increase the technology in her room. After the discussion I began to wonder how often teachers have that goal: “Use more technology in the room.” This thought concerns me because much like the child with a disability we should always be thinking of the learning first. I love technology and strive to incorporate it in my classroom daily but my goals are never about the technology themselves. When I see a new tool I don’t try to incorporate it simply because it is new and cool. It is important that I see an opportunity to encourage, foster or enhance learning with that tool. So I came up with the top reasons I think I use technology in the class.

Click each one for an example:

- Helps my students connect with the outside world

- Helps us document learning

- Allows us to do or see things we couldn’t without the tool

- Encourages creativity

- Provides novelty to a learning goal (especially for struggling kids)

- Gives my students a voice in their learning

 - Allows my students to create stories without letting writing ability slow them down

- Encourages parent engagement or helps connect home/school

- Makes learning meaningful

- Provides constant feedback for the kids (virtual teacher)

- Helps me manage things

What would you add to this list? Have other examples, please post a link in the comments!

 

12 Responses to Technology Focus: The Learning

  1. Meg says:

    Wonderful post Matt! I live the reminder to keep the learning first.

  2. carrolyn says:

    We also need to teach kids what information is accurate/relevant when they “google” and how to search where the most relevant information pops up first. I attended a seminar that Dr November hosted, when he explained the importance of teaching everyone how to negotiate the internet.

    • Matt Gomez says:

      Agree Carrolyn, hope we go beyond teaching and let the kids learn through application. Digital citizenship and internet awareness are hard to learn without practice.

  3. Janet Reid says:

    Your posts are so helpful. Thank you so much. I’m helping K/1 teachers at my school with implementation of iPads. Your posts are inspiring!!

    • Matt Gomez says:

      Very nice Janet, I love hearing that others find the information useful. I know I get much more than I can every give back from the blogs I read.

  4. aleik03 says:

    Very good post. Caused a lot of reflection on my part! Can’t wait to join the #blamematt game.

  5. Kris Mitzner says:

    Matt – This is a fantastic post! I am going to include it in a live binder to share if that is ok with you!

  6. Rita says:

    Thank you for articulating exactly what I have been trying to explain to my colleagues. Just because you can do it on an iPad doesn’t mean it’s the best way to learn it! I love knowing there are teachers who are actually reflecting on how we teach a concept for real understanding versus “covering” it. It makes me sad to see some really great teachers getting caught up in flashy clip art and new tech tools without ever thinking about if it’s really going to meet the need of the learners. I am sharing this!

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