Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Using Technology to Engage and Motivate

I'm in a unique situation with the Global Learner program in that I've been an elementary technology teacher for the last 3 years here in the district. I've had the opportunity to use many of the new technologies introduced recently and seen how they impact learning. The greatest benefit to using technology in the classroom is the way our kids react to it. Their eyes are locked onto any type of screen and they drink in the content. I've seen the excitement they show in anticipation of getting their hands on technology and how they become engrossed in learning. Kids raised in this media rich culture are engaged and motivated to learn by - you guessed it - media rich lessons. Our jobs are to connect the technology and media into quality lessons our kids can really buy in to and get excited about while reaching educational goals. I can't wait to hear all of your stories of how your students' eyes light up when you introduce these media-rich, engaging lessons.


Joseph Miller said...

It is remarkable to see the way students react to new technologies. The kids seem so much more willing to perform the classroom expectations and take risks.

Is anyone worried that the technology will create a barrier to digging deeper into the subject matter?

What ideas do you have for expanding this enthusiasm to more teachers and students?

Tonia Johnson said...

It only takes one exposure for teachers to get hooked! After walking in on my "trouble class" (these are the kids that murdered another teacher's fish!) completely engaged and asking serious questions about their content while working on their vocabulary in PowerPoint a colleague said, "I need that!"
It only takes once to see the level of engagement and THINKING going on to know that this is something that has to be done more often.
I think our excitement about seeing this change in our students and the excitement the students will feel about their achievement will make other teachers take notice and jump into the 21st Century with us!

Kelly Schwichtenberg said...

This week I tried my hand at using the SmartBoard with my first graders. I brought the SmartBoard in before school Monday morning and the first thing I hear are kids talking to each other and saying to each other, "I wonder what that is?" "What do you think it does?" "Do you think we can touch it?". The SmartBoard wasn't even set up! Once we did begin to use the SmartBoard we did a lot of learning together. The best part of my whole experience of my SmartBoard 101 lesson was to watch all of the children touch a colored pen to use and then look at their finger to see what was on it! Hilarious. Throughout the lessons the kids were completely wide-eyed and ready for their turn to solve a problem! After one lesson, all the hands went up, "When can we learn on that again!" Talk about motivating!

Joseph Miller said...

That is a riot that they looked at their finger to see what color it was! It is so thrilling to hear that the students responded so positively to the new technology.

Andrew Palmer said...

After using the SmartBoard for several lessons with second graders, I received a similar response - "Palmer, can we use the SmartBoard again?". I've learned to adapt the technology to a variety of lessons and goals since the kids get mad at me when we do anything that DOESNT involve technology.