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One of the very positive things about the Internet age, is that more and more teachers are being given access to use technology in their classroom. It is quite amazing to see what young students are capable of achieving when using technology effectively in a classroom. But when is it good and when is it not good to use technology?
Technology can be used to enable the parents to share in the classroom experience. I must say that as a parent I love the idea of a teacher having a classroom blog that allows parents to see what their children are doing in the classroom. Imagine watching a video made in the classroom where your child is presenting a piece of work for all to see or explaining how they tackled a difficult task.
The idea of collaborating with classes on interesting projects in different parts of the world using technology is a very positive experience for a class. We need our students to picture the world as the global village that it is, with all kinds of cultures inhabiting it each with their own right to be who they are. Skype plays a huge role in connecting classes to one another around the world. Technology also enables teachers to learn from each other through the tremendous sharing that takes place through social networking.
I have been concerned, though, by some of the ways that I hear technology is being misused. Technology should NOT be used simply to keep students quiet and engaged. It should not be used just to keep students busy while the teacher works with small groups of children for example. Students must be working constructively at all times. Technology should NOT be used to do what can be done without it. In my opinion technology should enable a student to do new things that aren’t possible without the use of technology. So instead of just drawing pictures in a book, for example, the learners could learn to animate the pictures, publish them on the Internet and use their voice to create a story around the pictures.
This brings me to give a report back on the first in our Teacher Development session held in Cape Town on Friday 1st March. Our teacher development programme is about sharing different technology tools and concepts that are being used around the globe with teachers in South Africa to promote effective learning for academic achievement. We have been researching meaningful teaching and learning tools and ideas that enhance these principles and have some lovely projects we can connect your school with which are centred on learning interests requiring teamwork, digital literacy skills, collaboration and communication. By engaging in authentic learning experiences about relevant issues, students and teachers work together, strengthening core learning while motivating learners and building self-confidence and skills necessary for the future. Teachers also learn how to use technology effectively in their classrooms. We will continue to host these sessions once a month. The next one will be on the 19 April. Please look out for the notices on our Facebook page to make a booking or email Debbie at [email protected].
Please feel free to send me any stories that you may have about the ways you are using technology for collaboration that I can pass on in the e-classroom newsletters.
If you are interested in connecting with schools globally for projects, please email me at: [email protected] We already have enquiries from schools globally wanting to partner on projects involving literature, book projects, life skills and community based projects. Any successful collaboration starts with finding the right partner.
We have some lovely competitions for schools and learners. You will find these on our landing page as well as under our ‘competitions’ header on the website.
ViralChoice® have a fantastic competition running at the moment which involves children using their creative skills and technological minds to decorate photos of themselves wearing the ViralChoice® complimentary button badge and uploading their photo to URL: http://www.pharmachoice.co.za/vcj/. There are some fantastic prizes for the school and learners.
Collect-a-can has two competitions running – their 20th year celebration and rewards to schools for participating in can collection initiatives.
We believe that every child has a right to education. Your sponsorship supports the development of critical education resources which are made available through the e-Classroom portal to primary schools for FREE. We have different packages available – for those who are interested, please contact me for further details: [email protected]. We do need your continuous support in order to keep providing this FREE service to schools. In return, we thank our latest sponsors for their support:
Sea Harvest Corporation (Pty) Ltd
Lil-lets SA (Pty) Ltd
Rand Water – Water Wise
Please remember to follow us on twitter: @eclassroomsa and Facebook (E-Classroom South Africa) to see our updates. Please also remember to visit our online bookstore where we have lovely readers for children at very reasonable prices.
Yours in Education