Here I am, a year and a half into my new position of Technology Applications teacher for 5th and 6th graders. I have had a hard time putting new posts up because life has been really crazy but I would love to share some of the things I’ve learned since taking my new position.
First off, just because kids are surrounded by and use technology in their daily live, does not mean they know how to use technology appropriately or in a school setting. 3 out of the 4 schools that feed into mine have Technology as something they do about once a week. One school does not. Those kids come to me with an interest in technology, but lacking even the basic skills of how to power off and on a desktop computer.
Many kids come to my room expecting to play games. They are quite startled when they see the list of things they will do. We are interacting with Microsoft and Google products, creating projects, using photo editing, coding with robots, and either podcasting or producing a PSA depending on the age level. We are practicing digital citizenship all the way through my course, after having a two week introduction to it. We are reading technology related chapter books aloud daily, to increase our reading and our stamina. I may be the first teacher these kids have encountered that will tell them “I don’t know how to do that, let’s do it together.”
I really worry about the decline in reading and writing skills that I am seeing in kids around me. Some kids can barely write a sentence without using “text speak.” It scares me to death when my sixth graders create a blog post and writing 5 sentences seems challenging. I know my own 8th grader can write pages and pages, and she is pretty tech savvy at the same time. Is it a decline in writing requirements, or just a decline in time that teachers are having to make students write. I think my new quest, with my elementary school friends is to encourage them to have their students start blogging from a very early age to get that love of writing ingrained in them early.
Well, that’s a few musings I have at this time. I will try to get back on more often and document things I am seeing in my tech room!