Reflections for Class--7/10
Exploring various technology programs was insightful. First, I didn't realize the number of programs available. I was able to explore 5 different programs: Blogs, KidPix, KidSpiration, ArcVoyager, and Wikis. Of these I was really drawn to the ArcVoyager and Wikis programs. Through the sample lesson in ArcVoyager students are able to better understand geography, culture, and link connecting themes. I feel this program is more complex however many students today are more technologically advanced than teachers and likely able to easily navigate this program. With specific directions I feel this program (and lesson) is very beneficial! Furthermore, Wikis is a program I would like to learn more about and implement. Wikis can be very successful in requiring students to critically think. Students can gather knowledge about a topic and compile it on a class Wiki. As students learn more information they are able to change their existing information if needed. This allows students to observe their intellectual growth and work with other students to explore one topic. Lastly, this is a good resource for students when studying for an exam or writing a paper.
Even though there are many strengths with these programs I also learned the limitations. Unfortuantely some of these programs such as the Geometer's Sketchpad Software is only useful/applicable for certain subject areas (i.e. geometry). Schools may not invest in these programs because they are expensive and only resourceful for certain subject areas. As well, a teacher may want to become a "technology integrationist" however the school district may not be on "board." Therefore, a teacher may have the knowledge and enthusiasm but is unable to implement it because the program is not available.
Overall, the strengths of integrating technology far outweigh the limitations associated with integrating technology. As educators, it is our responsibility to keep up with the technological advances and further maximize classroom learning.