Bill MacKenty

  Home     Computing     Teaching     Bushcraft     Games     Writing     About  

Ed Tech and Elementary School

Posted in Educational Tech Design Leadership on 11 - February 2010 at 05:22 PM (14 years ago). 215 views.

Had another interesting question a few days ago.

What is your philosophy around elementary school and technology?

1. I think students aged 6 to about 10 shouldn’t use technology a lot.  I think kids this age should explore and learn with their bodies.  I think these kids should visit a computer lab about once a week, and when they do use a computer it should be linked to basic skills and their curriculum.  For example, if the second grade is studying ocean life, we might find an online activity that let’s them practice mouse skills and explore under the ocean.

2. I believe teachers in grades K to 4 should feel very comfortable using technology. Teachers in these grades should show short videos about topical issues and then discuss.  For example, perhaps teachers could show a short clip of an octopus, and then discuss the video with their class “why do you think the octopus moves like that?” . I also think teachers in these grades should use technology to showcase student work. For example, teachers could take a picture of their “dress-like-a-crustacean” day, and post these pictures on their blog or classroom website. It would also be neat to have the kids record themselves explaining what they thing whales think about, and then share those recordings with parents and other students.

3. Grades 5 to 6 (ages 11 to 12) present rich opportunities to begin project-based learning.  These students can begin making appropriate presentations, web pages, and even documentaries (with the right support, of course). They can begin to create advanced documents, incorporating pictures and graphs. 

4. I was part of a team that developed standards and benchmarks for our elementary school. Here is an excel file with our standards and benchmarks..  i is for introduce, r is for reinforce, and m is for master. If a teacher wanted to do a project, we would teach the requisite skills for that specific project.