The Winding Road: Student Comprehension

I was about 8 years old when I became introduced to using technology. I remember my sister went to university and my father bought us our first computer. It was by the company Compaq and had very limited space and features on it. My dad was so excited because it was the “new way” to communicate with my sister while she was far away doing her studies!  Today, my dad is 75 years old and he is flabbergasted by the way technology has evolved within such a short period of time. Having been boring in 1939, he did not have the pleasure of having such a wide range of technological resources growing up. He cannot get over the fact that my iPhone is used for banking, weather, e-mail, camera, calculator etc. I think it is amazing that my 4 year old niece can use an iPad better than I can. I assume that she will be even more amazed when she sees her children operating new technological devices.

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There can be many ways technology is introduced in the classroom. Students are becoming more technologically aware because of the resources educators are providing them. Whether it is through videos, games, smart board, blogs etc., students are being introduced to technology and its evolving components in many diverse ways. I think that differentiated teaching is crucial when it comes to using technology in the classroom. There are many students on multiple learning levels. Thus, it is important to accommodate everyone’s learning needs for every subject. I see “technology” as a subject. I had a specific “computer class” when I was in Elementary School and High School, now it’s as if computer class is incorporated all the time for students.

Freedom Writers is a great movie I could relate to my metaphor. It is about a young teacher who encourages her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue further education. I think the clip below is a great example of what can happen from a teacher being the leader in a classroom using technology. The movie was made in 2007 so just imagine how far along technology has evolved. It is also a perfect example of showing students that the teacher is not there to give you orders or boss anyone around. They are there to direct, lead and organize. I think that students sometimes become frustrated when then do not understand something right away. The same type of frustration can occur in adult life as well (e.g. when starting a new job). This is why it is essential that teachers assure their students to keep trying and never give up! Here is my favorite clip from the video:

“We Mattered.”

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