Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I am a mature student (for the record, I really hate the term "mature student". I have looked at those words in my posting for over 3 weeks and have come to this conclusion. Is it because I am 32 years old that I am mature? Can a student who is 19 years old not be mature to? I am never going to use this term again...must be sufffering from a "man I am getting old moment"...but really, who cares?, right?), wife and Mother of two children aged six and eight. After deciding that managing a retail clothing store for 13 years was not my "calling", I decided to embark on a new adventure. For the most part I decided to become a Teacher Aide because I wanted a job that was conducive to family life. After taking part in a Guided Reading program for young children at the school I worked at, I new that I had received my "true calling". So here I am now starting my second year of Education.
Computer "techie" I am not. When I was in retail, the minute I encountered computer trouble, I passed the job of calling the help desk to someone else. At home, my husband who is about as able as I with computers also receives the job of dealing with computer complications. The frustration level I can reach when I am trying to figure out something on the computer (like how to load my MP3 player), can literally raise my blood pressure. NO PATIENCE I guess.
For the most part, I feel that technology in the classroom puts students at an advantage. With the increasingly progressive direction that society seems to be heading with technology, those that find themselves in the "dark" when is comes to technology, will fall behind. When I worked in a grade three class, the limitations I found the students had, was an insufficient amount of computers available in the classroom and the not so great program that the computers ran on. Often the programs, depending on how many people in the school were logged on, ran very slow. The teacher that the students had was quite knowledgeable in the overall functioning of computers so they were able to learn a lot. Technology should be used in the classroom as often as (and as able as) the teacher can fit it in to their lesson plans. The more hands on practice that students can have, the better.
The teacher that I worked with for my EPS 100 placement had a blog page for her classroom. It was excellent. Often she would post student’s work, let parent’s know what was going on for the week and provide educational websites for her students to try. When I am a teacher, I will definitely have a blog page. I think that it will make my job easier.
One aspect of technology for learning that as a future teacher makes me think twice is online learning in the high schools and universities. If the trend is moving towards online learning and it proves to be effective, I tend to wonder if it could have a negative impact on the number of teachers needed. I do not see it becoming a problem in the near future, but I definitely think that it is worth a thought.
I hope that this class will provide me with the tools I will need to teach my class a thing or two on the computer effectively. I also want to carry on to ECMP 455 next semester if this class goes well.


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