Sunday, February 22, 2009

You Have Died of Dysentery

It amazes me that in my lifetime children have gone from playing The Oregon Trail on their computer, if they even had one, to preschool children doing this:

If this is what children are capable of doing when they are only four years old, how can I tailor my instruction in my Kindergarten classroom to teach the 21st Century Learner?

There is an important place for computers in the classroom and home. Many websites specifically target young children and their parents such as PBS Kids (, Nick Jr. (, and Scholastic ( with games, stories, music, and activities. Children are learning new literacies and taking part in new literacy experiences on these websites through the brightly colored text, animation, words, games, songs, etc. These new literacies build upon a child's book literacy, are fun and interactive, as well as something a child and parent can participate in together.

However, not all children have access to computers or the internet prior to entering school creating a divide in early literacy learning. In my classroom I need to recognize and respect my student's experiences before school and recognize that these experiences are quickly changing due to the advancements in technology. As a result, I must find ways to integrate technology in my literacy instruction.

I'd love to hear how others are using technology in their classrooms...


Megan Barker said...

First of all, I love that commercial with the little girl. She's so adorable.

I'm glad you realize that not all children have access to computers at home. Unlike library books and cheap notebooks, students can't take computers home with them. So what happens to the kids who don't have computers at home? There could be various reasons for not having one: they are expensive, some religions don't advocate computer-use (I'm thinking of a high school friend of mine who was German Baptist, and she was not allowed to use the Internet), etc. How can teachers expect all children to do work on computers at home?

I guess that's where integrating technology into your classroom comes in. Students can practice their other literacy skills while using a computer (typing on Microsoft Word for example) in the classroom without having to do it at home. Obviously, the more interaction and practice students have with technology the better, but just like other literacy skills, teachers have to be aware of their students skills and needs and teach accordingly.

April said...

Megan when you talk about your highschool friend that wasn't allowed to use the computer I immediately think about several families in the school I teach at that aren't allowed to be on the internet. Our school system requires that all students have an internet use agreement signed for each child in order for them to use the internet. I think it is each families right to decide if their child is allowed to use the interne tof not. But as teachers, I think it is our responsibility to ensure that our students are getting the same things that the students allowed to use the internet are. I have never had a student that wasn't allowed to use the internet, but I can imagine that having to accomodate these children to be a challenge in todays society. When I think about my school day, we use the internet everyday and for so many different things. In order to assess reading comprehension, we do AR and you have to use the internet to take the test. We use learning today for reading and math instruction,study island for all academic areas, spellign city for spelling, and so many other things to enhance instruction in our classroom. The state of NC computer competency test used the internet, this year the writing test began using the internet, and I am sure all EOG's will go to that. So how do we accomodate the few but still present children that aren't allowed to use the internet?

amorea said...

We have recently had active boards installed in our classrooms. I have enjoyed finding flipcharts that relate to my standards. The students enjoy it also. I am looking forward to creating my own flipcharts to teach whole and small group.

amorea said...

i would love to get some ideas from you on how you imploy technology with your lessons. I am so open to new ideas!