This week we began our class by discussing the ways in which we have observed technology being used in the classrooms we are currently completing our Wednesdays Field Experiences in. For me personally, I have not seen a multitude of devices and programs implemented into my mentor teacher’s lessons; the occasional Chromebook is brought out, and there is a projector present, but it seems as though at least on the day I visit, most leaning is done in a traditional format (lecturing, individual work). One of the things that did capture my interest was how that as young as grade four and five in this particular district, an email account is being attached to a student that will follow them throughout the rest of their schooling until grade 12. Again, this raises questions of security and privacy, with consent being a concern, as children and their parents might not be aware of what they are agreeing to and the ongoing effects surrounding building a digital footprint. Although I haven’t had prior experience with FreshGrade, I am very curious about this platform, and will make an effort to further explore how I can integrate it to help engage families, which I think is extremely important to keep everyone one the same page and identify areas where further support may be needed.
On the topic of coding, I feel that is a valuable competency to explore for elementary kids as it provides them with an opportunity to use problem solving and computational skills to develop an understanding of how “real world” and practical concepts function, fostering a more inquisitive mind. I was able to try out the app “Scratch Jr.” on my iPad and loved how user friendly and easy it was to maneuver; you could create a scene and manipulate the movements of characters, with lots of flexibility in colour choice and visuals. Adding audio was even an option, and so collectively my group thought that this would be a great occasion for introducing story-telling, improving proficiency in literacy.
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