Reflect on your past experiences with technology in the classroom
1. Chandler Elementary, 1st grade
At Chandler, I was placed in a first grade classroom for a CSL course. The students in this classroom rarely used technology. I believe this was due to the fact that the school was in a low socioeconomic area and there were simply not enough means or a large enough budget to supply much technology in the classroom. Regardless of this, the classroom teacher still made her best efforts to incorporate activities that did utilize the limited technology the school had. To myself, these efforts to incorporate technology by the teacher imply that the use of technology in the classroom is becoming more essential and beneficial.
Generally, technology was used to make stations or activities more engaging. When the classroom teacher was able to get her hands on a few iPads that belonged to the school, she used them as a reward and allowed students to play educational games on them during free time. This motivated the students because they, of course, all desired to play on the iPad when the opportunity arose.
The teacher also used her own phone to set timers and play games with the students to review topics by playing games. The students always got a kick out of the funny noise going off on her phone when time was up and it created a fun atmosphere where the students were motivated.
2. City View Elementary, 1st grade
At City View Elementary, there was more availability of technology to the teachers. In fact, every teacher utilized the iPhone/iPad application called Classroom Dojo. This system was used as a behavioral management system for the entire class. It was extremely effective for the class that I was in, the kids were always motivated to earn points. The most effective feature of this app for the class that I was in was the “random” button, the teacher would alert the students that she will press it and will reward or not reward points to whoever the student was only if they transitioned according to the expectations. Not knowing who the student was encouraged all of the students to meet the expectations, it also provided for much smoother transitions in the classroom. The teacher was also able to reward students with points or take points away, and she would explain to them why she did each right away. This helped reinforce or deter certain behaviors in the classroom. The app was also linked up so that the parents could follow along with the classroom activities and manage their child’s behavior from home. This definitely reinforced expectations and provided a lot of consistency, I saw many parents communicating with the classroom teacher through the app. It was extremely useful in the classroom and I hope to implement it in my own.