This blog post is for my ECMP 355 class. As I had said in my previous blog post, which was solely just a post introducing myself, I know only the very basics of technology. I don't use the computer much other than to research, type assignments, Google information, use Twitter and Facebook, and to check my e-mail. It's more of a form of entertainment than a work-based instrument, although it does come in handy with university assignments.
As I am on my way to becoming a teacher, I can see that computing technology in the K-12 classroom is important. During my field experiences in an elementary school, I saw that every grade above kindergarten used the computer in one way or another. Reading quizzes, assignments, and the teacher's blog (which included homework assignments and links to further education) was all accessed through the internet. Some children played around during free time while others typed up their assignments. The benefits of using the computer in the classroom include: work can be done quicker because writing and explaining things takes up more time than typing and reading, children become more knowledgeable of technology in the advanced information age we are currently in, classrooms become more "up-to-date", and students find it more interesting than sitting at the desk listening to the teacher instruct. However, I prefer the "old-school" way of education. Children now have more access to a broader range of materials and resources, but they're losing out on literacy skills and face-to-face interaction. I did not have a computer until I was in my early teen years. Sure, my school had computer classes and such, but we still relied on reading books and handouts, handwriting with a pencil, and listening to our teacher rather than reading their online blog. It helped with university because I learn more by writing in class as opposed to typing what the professor says into a Mac. I also find it more reliable because computers crash, but you'll always have your written notes in a binder or notebook (unless you unfortunately lose it, or, as the old elementary saying went: your dog ate it). I just think that students in classrooms nowadays should balance computer-use and the old ways of learning. And, as educators, we should balance that in our classrooms. It is nice to have typed assignments since we all can't read the dreaded chicken-scratch some students call "words", but it is also nice to have them learn how to write properly. There is also the topic of Microsoft Word's spellcheck. Too many of us are using this tool and taking advantage of it. It isn't hard to grab a paper dictionary to look up words, you know!
In closing, my expectations regarding this ECMP 355 class are pretty... moderate, I suppose. I don't expect to leave the class a computer whiz, but I do expect to leave with a fair amount of computer-based knowledge that is applicable to the modern classroom. I hope to leave feeling confident in my computer skills and more up-to-date with technology.