Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Blended learning at the start of 2nd grade.

Blended learning at the start of 2nd grade.  

This idea has been so much harder than I envisioned.  Throughout my two year leave of absence, I have heard over and over again the technology saviness of our students; including our young students.  I have not found this to be the case.

Yes, student can easily play games apps that are placed on the computer (if it has been logged on) but it has been difficult to have students log on the computer using a generic username and password.  It has been almost impossible to have students log onto a learning platform in the first three weeks of school.  This is a skill that they are just beginning to learn. 

I spent a good 30-40 minutes having all the students log onto laptops in our room, to have the learning platform's log in not available. This is frustrating to both the students and myself.  I understand that scaffolding in necessary and it takes time.  It has been such a challenge without, at this time, visible learning outcomes. However, the high point of today, was observing students helping students log on, once they were logged on. 

Do my students want to learn to use technology - absolutely.  The scaffolding takes time, lots of time. At least, in the beginning of the year.  The issue, as I see it, is that so does reading and math concepts. So this idea of blended learning in 2nd grade is a challenge to both the learner and the teacher.

The added challenge, for me, is that I have never taught 2nd grade before. There is a learning curve for reading, math, as well as scaffolding technology in the classroom for this teacher.

So it makes sense to me, to better understand the curriculum first.  While I am accomplishing this, I will make enquiries to check how to access the learning platform and other technologies with a generic log in (this means all laptops are using the same login to start the laptop).  The students are working hard when they learn the technology, I want the technology to be worth their effort. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Thoughts and Quotes

EdTech 521

Reflective Journal

Quotes from Readings and Class Tasks and Activities

Learning online can be overwhelming and stressful for students who are not familiar with the tools of an online environment or the processes of constructivist approach.  A transitional period which includes student supports, scaffolding, and guidance is essential to success.(Rice, K., p.35-38)As I start teaching 2nd graders, I recognize the need for explicit teaching of technology tools so that there can be, in a month or so, mostly learner centered activities.  I am striving for that however, the 2nd graders are new to using technology in the classroom and I am new to the 2nd grade curriculum.