Like everyone at ISB, I use a computer several hours each day communicating with colleagues and parents, setting up Smartboard lessons for students, preparing in-class lessons and homework packets, juggling email messages, keeping classroom inventories, etc.
However, for too long now, I have felt that I am only on the periphery of what is happening in information technology. I’ve heard about “Wikis” and how easy and wonderful they are to use. I’ve even been signed up for one for over a year, but it is still languishing out there in the netherworld of the WWW waiting for my input. I’ve heard about “Flicker” and how easy it is to post photos for family and parents of students to view. And of course I’ve heard about blogs. Sometimes I feel that I am the only person with a computer who doesn’t “blog” on a regular basis.
Considering my limited computer expertise and that I teach third graders and am in charge of making sure that my students are on their way to having the information technology skills they will need to be informed citizens of the 21st century, I think it is past time for me to move from the periphery into the mainstream. So, the main reason I need this course is to make sure that my kids are ready with the computer skills and knowledge needed to meet their future.
However, I have many questions regarding their future: What do my third graders need to be able to do? How should they be using computers now in preparation for the fourth grade, fifth grade, middle school, high school, college and future jobs that don’t exist or are not even conceived of yet?
Overall, what I hope to gain from this course is to become more proficient and knowledgeable in the use of computers for myself as a learner, thus enabling me to more competently look for ideas and methods to use computer technology with my third graders that will be developmentally appropriate for them and relevant to their learning.