Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Interview Questions

I haven't posted for a while- sorry, sorry!  I can hardly believe the first 2 months of 2011 are almost over already.  I don't have anything amazing to share tonight, but I thought I'd post my responses to some questions I was asked about using iPads/tech in K.  

1.  How has the iPad changed the way students learn in your class?
The iPad allows for greater differentiation of instruction with immediate reinforcementwhen I can't be alongside a student.  They can move at their own pace more readily, and kids are less aware of what they can and can't do in relation to other students.
2.  Using the iPad in Kindergarten, do you see the students' age being a concern?
Actually, the age and development level of kindergartners make iPad's  ideal for them.     Young children instinctively reach out to touch items that catch their interest, and the simplicity and intuitive design of the iPad makes it easier for young students to use than any other technology I've used in the classroom.

3.  Does the iPad make any aspects of your teaching easier/more difficult?
The only "difficult" part of using the iPads is not having enough- they are a coveted item and finding ways to share them fairly is an extra challenge.  I could use them for even more parts of our day if I had a class set and wouldn't have to track who has had a turn, etc.

However, the ways the iPad make things easier is definitely worth all the times I'm asked- is it my turn yet?    There are several apps that have replaced using hundreds of manipulatives- which take valuable time to pass out and manage.  For example- instead of passing out 8 letters to each child for a making words lesson, I simply have them go to an app and pull up the needed letters.  This takes about 30 seconds versus several minutes (and no clean up).  Occasionally I need to occupy part of my students for brief periods (such as when I am working with a small group and another student needs assistance) I can direct my group to work with a specific app and know that they are working on a needed skill rather than waiting for me to return.  The portability of the iPads is wonderful too- throughout the day they might be on the floor with a student, at a table, go down to the library, the hallway, or even the gym.  The kids can carry them too. 

4.  How do you see the role of technology influencing your class in the future?  I think technology will influence all classrooms more and more in the future, and I welcome it in mine.  I consider using technology to do things that have been done "the old fashioned way" akin to using a microwave instead of a stove or driving a car rather than using a horse.  The old way works just fine, but there are definate benefits to using computers over handwriting for some projects, or an app instead of an worksheet.  Of course, new technology shouldn't be automatically considered superior to old ways- after all, if I want butter melted quickly I use the microwave.  If I want to bake a cake though, I need to take the time to use the oven for the best results.  My role as a teacher is to determine the best way to meet the needs of my students, using all resources available.

3 comments:

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