Thursday, April 12, 2012

Technology in Kindergarten

In the morning after all of her 1/3 sized people arrived in her class and took off their coats, Ms. Grube announced that Mr. Weinberg was coming to their class. She announced that he would be bringing something.

Mr. Weinberg brought a whole tub of digital cameras. In a semi-circle the students gathered around Mr. Weinberg as he explained how the digital camera worked. Students listened intently and worked hard to control their excitement.

Ms. Grube and I went over how to use the camera, how to take good pictures and a couple rules. The rules were designed to keep the cameras and the children safe. After the brief explanation, Ms. Grube paired up the students and Mr. Weinberg handed out cameras to the pairs. Then Ms. Grube gave students little prompts for them to follow. “Take a picture of something red,” she would state. Or “Take a picture of something that represents spring,” she explained. Students followed directions.

This was the first day, what we called an introduction day, of a project that requires students to work together and use digital cameras. On Wednesday March 7th, 2012, students were given a clipboard, check list and a digital camera. In pairs students participated in a “letter sound scavenger hunt.” A few students got “hung up” on taking pictures of the letters instead of taking pictures of objects that start with the letter sound. After a couple corrections students understood the difference. Students alternated taking pictures of objects that represented each letter and its corresponding sound in the alphabet. The student not taking the picture had the responsibility of checking off the letter on a piece of paper on a clipboard.

In 2003, 87% of all jobs involved using a computer in some way. The percentages of jobs using computers most-likely has not decreased. Exposure to technology at an early age is a great way to get students ready for their lives after school here at Cattaraugus Little Valley.

Using a digital camera is a simple way to help emerging readers learn phonics in a different way while exposing them to technology. Students were also required to be responsible with the cameras and to get along with their peers. These skills are important for all of us but is especially important learning for kindergartners.
Students in Ms. Grube really enjoyed this project. Most students were able to complete the project and find all the letter sounds. Now, Ms. Grube is taking the cameras and is going to print out a picture book for each of the students and have them write about their pictures using inventive spelling.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What is Twitter

Twitter is a micro-blogging site that allows users to converse with large or small audiences with a text message-type blurb in a 140 characters or fewer. Messages or “tweets” can be sent via text message, from basically any mobile device.

The experience on Twitter really depends on how many people “follow” you and your tweets and who you follow. Some people find that the people that they follow have nothing but negative things to say. Others say that they find out information from Twitter that either mainstream media has not cover yet or will not cover because mainstream outlets do not find it important.
m a regular computer or a mobile device. There are also a bunch of third-party Twitter applications that allow users to create time-delayed tweets, organize tweets into search-able columns by topic or rank tweets by popularity worldwide.

Still others use Twitter as a tool for social justice and helping to cause positive change in the world by communicating ideas and beliefs that benefit people. During the massive and destructive earthquake in Haiti, a plane from the program Doctors without Boarders was attempting to land in Port-

au-Prince. The plane, filled with critical life-saving supplies, was unable to land due to the U.S. Air Force having taken over the airport. People from all over the world started tweeting to the U.S. Air Force’s Twitter feed and an hour later the plane was able to land. At one point the U.S. Air Force tweeted back and said they were working on it.

What can Twitter do for students? Like any type of communication tool,

Twitter can be used for negative as well as positive uses. One negative use was reported by KNWA, which is a Television Channel from North Western Arkansas. Three teenage girls were “picked up” for bullying a fellow teen on Twitter. The student who was bullied did not return to school for 3 days because her self-esteem had been so damaged.

Other students have had their self-esteem affected in a positive way. Oscar Lozoria, a shy 14-year-old student from East Los Angeles, said that after tweeting in his high school social studies class, his fellow students no longer made fun of him. Oscar goes on to say that he is respected by his peers for his thoughts that his classmates see in the form of tweets. Osc

ar said that, “They see me as somebody now, like an equal.” Here is the link to the

No matter how you view Twitter, it is important to know about. Whether you are sending out tweets about how many pancakes you ate for breakfast or are receiving tweets from authors who have written books you are reading in class, this new type of communication is something to be aware of and is not going away anytime soon.