For me personally this chapter was not as insightful as the first two, but I still learned a few things. I am very fortunate to work at a school where technology is very important and subsequently funding is provided. By Christmas of last year every classroom in the school had their own Smart Board with the exception of our two Kindergarten rooms, however we had 2 on loan from the school board office. Our own Smart Boards with proper wall mounted projectors are currently on order and should be installed in the fall. With those we are each getting a netbook to hook up to the Smart Board, and we have wi-fi throughout the school. We also have had PD sessions where trainers have been brought in to teach us the technology and sessions where we share our uses with each other. In terms of other technologies I have my own playbook and mac book that I often take to school with me and it has been hinted that we may be getting tablets for use in the class sometime next year.
Some of the ideas I picked up from this chapter included:
- using turn and talk to make sharing images a social experience
- using images from books to inspire dramatic reenactments or discussion
- demonstrate math concepts using manipulatives
- students sharing their art and creations with the class
These are all things that I do with my class now without the projector but am now considering taking it to the projector to make the experience more social and give all students access to the visuals at the same time. I am thinking about all the time it will save not having to pass things around or all huddle around a small object. In our new ELK program there is a lot of inquiry learning but I feel the two main skills that students are working on developing are questioning and sharing. Questioning starts the inquiry and sharing expands it to include the rest of the class. The use of projectors keeps coming back to this but there is one main thing I and starting to think I need to get: A DOCUMENT CAMERA!
After finished the chapter I decided to question my #kinderchat network on their thoughts on document cameras. I got a very good and concise reply from Matt. I don’t want to retype all his great ideas but you should check out his blog. So now that I have decided we need a document camera I need to figure out which one will work best for us and put together a proposal for my principal.