Tech Task #1

Hi there, my name is Cynthia Schultz. I am a fourth year education student at the University of Regina in my final semester of classes. The end is insight …

I pre-interned at Fort Qu’Appelle Elementary School for two weeks in 2010 with grade 5 students, at W.H. Ford here in Regina for three weeks with grade 6 and 7 students. I most recently spent four months at St. Michael’s School in Yorkton with grade 5 students. Being an intern was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to have my own classroom one day. This semester I will be working with students at Elsie Mironuck and Ranch Ehrlo in regards to improving their reading and comprehension skills.

I have attended both Public and Separate schools in Regina and graduated from Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School in 2008. In elementary and high school, I was involved in band and jazz band (clarinet and saxophone), music classes and also concert choir. I was part of the tech team – setting up for assemblies, concerts, performances and running sound and av equipment. In elementary school, I was involved in helping to create the school website and this continued into high school as well. At LeBoldus I took information processing classes and CPT (Communication Production Technology) classes – communication media classes where I learned various tools such as: Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, I-Movie, and Garageband to name a few.

I consider myself fairly proficient in technology as most things that I have learned have come from me experimenting with programs, software and tools, online learning and trial and error. I have always had a passion for technology and whenever my family has questions, I am the one they ask – which can be a good and a bad thing! Some of my interests and hobbies include:  computers – experimenting with programs and tools, digital photography, music – listening and creating, video editing, curling, tennis, reading, watching movies, and soccer.

I have previously worked at Wendy’s here in Regina where I was an opening manager and day supervisor. This was a great experience where I worked with a very culturally diverse group of people who taught me a lot. I am an active volunteer at St. Martin de Porres Parish here in Regina serving as: a CWL member and President Elect, a member of Stewardship committee. I am currently assisting with designing and maintaining our Parish website. I have previously been a part of Parish Council, training altar-servers and a member of the youth group.

During elementary school, email and Msn was just starting to get really big. I frequently used Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. High school was more looking at building basic word processing skills and moving towards more art related technology design tools. I started using Facebook and then Twitter at the end of high school and in university. Social media is pretty cool and can be utilized in many different ways – not just for keeping in contact with others, but in learning, teaching and sharing information. There are so many programs out there that allow you to create amazing products – you just need to spend time using and exploring them! This is my first WordPress blog site but I have also used Wikispaces, VoiceThread, Prezi, Comic Life, Skype, Photostory 3, and the list goes on. I have also started working with SmartBoards – having utilized them during internship. I also used Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Office tools, YouTube videos, stop-frame animation, Adobe Photoshop and online math games in my internship experience.

Technology will take educators and students in many directions as it has become a great tool, one that seems to have endless possibilities. I would love to use technologies in the classroom all the time, however I have experienced spending a lot of time setting it up and getting students on the same page if this is something new that they are learning to work with. They need basic skills before you can progress and I have had students who have barely used a computer. However, I think that with the new generation and the availability of technology, that students will come to school having a basic competence in using a computer for instance. Technology has a purpose in helping students learn whether it is by providing resources and different ways of completing an assignment, creative tools and programs, interactive and networking tools, and entertainment – to name a few.

For younger students I believe it is a good idea to have them exposed to and using technology at an early age. I think it is important for them to use, become familiar and comfortable with the following tools: computers, blogs, videos, and basic word processing and presentation tools. For all students and older students, technology can help connect to students interests and can help them express themselves in their assignments and to be creative by using the wide selection tools that are available out there. Thus, older students need to expand further on the skills they already have and to learn new ones.

Technology is also great for teaching – SmartBoards, videos, blogs, and wikis allow you to engage and interact with students and to keep them interested in learning. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are great ways to communicate and share with students – if done and set up in the correct ways. The door is now open to another way of learning, sharing, supporting and interacting with others.

As much as I would like to advocate for technology to be used predominately in classrooms, I also think that sometimes books and paper still need to be used. Not everything should be done using technology and students still need to be able to read and use hard copies of books, to physically write out papers and rough copies of assignments, and to also develop these skills and to be creative with other tools (not technology based). I do think that students learning can be impacted positively using technologies – but that using these technologies shouldn’t (not yet at least) become their sole way of learning and expressing their understanding.

This blog is a part of a class I am taking – ECMP 355. During the semester, I hope to learn and use great tools which will help me to connect with other educators from all over the world and to learn from them as well. I would like to establish a great list of resources and tools to help me in using technology in the classroom and to experiment with these tools as well. I hope to learn many new skills and to continue using and learning various technologies that are out there. I am looking forward to the experience and the learning that will take place.

 

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