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In an ever-growing technology age, as teachers we are constantly competing with student’s attention. My goal is to integrate the latest technologies into my classroom. It is getting more and more difficult to keep kids interested in new technology, the novelty is long gone. They is introducing technologies in a way where they can see how it can affect them in their daily lives.
Take typing for example. Now, teaching typing as a skill is as important as ever. With renewed interest in texting and social networking kids seem to understand that it is a skill that they can use in their everyday lives. I try to emphasize this in my class.
The goal for me as a “Technology Teacher” is to give my students a broad range of computer activities. I only have a short time to do this (about 45 classes). We do projects that concern MS Office, Social Networking, Cell Phones, Skyping and Google Earth just to name a few. Some students have a good grasp on these programs and others have not ever heard of them. If I can just give kids a reference to new technology, in most cases I feel that I have done my job.
Today, we will be Skyping with another computer class that is in Michigan. It is just far enough away so kids feel that the school is different from mine. Most of the time the kids want to show off to the other class. I will keep them on task with a question and answer session. Next, the other teacher and myself will select the best classes to do an additional lesson. Usually out of 5 classes we select one or two to talk again. The goal is to set up the two classes for one on one Skyping. My cameras are all set up and ready to go, but the other teacher is waiting for theirs to be ordered, don’t you love public education…?
Now a days, kids are less impressed by the technology itself, which used to be my bread and butter. So, the solution is to stay current and keep the lessons interesting to the student. Even if kids are familiar with the technology, maybe I can show them something new or even better, inspire them to use technology in new ways.
For more ideas and the best middle school computer lessons on the web check out http://www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com/