Are We Meeting The Needs of Our Students?

How can teachers and schools ensure that their students are learning what they need when it comes to Technology and Information Literacy?

Are we meeting the needs of students today? I think we make a good effort, but there are some areas that could be so much easier if we just allowed time for meaningful integration that wasn’t rushed. Of course, technology takes time and we all know that it doesn’t always go the way it is planned. I think back to my Grade 3 class earlier this semester, and my bright idea of putting their Reading Logs into an Excel sheet to “save time”. It was going to be great … we would just punch in the data, set our rows and columns up, and then voila, everything would be auto-calculated for us. It would save us time!

Well, reality stuck in when I saw my students (most of them) take 10 seconds or more to find the “m” key, and then ask how to do a capital letter. At this point, I asked myself, am I meeting their needs, or just creating another project?

Well, the answer was obvious. I need to backtrack, and backtrack I did. I began by asking myself … what do these kids need? Do they need a machine adding up how many pages they have read, or how many minutes they have read for? Or … oh no … do they need to learn how to type? Can we have forgotten a skill as basic as this, or did I take it for granted that these kids would just know how to type? I decided to take action and introduce the students to BBC Dance Mat Typing, got them all excited in class about it, and then put a link on my blog. It became part of our daily homework routine, and this/next week, when we start to present some of our written work (for Writer’s Workshop) electronically, I am curious to see how they have progressed. Parent feedback has been good, so I know that most of them have been doing it at home, but I can’t wait to see first hand how they have progressed.

I really like the way the ISB21 TAIL standards are set up. I see them as a very useful tool that encourages us to integrate technology where it counts. I often refer to them when I begin to look for ways to use technology in the classroom, and as I plan my final project for COETAIL Course #5, these have been essential. I would hope that over time, teachers and staff at ISB refer to this, while looking at the Grade level curriculum, and loom for meaningful ways to integrate technology. I also think it is important to know what grade levels around us are doing, looking vertically so we can “introduce, develop, & consolidate” skills … not necessarily applications.

The ISB21st century literacy (learner) is another very useful site that I am sure over time will become more important to our school. It has a ton of useful information, such as:

It is still early days for this site, but I can see where it is headed … and I like it.

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~ by yamaguru on December 11, 2009.

One Response to “Are We Meeting The Needs of Our Students?”

  1. When students should begin to keyboard has always been a question of mine and others. Would love to hear how its going with your model.

    Love that you are checking out the ISB21 work too! We are trying to put something together that is really accessible to teachers and learners.

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