Sunday, July 11, 2010

Computer-Based Instructional Objects

I have to say, I really learned a lot from this week's session, and I certainly found a lot of computer-based instructional objects I will use in my classroom this upcoming year. As a new teacher, I am constantly looking for new ways to make learning engaging for my students, and that's what I love about these CEP courses. After only two weeks, I feel like I am walking away with an abundance of new ideas. For example, the StAIR projects and WebQuests. I feel technologies such as these, could be wonderfully integrated into my classroom, if done right.

While I do feel computer-based instructional objects can be very beneficial, I also feel there are many considerations to be made when using them in the classroom. For example, the very first obstacle I came to when creating my StAIR project was the young age of my students, their lack of technology knowledge, and their lack of literacy skills. Thus, all of these aspects had to be taken into consideration, before I could proceed with my project. I had to be very careful with how I designed it, in order to make sure it was as basic and "child-friendly" as possible. I also came to the conclusion I would have to narrate the majority of it, due to my students' limited and varying literacy abilities. I do feel, however, if done properly, the StAIR project could be very beneficial when doing my economic unit with my students this upcoming year.

In terms of the WebQuests, while I do feel they could be very powerful, the majority of the ones I came across were outdated and didn't work properly. Furthermore, many of the WebQuests didn't credit their sources, making them somewhat unreliable. I did, however, come across a few WebQuests I may use in my classroom. This WebQuest for example, is one where students have to come-up with their own physical activity game to play, and would fit perfectly as part of our Healthy Me! science unit. Another WebQuest I came across, incorporated literacy learning and science, as it centered around Eric Carle's book, The Grouchy Ladybug, and incorporated a variety of hands-on activities, perfect for young students. I liked both of these WebQuests because they related to content I will be covering this upcoming year, seem easy enough for most of my students to use (with minimal help), and appear to use credible sources.

Overall, I am very excited to use both the StAIR projects and WebQuests this upcoming school year.