Task # 1

a) Give a brief description of your own personal background (e.g, school, family, career, hobbies, etc.). Of course, only provide information which you feel comfortable sharing:I was born and raised in South Africa. I attended the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa and acquired a BA degree with majors in Phys Ed and Geography. For the next 2 years I taught Phys Ed and Social Studies at a high school. The following 2 years I worked and traveled in the UK. In 1994 my husband was offered a job in Canada and we moved here. For the next 13 years I was busy raising 3 beautiful children and totally missed the technology boom. During my high school and university years we were still using the old typewriter and the overhead projector (now I really start to sound very ancient). Driving my kids around to all their activities keeps me quite busy. In my spare time I love to read, anything from self help, romance and biographies. My husband works for the Regina Health District and is a great dad.

b) Provide some information regarding your attitudes of or previous experience with technology in your own personal, school or work experience.

As I said, during my high school and university years computers were mostly used in the admin department and we either had to handwrite or type everything else. The library was the only form of resource and that was very time consuming. During the time that I worked as a teacher computers did not exist in the classroom. Living in Canada, technology is a huge help to keep in touch with family and friends in South Africa. As it is very expensive for them to log on (with a dial up modem), we mostly use e-mail as a medium of correspondence or the good old telephone. Having kids of my own, I am just amazed with all the resources there is for them to use. Days of driving to the library to find the necessary information does not exist any more. I love this new technology and that information is just at the tip of your fingers. My experience with technology is not very extensive, but I’m not scared to try.

c) Give insight into how you currently feel towards computing technology in the K-12 classroom. For example, what are the potential benefits or limitations of technology in the classroom? How do you feel technology should or should not be used in K-12 learning environments? What is the impact of new technologies like Youtube, Facebook, MySpace, mobile phones, etc., on student learning and achievement?

Computer technology is the way to go for the future. It is so easy to quickly gather information from the web that it is not necessary to have all the information stored somewhere in your brain. Some people might also see this in a negative light. Using computer technology can also help to teach kids outside the classroom – kids that are not able to attend regular school can still be taught over the internet. In our family, the internet helps with doing homework and keep up with class work while visiting family in South Africa. Bigger classes can be accommodated if technology can be used as a well planned teaching aid. For this you would need a school with a sizable computer lab and a knowlegable teacher. Funding might be the big issue for accomplishing this. Computer technology should be used to teach the kids how to retrieve information, process it and present it. In the lower grades basic knowledge should be the goal. That is how to operate the computer, how to access the internet and the teacher can use it for showing a video or basic reading and math programs. Higher grades should start to learn how to do presentations and research by using technology. Facebook, MySpace and mobile phones don’t really have a place in the classroom and if there is a place for it I would like to know what it is. Youtube is a wonderful teaching aid because there is so many video’s on it to support some lessons.

d) Provide a description of your expectations for this class and from your instructor. What do you hope to accomplish in this class? Is there anything that the instructor should know about your previous experience or lack of experience with technology? My instructor should know that I have limited knowledge of technology. Having kids in the house that could do all the work for me on the computer, kept my learning curve low. After completing this class I would like to know how to use technology and media in the class to assure that my students are well prepared for the day they step out in the real world.

3) Publish your post. Send the URL of your blog to your instructor via email (alec.couros@uregina.ca).

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