Wednesday, October 3, 2007

"value added"

What is the "value added" for the uses of technology we have been discussing in class this semester? How do they (or don't they) fit with UDL?

there is so much valued added for the uses of the technology we have been discussing in class! According to Dexter's text, the notion of value added has to do with the fact that the focus is not the technology, that is that technology is not being used as an end , but as a mean to accomplish something - make learning more meaningful, give students and teachers more ways of working and learning.
Every technology we have learned and discussed in class has so much potential in it.
Starting with the blogging for instance, which right now is being used to do homework. The article about the teddy bears shows yet another great use of this technology.
Softwares like Inspiration make conceptual maps so much simpler and accessible. It is a great studying tool for students - for me for instance, I have used it to make outlines of texts I have to read. For teachers, it is really useful in preparing outlines for explanations, especially considering they can be done right in class, as the students watch your explanation.
Working with the gimp and learning how to make a website with NVu - well, I am not even sure where to start - it opens up so many possibilities for learnign when you have the web available. Students can have resources for their homework there, keep track of the class development, have their works posted, parents can keep track of their children's class. I am not even putting that much thought into it.
Unfortunately there will be students like me that need to go to a public internet place to work on the internet. That is actually a drawback that is constantly in my mind when I think about web resources for school kids. I don't know much about the situation of school kids in the U.S. , but most kids in Brazil do not have internet access at home - my aunt is a teacher, and she's been doing wonders of technology in her class, but she does teach at a "rich kid school" so to say, the place where she teaches is a very selective private schools that welcomes the wealthy farmers and merchants in that town. They all have fancy homes and computer and, now, internet - but that is not the reality of the majority of students, especially the public school ones.
I wonder if that is the case here in America. As much as this is a 1st world country, I think there is still a lot of people who have no home access to internet, including minorities. that would be my main concern about making online activities, or really any kind of homework that requires use of computer based technology, for public school students.
Webquests for instance - they would be great tools for inquiry based learning, if the student that doesn't have the tool at home, will have the computer available at school - let's say at the school library - and is able to go and use it. They are not that great an idea if students are left to themselves to figure out a way of getting to a computer somewhere else.
I guess that does go back to Dexter's eTIP about the availability of the resources. In the text she mentioned the teacher at school, but I believe it also has to do with teachers considering about the availability of material to the students. it could definitely ruin the whole point of an activity if part of my class would not be able to get it done without a considerable amount of extra effort.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Langran said...

I'm so glad you've been enjoying learning about different uses of technology in the classroom during this course. And yes, access is definitely something to think about - keep this in mind especially later on in the semester when we discuss issues of equity.

Thank you for keeping on top of your work, despite your own issues with access - great to see you're posting early.