Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Technology at DJ Montague

After speaking with teachers at DJ Montague, and observing the technological resources available, I am awed by the advancements that have been made since I was in elementary school. I remember that the availability of computers was far and few between, despite the fact that I went to school in one of the wealthiest and highly regarded counties in the nation-- Fairfax County. Every classroom certainly did not have a computer of its own, let alone a computer for each teacher. I also do not remember any trips to the computer lab or lessons relating to technology in general. Furthermore, the World Wide Web had not yet become mainstream. I do not even remember having dial-up in my household until middle school. However, it has been almost a decade since my last year in elementary school, and times have changed. Today, kids seem to be clicking away at their mouses, downloading songs on iTunes, and Instant Messaging on a daily basis. Today, students in my school have widespread access to the Internet and computers. Their predisposition to technology from a young age has allowed them to become adept at computer skills.

Not only that, they also have access to engaging technological educational tools such as the "Personal Response System." Using this system, students can each answer questions that are projected on a screen, using a remote-control-like device. The class results are instantly calculated, so that the teacher can use the quiz as an assessment tool for how much their students have learned and the students can see how they did as a class. Not only is this useful for teachers, but students seem to love the interactive system.

Students are also using technology in subjects that are not traditionally considered to be related to technology. A perfect example of this is the nationwide "Accelerated Reading" program, which provides online quizzes that are related to educational literature. After completing a set of tests, the teacher can print out each students' responses and use it as an assessment tool. All of these technological tools are great educational devices that should be utilized often, to increase creativity and engagement among students in the classroom.

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