Magazine article Technology and Children

"I Love Technology - Can We Do It Again?"

Magazine article Technology and Children

"I Love Technology - Can We Do It Again?"

Article excerpt

The room may be small, the tables old, and the technology budget $0 - but, whatto happening in this classroom is education and self-discovery.

"OK, everyone, irto time to clean up."

"But, I dont want to go! I like this."

"Its time for lunch."

"I'm not hungry."

Aren't those the words that every teacher longs to hear? My fifth grade class was madly working, constructing wind turbines, when I had this conversation with one of my students. The exciting part is that he is your classic underachieving, troublemaking student, who was falling every subject except technology. About six years ago I was Introduced to the I3 (Innovation, Invention, and Inquiry) curriculum. How could someone with absolutely no technology education experience possibly teach technology to her classroom? Once I got over my initial panic, I was off and running.

making the time

How and when does a busy elementary teacher possibly find the time to add one more thing into an already packed day? The wonderful thing about technology is how well it lends itself to integration in the areas of math, science, language arts, and even social studies.

When teaching weather and energy, I integrated wind turbines. In this unit students began by researching different kinds of energy (geothermal, wind, water, nuclear, etc) and creating flow charts on the positives and negatives of these types of energy. They presented this to the class, explaining their findings. We then began the task of designing our turbines by sketching the turbine blades, base, and shaft connector. The students then created a wind turbine that wound up a 3-foot length of string on a connector rod. The constraints included: a 6-Inch base, 12inch height, and 5-inch turbine blade. The supplies needed were simply found in the trash can or in the supply closet and cost very little money. The conclusion of this unit involved using a hair dryer and timing the winding of the string. The winning turbine timed at three seconds!

History also lends itself to technology integration. While studying the westward expansion with my class, we took the opportunity to research different modes of transportation that helped in the settlement and expansion of our country. We worked through a history timeline and discussed how transportation has changed and how it will change in the future. The challenge began when the class reproduced the vehicle they researched.

During the holiday season, my students thoroughly love our manufacturing unit. From the beginning, students learn health by studying hygiene and how cleanliness is important when cooking food. …

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