ASU/PV New Media Class
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Tech TeachesTech Teaches Once thought to corrode reading skills, computers are a key tool in improving them. By Grace Rubenstein Review by Kelly Moore This article discusses the intriguing ways that technology is being used inside and outside the classroom to help improve literacy skills in students. Technology once thought of as a deterrent to proper reading and writing skills is actually proving its effectiveness across the country. So much so that it is calling for organizations such as the National Reading Panel (a group of experts convened by Congress in 1997 to assess various reading-instruction methods) to research more the effective uses of technology in the classroom. Due to this request more money has now been put into developing effective software to use in the classroom which was suppose to be out in April of 2006. Living in a day and age where our days are filled with emails, blogs, text messages, forums, on-line classes and websites, many are saying that integrating technology into our learning environment is essential and we are actually providing a disservice to our students by not exposing them to technology. It is pretty clear with as much as technology is changing on a daily basis it will be even much more advanced than we can imagine by the time our students reach adulthood and advance into the working world. They will need to have the understanding of technology and what an important and effective tool it can be in anything and everything they do in their careers. Though some feel that the “unfiltered” literacy of the internet, one the most popular forms of technology, can actually harm students reading and writing levels, but research has actually proven that the level of most websites is equivalent to the New York Times. Some also believe that the appeal of the Internet is enough intrigue to draw students to explore and learn. It also helps in “leveling the playing field” by offering numerous sources for retrieving information because, after all, not everyone learns the same way. Some teachers may also use technology to connect their students to the outside world. One teacher read a story to her students and then taught them how to post an on-line critique of the story on Amazon.com where they students could read their own postings from outside of school. Another tool mentioned in the article is Webquest.org, which offers high interest activities to help students become engaged in their own learning. Even when teachers encourage their students to take part in emails, blog, and forums, they are encouraging literacy and learning among their students. It is not just about using a computer. In my own experience, technology has always been something that has lit up the faces of my students. I have been able to teach in forty-five minutes using technology that which would take me two days to teach without and be able to have higher student achievement. Students often have to teach me the newest trends in technology, so it is only fitting that I join in on the fun and teach them something in return.