Again I find myself learning that there is so much more to technology and the internet.  I like to think that I am technology savvy, but working with Scratch to create a program was quite interesting.  I felt like I was back  in middle school struggling to understand a weird math equation.  Building the program also had me thinking about thinking deeper about information.  I thought about the questions Dr. Coffman posed in Chapter 3 about students first exploring a search engine.  The questions she posed are things that I think most teachers do not think about.  What does the ranking mean in a Web search? Why should phrases be used when conducting a search?(Coffman p. 38, 2013)  As teachers I believe we sometimes assume because the students are more immersed in the technology that they understand these things.  We have to make sure that we are not shortchanging ourselves or the students.  Challenging them and guiding them to think with an inquisitive mind is crucial.  In this day and age there are a lot of sources on the internet that are false and our students need the tools to be able to search through the muck in a clear way.

As I attempted the program I felt like it was my first time with technology.  I found myself getting lost in the minute details of adjusting the pace of the drum sounds.  I had to figure out first how to download the program to my computer properly.  I then had to work through exploring just how each part of the program maker worked.  I went at the design with arrogance.  I thought it would be a simple task that would take no time.  I did watch the introductory tutorial, but then I immediately downloaded the program and started working.  I picked Checks and Balances because it seemed simple and I thought I could do something fun with it.  I used the starting out guide to assist with questions that I had as I was piecing everything together, but I did not write anything out before hand.  I definitely would have my students make a plan first and then explore and work with the program.  Because I had no real plan and only an idea I continually got off track and felt overwhelmed with understanding the program and trying to figure out my design.

In viewing the tutorial everything seemed a little elementary and that is why I thought putting things together would be cake.  While the design and animation is not the best making the data work properly is another story.  You cannot approach any tasks involving technology so lightly.  We as teachers have to think creatively and understand how our students will approach these activities.  They will most likely be more skilled, but that does not mean that they know how to think about the project or process the information.  It is our job as teachers to provide our students with that, “information literacy” that allows them to think creatively with a proper understanding.

 

Coffman, T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: developing creative thinkers and information literate students. (2nd ed.). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

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