June 11, 2010
Berry, B., & Detamore, J. (2003). How My Elementary Class Improved. Technology &
Children, 8(2), 12. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.
Both of the teachers in this article emphasize the importance of hands-on learning.
The kindergarten teacher allots a greater amount of time for “design” than any other
standard. She believes children who are given plenty of opportunities to use and evaluate
many and varied mechanisms to solve a problem will make them more critical and
divergent thinkers. She begins simply by challenging her kindergarten students “to make
a square on a geoboard using only one rubberband.” As more and more advanced
“challenges” are introduced to the children, they are more wiling to become risk takers,
accepting that when a trial doesn’t work as hoped, they can view it as an opportunity
rather than a failure.
The second grade teacher says her own need to be a life long learner inspired using a
hands-on approach with her students as well. Her own learning experiences have
convinced her that the process is so much more important than the final product. Her
students design, build, evaluate, and share their projects with their peers, parents, and
community. They can apply what they learn to real life situations.
Although I agree with the premise of this article, in that children need to be exposed to
project design for deeper understanding, I was disappointed that this article failed to give
solid examples of the use of technology to do this. I thought the article sort of left the
reader thinking, “Yes, I need to teach my students with open ended projects, but how?”
Even my pre-k students have done a few simple PowerPoint projects and they love
creating with KidPix, but with this article, I was hoping for more ideas for design
projects. I try to build up to the more advanced activities but am not sure if I am using
the proper “stepping stones” to do it. The article was simply a convincing collection of
facts supporting the positive aspects of project design learning without many specific
examples of “how” it can be integrated into a classroom.
Frazel, M. (2007). Tech for Tinies: How Young is Too Young to Use Computers?.
Library Media Connection, 26(3), 56-58. Retrieved from Academic Search
The article, Tech for Tinies, reminds the reader about the old fashioned idea that pre-
kindergarten and kindergarten children are too young to use computers. Obviously, that
is no longer the belief, as hundreds of software titles, designed especially for young
children are not available. This article lists several examples of websites and software,
especially for that audience. It describes a few of the favorite topics covered in these
websites. The article also documents websites that caregivers and teachers can use to
exchange ideas, activities, and classroom management ideas. Interactive sites, probably
originally designed for home schoolers, are becoming more popular for use in schools as
well as homes. There is even a section on the use of “technological toys” to enhance
learning. The article states that the rate of speed in which children master the technology
concepts and applications is amazing. The attention span of even the youngest child is
I loved this article. I can’t wait to visit some of the recommended websites to try out
some of the trial versions of the software. I am especially interested the Tux Paint and
Pixie, programs that the article suggested. My pre-kindergarten students use Kidpix, and
it is amazing how quickly they learn to use it and how creative they can be. I was a little
disappointed that the article spent some time discussing the use of special child friendly
mice, keyboards, and headphones. I have actually used some of the hardware products
that they mentioned and found that they were not as reliable or durable as advertised.
Overall though, the article gave a good representation of what’s out there for the very
young and had valid ideas for its implementation in two classrooms.
Knapp, S. (2009). YES! KINDERGARTNERS CAN USE WHITEBOARDS. Instructor,
118(5), 11. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.
This article provides the reader with a firm idea of what a whiteboard (smartboard) is,
how it can be used, and with what ages it can be integrated. The article also provides the
reader with several different whiteboard techniques that she uses in her own classroom.
Some of these include allowing the studnts to have a part in the “morning message,”
which also includes charting the daily weather on an ongoing chart. The student uses the
stylus to record the weather for the day. At the end of the month, the results can be
studied as a class lesson. In addition to the morning meeting usage of this technology,
there are many other ways to integrate it into the typical day of the elementary school day
as well. This article suggests that “the possibilities are endless” when it comes to using
Due to the fact that this article offered so many resources and activities to do with the
piece of technology that it mentioned, I felt as though it was a very informative and
useful article. As an elementary educator myself, I have actually walked away from
reading it with several new ideas that I will try next year. The problems that I saw with
this article were minor, but I feel that if they were corrected or added, the article would
definitely serve as even more of an informative text. As stated earlier, there were several
mentions of activities and resources for using the whiteboard in the classroom, but there
was little mention of what a whiteboard was and where/how one could go about obtaining
one of these.
Martin, W., Shulman, S., & Education Development Center, N. (2006). Intel Teach
Essentials Instructional Practices and Classroom Use of Technology Survey
Report. Center for Children and Technology, Education Development Center,
Retrieved from ERIC database.
This article presents a study presented and executed by Education Development
Center (EDC) which determines factors that influence how technology is used in
educational settings. The study focused on the effective integration of technology into
grades Kindergarten through 2nd. The study was completed by using a “Classroom Use of
Technology Survey” and distributed to over a thousand classroom teachers. Some of
these participants also participated in an additional program which would investigate
which research-based factor (teacher’s access to technology or teacher’s pedagogical
beliefs) influenced their use of technology and the instructional practices in which they
use. The results of the study showed that each of the factors had some effect on the topic
I thought the article was very informative overall. However, the one thing that I
would classify as a “problem” was the use of percentage and all of the numbers.
Personally, I find it very difficult to keep the numbers separate and straight. I would have
seen it much more clearly if some of the information was presented in a table format. As
far as the reason behind the study and the results found, I thought it was very appropriate
and a very well developed study.
Poplin, C. (2007). A SUSTAINED EFFORT. T H E Journal, 34(7), 44-45. Retrieved
from Academic Search Complete database.
This article presents a policy adapted by the National Staff Development Council in
Arizona. The policy in which the council adapted, deals with ways to emphasize the
importance of technology integration in the academic standards found in Arizona. The
article states that this is a far cry from the normal teacher training sessions and practices,
which include workshops and conferences. The article explains that the new form of
technology placed in classrooms is based and encouraged by the use of peer coaching and
peer observations. The article suggests studies in which the council used to decide if this
peer to peer strategy was effective or not. Obviously, the results did confirm that this
way of training teachers to integrate technology is in fact the most effective integration
This article was very informative and explained the information in a easy to
understand method. I enjoyed reading about the samples of integration methods that the
article mentioned, but I felt that there were many other methods that could have also been
included. The author of the article should have included more specific activities and
examples of technology integration. There were also very few mentions of the specifics
of the study as well. This was yet another factor that I thought would have improved the
information that was presented.
Toren, Z., Maiselman, D., & Inbar, S. (2008). Curriculum Integration: Art, Literature and
Technology in Pre-Service Kindergarten Teacher Training. Early Childhood
Education Journal, 35(4), 327-333. doi:10.1007/s10643-007-0197-0.
This article introduces the term “Visual Culture” and discusses its integration into
technology. The article also discusses combining the use of technology with artistic
expression and children’s literature. The study presented in this article involves
implementing this practice and these ideas presented in a lot of kindergarten classes. The
teachers whom are presenting the information/practices in this article are educators
trained by the Arab Academic College of Education. Throughout the article the
techniques in which the students (educators) are learning as well as what the children
(kindergarten students) are learning and doing are presented. One of the specific
technological processes that is mentioned is the creation of an electronic portfolio
displaying all of the lessons and teaching methods and work from the educators students
in their classroom. The main point of the whole article is to explore just how technology
can influence young minds in the subject of cultural and social contexts.
While I enjoyed the article and reading about the different methods that the educators
used with the students, I disliked the fact that the whole article was based in a non-
American setting. It was interesting to see things from a different point of view, but it
would have been more “relatable” to me if it would have been set in an American school
setting. Other than that, I felt that the information and the study presented was effective
and appropriate for the topic.
Yoder, M. (2009). S'Cool Tools: 5 Great Tools to Perk Up Your Classroom and Engage
Your Students. Learning & Leading with Technology, 37(3), 12-15. Retrieved
from ERIC database.
This article offers a selection of “technology related tools” to use in the classroom. In
addition to the description of the tools, each tool’s section offers a blurb about how it can
be used in the classroom, with what academic content, and how effective it is in student
learning. The article also made a point to emphasize the fact that the tools all have a
strong purpose if used correctly, as well as made clear of the point that technology should
be integrated in all grade levels – high school students can learn just as much as
elementary students from the technology presented to them – especially if it is presented
The only negative drawback to this article was, unlike many of the other articles, there
was no specific study done, but rather a description of what happened and how certain
tools were integrated in different learning environments. Other than this, I thoroughly
enjoyed the content and can’t wait to explore, in more depth, some of the tools
mentioned. I also liked that the prices of many of the objects were also included in the
article as well.