For Day Four, I want to start by reflecting on what I have done so far with my 20% project. I started out this project with the idea in mind that I was going to research how technology can be used in an elementary school classroom when it came to the four major subject areas. At first, I wanted these to be very specific for each subject area, but I soon found out that this is somewhat difficult to do. I also wanted a variety of websites and apps that are related to each subject area, but this also proved difficult, as many websites that are education are not focused on one subject, but has a little bit of all of them on the website.
This is what lead me to pick out what I thought was the best of websites that incorporated a little bit of everything. The four websites that I found all engaged students in fun activities that were focused on the education of younger children. Some of content was more basic on some websites and on one, the content was actually based off of the Common Core Standards, which I found very interesting. The apps were a little easier to find for each subject area, as I did for the majority of the apps on my first go-around. One of the apps, though, was not really one for games, but it was an app that was actually web browser that filtered content on the Internet specifically for educational material. This one really caught my eye because it is a great way for teachers and parents to let their students and children search the Internet and only find websites and articles that will further their education.
For the next time working on my 20% project, I really focused in on finding websites and app that were specifically for each subject area. This took a lot more time than I had imagined. As I previously stated, it is much harder to find specific websites and apps for specific areas. On my journey, though, I managed to find a few of each that I felt were crucial to the benefit of students in different subject. Now I will say that some of these websites and apps do not cover every aspect of every subject. For example, when it came to language arts, some of the apps that I found focused only on spelling or only on vocabulary. This did interest me, though, as I thought about how new this technology really was and how it could improve over the years. Will there be an improvement on the websites and apps that offer educational content to our children and students? Will there ever be an app that can focus on one content area at a time, providing all the standards and fun ways to learn them?
Another thing that is important when it comes to technology in the classroom are the tools that are to be used to integrate technology into the classroom. Tools are just as important because without the tools, the technology would be useless. The Center for Teaching Excellence has an article that has a list of helpful tool to aid in integrating technology into the elementary school classroom. This article provides links to other articles that also have ideas about what tools should be used when dealing with technology. There are lots of ideas behind technology when it comes to it making it way into classrooms. The link for the article can be found here: http://www.smu.edu/Provost/CTE/Resources/Technology
So far, my 20% project has lead me on a journey of research that has brought about some great websites, apps, and ideas on how teachers can use technology in the classroom. If I had more time on this project, I would continue to research on what is currently being developed that deals with technology and teaching. As I stated earlier, this idea is still a new one and has so much potential for a future in education. Now that I have started this research and found ideas that I can take into my classroom, I continue to be interested in how the events of technology and education might unfold. Even after the ending of this class, I will probably continue to do research and keep up to date with current educational websites and apps. I am excited about where the future of education and technology can take us!