Why are digital media and educational software applications important for education?
Hmmm…how to answer this question….Well, I think that with our student population today, the more stimulating an activity, the more the student enjoys and thereby remembers it. I feel that we are really at a turning point in education. If we do not rise to the occasion and meet the needs of our digital native students, they will suffer. Why not integrate digital media and software apps in your classroom? It is interesting and exciting to me as a teacher to be learning about all that is out there. I knew there was a tremendous amount of information out there but maybe not to the extent that it really is. There are so many things I want to try and do with my students eventually. I have been trying to incorporate different things as I go along to ‘test’ them out and see how the students respond. Most of the response is positive with the only negative being that only one student at a time gets to use the computer. I think that children are so affected by video games and multi-tasking that if we challenge them to do this in a classroom, the majority might just surprise us and meet and even exceed our challenge. So many of our students thrive on video games and other interactive activities. I wanted to do something different with my students when we were talking about animals and habitats. I ran across a lesson plan on the Internet that incorporated the CD-ROM Zoo Tycoon. My students loved the idea! I had more than a few convince their parents to buy the game for their home use. Those students then showed me how to use it! The only drawback was that I only have it loaded on 1 computer and only 1 student at a time could ‘build’ in the zoo. I have also used other online sources while teaching life science. The students really enjoy the United Streaming videos from Discovery Network. I use them quite often to introduce or reinforce a concept. I know I am just touching the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, of what is out there and what I could be using. I plan on continuing to learn and to keep on keeping on when it comes to technology in my classroom.