A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
The following examples of traditional uses of technology were documented in our case studies.
- Technology as the teacher's presentation tool
- To teach her third-grade class about decay, the teacher leads a whole-class discussion supported by images from a videodisk. She alternates between throwing out questions for students to answer and showing thought-provoking images from the disk (e.g., a time-lapse sequence of a dead rat's body swelling, breaking open, and being consumed by microorganisms). The photographic images helped to make the point that while some forms of decay have negative consequences (e.g., tooth decay), others have important positive effects (such as turning leaves into rich soil for plants). Following this portion of the lesson, the teacher hooked up a video projection system that allowed the whole class to view microscopic organisms in a petri dish. Using this system, the teacher showed living bacteria that had been collected by exposing the petri dish to the classroom air.
- Technology for remedial instruction
- A lab of eight computers is used to supply remediation to students who are performing below grade level in either reading or mathematics. Each grade level has scheduled lab time when the students needing remediation are pulled out of their regular class to work in the lab. A teacher and an aide are available to schedule activities and provide any needed assistance. Each student works independently at his or her computer. During one observed class, the teacher dictated sentences related to the upcoming holiday and students entered the sentences on their computers. During another class, students worked with reading comprehension software that showed them illustrated stories and then provided questions for them to answer.
- Teaching students about technology
- During either the fall or spring semester sixth-graders take a computer literacy class structured around a set of technology learning objectives developed by the state. In addition to acquiring a basic understanding of how computers work, students receive practice in keyboarding skills and in using a variety of different kinds of software. They learn how to log onto a network, how to download the particular program they want to work with, and how to save their work on their individual diskettes. They acquire a basic understanding of computer networks and issues such as conserving computer memory.