I have to admit that Chapter 3: Crammed Classroom Computers was a little bit disheartening to read. Even with all the financial investment schools have spent to integrate technology into our classrooms, achievement scores have not improved. The text states that over the last couple of decades, schools have spent well over $60 billion to equip classroom with computers. Even with the implementation of computers, no measureable improvements in achievement scores have been noticed (Christensen, Johnson, & Horn, 2011). Though I did appreciate it mentioning that the next chapter will discuss how schools can deploy computer-based learning, otherwise it would have been frustrating hearing the downfall of computers without strategies to use.
It is true that typically computers in our classrooms today are used for word processing, searching the internet for information, or to simply play games. In several elementary classrooms I have seen the teachers use http://www.coolmath-games.com/ as a supplemental teaching tool when students may be finished with their homework or during “computer use” time. I really never thought about the actual teaching implications this indicates. Yes, students may be learning and refining their math skills, but beyond that is anymore occurring? Students are using the computers as a supplemental tool that is reinforcing existing teaching models when in reality these computers can and should be used to revolutionize classroom experience (Christensen, Johnson, & Horn, 2011). Though not something totally revolutionizing, the use of concept maps, especially the ones available online can help students do something more on computers. Concept maps help students construct meaning and making sense of the information through consciously or subconsciously integrating these new ideas with their existing knowledge (Vanides, Yin, Tomita, & Ruiz-Primo, 2005). Students are not undertaking the task or writing or typing out their lecture notes. Concepts maps help students illustrate and tie in ideas together. One can make the argument that making a concept map on a computer is still a supplemental tool, but how often do students truly articulate information in the form of a map? Students will be required to look and think about the information at hand in a whole new light in order to make critical connections. I hope that I can utilize computers in my classroom to their fullest potential and not some supplemental tool students’ use. I look forward to reading what the Christensen, Johnson, and Horn (2011) text has to say about computer-based learning in schools as a “disruptive”, rather than “cramming” tool.
As for the eReader, I continued to use it in a similar fashion as the first two chapter readings. Because of the ease of navigation, highlighting, and bookmarking I find myself doing these things more often. One new item that I had not previously noted was how it identifies sentences that have been highlighted numerous of times. More times than not, this indicated a key point of the chapter and I found myself highlighting these sections as well. I found it helpful to see what other people have been highlighting in the text.
Christensen, C., Johnson, C.W., & Horn, M.B. (2011). Disrupting class: how disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns (kindle). McGraw-Hill.
Vanides, J., Yin, Y., Tomita, M., & Ruiz-Primo, M.A. (2005). Using concept maps in the science classroom. Science Scope, 8, 27-31