I spend my day with technology - showing teachers how to use the many and various technologies our district has. I love it. My husband is an IT professional for the government. However, our daughter (8) goes to a school that is low in technology. A few teachers have interactive whiteboards (not hers) and she does get to the computer lab once a week for a class period, but that is about it. I would love her to be tech savvy - use all those wonderful create tools both in terms of software, hardware and Web 2.0. How do I go about immersing her in technology?

Tags: technology, web 2.0

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Hi Melissa
it seems like your daughter has opportunities at home to enjoy the latest in technology so I expect your question was more about changing the school's attitude to using technology. I hope that I am right. Slowly, slowly, the old school educators are starting to engage. I have seen great movement with the introduction of the smartboard. When parents start asking for more emphasis on technology, then the rest will come naturally.

There is a really great demonstration that I wrote about in this post about a teacher in Utah using the smartboard with her "student teachers" in grade 2.

If you want more discussion on this topic, please listen to our webcasts at Parents as Partners. We discuss the use of technology and parents on a regular basis. We broadcast the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month at www.edtechtalk.com Please join us in the chat room
The school has a new headmaster, as well as a new lower school technology teacher (a former colleague) - both of whom, I think, are beginning to turn things around. The school now uses DE Streaming and they have purchased four interactive whiteboards (and gotten teachers to move to electronic grade books). The library has moved their card catalog online as well. It is all a move in the right direction. I imagine funding is a problem - it is a smallish (400+ students) private PreK - 12 school in an economically "less than wealthy" area. The upper school students work with technology, at least in the lab, more than lower school students do. I'll check out you webcasts, they sound interesting. Thanks
Hi Melissa,
You can start simple and cover various areas. My experience I am sharing happened a while back but perhaps it will help you. My daughter loved using our computer at home. I used the time to show her advanced features of Power Point and she created a slideshow and then we burned the show to CD for her friends.

She used the Paint program to create her pet sitting business card...

We discussed staying safe when online...

As she expresses an interest in another area, you use that opportunity to expose her to technology...it can start out simple and grow from there.
Thanks for the ideas. I think maybe I need to bring more of my work home, if only to let her see the things computers do. She knows computer basics and she knows what I do, but perhaps I don't let her SEE the things I do and create. I know she has never seen my blog or my wiki. She hasn't seen me use my Flip and Small Wonder cameras. Perhaps I should let her use my Animoto account to create a video of pictures.

She does know about online safety, and she understands why I won't let her do certain things online and use certain websites.

I think I was thinking too much in terms of school-related projects and not enough about doing it just because.
Fashion is probably not a big draw - she is heavy into horses - but I could certainly shoot video from her lessons and let her edit those. I have access to several types of handheld USB video cameras (Flip and Small Wonder). And seeing the videos would do her riding a favor since she could see what her instructor is talking about.

The Ning network for "horsey girls" is a good idea. She could upload pics and at the very least blog about what she learns in lessons and how she fares at shows. How would be the best way to promote that and get other girls (boys?) to join?? (I could perhaps make flyers to take and distribute to some local small shows she is getting ready to start.) I certainly don't mind the involvement part.
Usually word of mouth works very well. If you talk it up a with the other parents and her instructor at the ring and shows and give them your email address and ning url, they can investigate. You might get even more success if your daughter invites her friends. Giving them have the responsiblity of making it work. (with you hanging over the shoulder) Perhaps you could prepare an email explanation for the parents when their children ask to join the ning and the parents want to know what's about - a few thoughts
If you can give your daughter access to the flip camera or any digital camera, encourage her to video tape ANYTHING she does throughout a day. It sounds like if she is not going to get it at school as quickly as you would like (and I would have a similar situation as you) encourage your daughter to use the technology at home. I learned because my parents didn't know how to work things, so I just taught myself. Anytime you can encourage her, do it!!

Try PhotoStory 3 and have her take pictures and record stories with them, use Audacity (a free download) and have her record her own podcasts. Talk with her teacher and see if there are projects where she can use more technology at home and bring the project in. I create unique PowerPoints as birthday gifts for friends, including some pictures, music, inside jokes, etc. She could start with some of these! Good luck!
I always seem to have the contrarian view so here it is--if you are waiting for the average classroom teacher to integrate technology in a rich, real and meaningful way your daughter will have a daughter of her own. I agree with other comments and things you've mentioned yourself--expose her to stuff at home. She could design a horse book using tikatok.com, she could draw the pics or use photos. Give her a digital camera and show her smilebox.com. Let her do the family Christmas card (OK could be too late for that) or a scrapbook of her birthday party. Show her the best of the websites for kids like Scratch or Alice. (let me know if you want more suggestions), let her do a website using weebly.com. Let her design the perfect bedroom using floorplanner.com Let her use a webcam to talk to her grandparents. Let her start a blog to keep in touch with family and friends. If she likes what she is doing-- the skies the limit, if she doesn't then at least you tried. Here's a bombshell which will get a lot of comments--let her practice her typing a few minutes a day. I'm just getting started....let me know if you want other ideas!! :-)
These are some great ideas. I knew about weebly, but none of the others. I can always use the ideas - I am also passing some of these ideas along to other teachers to use in their classrooms. I already emailed our middle school Talented and Gifted teacher the info about Scratch, Alice, and Floorplanner. She uses lots of technology and her students especially enjoy the animation and programming ideas I send her.
Great resources for teachers, Nancy.
My Christmas wish is this view point " if you are waiting for the average classroom teacher to integrate technology in a rich, real and meaningful way your daughter will have a daughter of her own." will change. Please invite a teacher that is not using technology to this ning.
Great resources Nancy.
World Wide Telescope
Please consider letting her play with Sketch Up. 3d web is here to stay, and will be more relevant to your daughter in her future.
Please consider gaming. See writings of Prensky, Gee and Shaffer
Anne, I've been using tech (internet) in the classroom for 17 years and haven't noticed a whole lot of change in the buildings I serve over those years. Our district has been super in delivering computers (both desk tops and laptops), keeping them running and offering a speedy connection. I don't see much more than occasional typing exercise or canned powerpoint...oh, we now do state assessments in the lab.

There are some teachers doing wonderful things but they seem few and far between--that's too bad.
I've enjoyed reading all of the comments that were posted. The eight year students that I have love making podcasts using the mp3 recorder. The podcasts are usually very short. They interview their peers about 'key questions' such as 'What is your favorite sport and why? She may chose to read aloud a favorite story or poem--by her favorite author or one that she's written. She may even try to gather some friends for a readers' radio theatre. My students also like using voicethread.com She may want to create a voicethread with a series of digital images that she takes at the stable. The voicethreads can be archived and burned onto a CD to share.
One other application that was mentioned by others was Scratch. Many students love working with Scratch. ( http://www.scratch.mit.edu ) My students like to write little stories with animation and publish them for the rest of the world on the Scratch website or save them on her own computer.
Another application I use is Skype. Sometimes an activity as simple as calling a family member on Skype and having a video or audio chat to share the latest news is great fun and appreciated by other family members.
My students are following the Vendee Globe http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en Each day they can go to the site and look at the race tracker to see which boat is in the lead and its current location. We are rooting for our teacher at sea, Skipper Rich Wilson who has a website http://www.sitesalive.com where he posts each day. The girls in my classes are rooting for Samantha Davies and Dee Caffari--great role models! We look at their videos and listen to their audio reports.
Another site that I use with my 8 year olds is penguinscience.com where the students can watch the progress of the penguins that are nesting on Ross Island, Antarctica. Check out the education section for activities there.
Have your daughter keep a digital camera handy whenever she is out and about. Digital cameras are so easy to use nowadays and sharing images with an epal http://www.epals.com is another way for her to enjoy using technology to communicate with others.
Good luck.



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