Wednesday, May 9, 2012

All Students Shine at Tech Club!


Principal Beck Akright from St Ann's takes time to join in on the iPad activity at Tech Club!
For five weeks this spring, 45 first and second graders embarked on a new adventure: Tech Club! Eleven undergraduate education students and I created a new after-school class at Visitation and St. Ann's Catholic Schools. These brave souls faithfully joined us after school once a week for almost an hour to conquer the world using the iPad and desktop computers. The Tech Club students created robots, paperless signs to 'go green', digital presentations about who they are and what they want to be, polled their class to see how everyone was different, yet alike.
Geeky, I THINK NOT.
The elementary students came skipping in each week and gave us their all. They discussed how to stay safe on the internet, respect the right to use technology and the importance of NOT using technology at all times.
 
The Tech Club 'teachers', my undergraduate education students had to write weekly lessons and were responsible for 5 students each week. Tech Club classes were in connection to the students "Service Learning Projects"  for my course, ED 4030: Technology in the Classroom. 

It was our goal to give the elementary children individual attention each week and help them see how educational AND fun technology can be. As the five weeks came to a close, my undergraduate education students expressed the amount of learning which they benefitted from as well.
 
Here are a few of students' quotes from the post project reflections:
· I enjoyed it when the students finished a project that I could tell they were proud of. I hope that I have made a difference for these students by teaching them to be more proficient with the programs we worked with.  It will make their school careers run much smoother once they get into the upper grades and college. 
 
·  Prior to this experience, I believed I would be frightened of making a mistake and feel slightly uncomfortable using the technology. Yet, after the first visit I began to feel comfortable with the students and prepared to answer any questions they asked. I knew I would love spending time with the students and getting to know them, but it is always much more personal than one would imagine. I love hearing about each student and looked forward to seeing them each week even more than I expected to. The experience was even more rewarding than I had hoped because I truly felt the students learned valuable skills throughout the duration of tech club. My expectations were very much exceeded when participating in this project. I look forward to using technology in my own classroom now much more than previously! 
·  Anytime I get to work with kids, I feel rewarded, but specifically, what made this most meaningful for me was being able to see how my students improved. Even if it was just something little, like remembering where certain letters were on the keyboard or how to change the font of words, it showed me that my being there was beneficial to them. Besides helping them learn a little more about technology, I made a difference by being a positive example of a teacher who is excited to be there with them, which I think is sometimes worth more.
 Who learned more, the Tech Club students or Education students? I think the technical term would be... BOTH!
TECH CAMP will be offered twice this summer! To find out more email: mandi.sonnenberg@rockhurst.edu

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