Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blog Cruise: SisterT's Talking Technology in Homeschooling

ACK! I'm NOT Mrs. Tech, but it sure can enhance what we are doing in our homeschooling! Can  you relate? Are you a book, paper and pencil ONLY school, or DO YOU use technology with your kids too?

Technology can be SUCH A GREAT THING! I love it! AND I try to use it as much as is good for our family. So how much is good for a family?

What a subjective question! Consider the learning style of your child.  Does he like hands on learning or is he visual or auditory?   Here's a FREE online assessment VAK Learning Styles Test  Once you figure out his learning style then you will want to look at the program or device.  Devices can be loads of things from a computer whether it's a desktop or laptop, a camera, hand held game, cd player, mp3 player, or a lights-bells-whistle type toy.  There are endless choices available.  Gone are the days when kids did nothing technological with their play. Most have some sort in their lives even if it's just a fun game they like to play in the play station or wii systems!

When looking at computer programs it's needful to consider the features.  What are the modalities used in the program you are considering?

OK, I've mentioned programs, but technology is MORE than the computer!   Technology can be other things such as a camera or for a preschooler a talking toy! It's so subjective, but for this high school family our love of technology has ended with everyone owning their own laptop being networked, great printer/scanner/fax AND daughter with a drawing pad component.  Our experience is that we began playing just simple games.  They were on an old computer model and the kids learned to navigate with a mouse.  Some time just playing will lend itself to more advanced skills.  My daughter learned to build with html when she fell in love with a book series and learned to make short videos for YouTube.  Her "channel" feedback encouraged her to increase her skills further, and even a simple online game~what was that called??  I'll have to ask her, but she learned the through the tutorials to create all kinds of stuff so that now she's able to build websites and create some graphics.  (Okay, she says it's do I know?) NOT me~but she can!

We used DVDs for software for our curriculum for several years and I well remember typing college papers into Word Perfect and printing b/c I couldn't edit on screen~ha! I NEVER hardly ever print now! (WHY? I make mistakes??? Maybe!) But I do so much online stuff now, including using some online resources for our education such as books online and even curriculum enhancements.

Which leads me to an issue I'm dealing with.  Oh yeah, we homeschoolers are constantly evolving in our processes and lives~I'm looking at high school curriculum this year and along with huge feeling of inadequacy, I am researching how best to tackle this year.  We are hoping to do biology, and I am researching texts.  I have found some online resources, but as I happen to know, all information online is "not equal" meaning it may or may not be reliable.  This is a huge burden in trying to figure out what we need to do.  I'd like to think I can trust the sites I want to use.  I have little knowledge other than my nursing background, but frankly aside from Human A&P which I took two years ago (still own the text) AND the botony elementary book we own, I am not sure of sources.  So in looking at technology, is is always prudent to use internet sources/resources?  I am really praying over this one!  My concern is two fold: their education and their spiritual development.

As I plan this year, using my interactive downloaded planner, my lesson plan download, the web for resources and... ... can't you just see Sister T's home with everyone sitting with laptops in our faces? Yeah, this is sooooooooooo US...and is it all good? I don't know, but we are definitely techy at our house. My latest is some great software using LanSchool which networks us all, and I can teach them from my screen! HOW cool is that? Look for the coming review!

So whether you chose technology today is really a matter of looking at what works best for your family. For us it's been a process of increasing our use, needs and abilities. We're loving it!

Check out what other homeschoolers are saying on the CREW about technology in their homeschools!


Laura O said...

The internet is definitely a blessing and a curse. There is so much good information out there, but you'll wade through the bad getting to it.

As for science materials, you need to consider who is doing the writing of the text. And, whether you want a Christian one or are willing to use secular. Prentice Hall books have good reviews for being solid science books. I'm planning to use their physical science text with my boys in the future.

Daniel said...

Thank you so much for sharing it.
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