Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lincoln Elementary Visit

Photo from personal collection
It's been a while since my Classroom Computer Applications class took a visit to Lincoln Elementary in Cedar Falls. However, the school is definitely unforgettable. It was such a breath of fresh air to see of the amazing things this school is doing with technology. I was completely blown away! Lincoln Elementary is the type of school I want to teach at someday. The teachers all work together, the school climate is unique and welcoming, and the administration and media specialist push the use of technology. Every classroom I went into had some type of technology being used for learning. The greatest part about this experience was noticing the students' reaction to using the technology. In reality, there wasn't really a "reaction" because they were so used to using technology. Students were using Mimio Boards, iPod touches, and PC computers. What was even more astonishing is the students already knew how to use these tools. This proves that motivation is high when cool and new technology is being used freely. Today's students are using technology at home, so why shouldn't they use it at school, too?

Photo from personal collection
The Mimio Boards seemed to be really similar to a Promethean Board, but for a fraction of the cost. The students were able to use this technology freely, and confidently. They knew what they were doing, and it was evident that they were learning. Before this visit I had never heard of Mimio, but it really seemed to be working well for the teachers and students at Lincoln. You can see that the Mimio Board uses the classroom white board and a small magnetic bar (see left) to display the content. The interaction features are remarkable, and the students love working with it. There is, however, a special Mimio pen that must be used to work with it. There are also a lot of websites that offer lesson plan ideas for the Mimio Board!
Photo from personal collection
If I had the chance to go back and spend more time at Lincoln Elementary I definitely would! There is so much to be learned from this school. I believe we need more schools like this one. I am really happy I had the privilege of visiting this school! A special shout out to the Media Specialist for showing us around!!

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