The News Blog
Q&A with Technology’s Ms. Linda

Thanks to last year’s fundraising efforts children now are benefiting from the implementation of technology into the curriculum. But just what are they learning and how? Technology Teacher Linda Shawcross took the time to enlighten us a bit.

1) Can you explain what the Smart Board is and what it allows the children to do?
The SmartBoard is a wonderful interactive tool available in education to help teachers and educators reinforce concepts/ideas in a fun and different way. All children learn differently and hands on learning is extremely effective. The SmartBoard allows teachers the opportunity for learning to be interactive for children by directly involving them in the learning process. The result? The kids love it!

2) How are you able to tie the curriculum into the apps on the smart board?
I’ve talked with the teachers to find out what their current curriculum focus is for that specific class or age group to find out how to tie the apps that Hatch provides to what the children are learning. For example, in the Pre-K’s and Fours, they have been working on initial letter sounds of words or letter sounds in general. I’ve used, or modified, some of the apps that Hatch has to work on recognizing these sounds. The Threes have been working on letter recognition. I’ve also been using a similar app that I modified just for letter recognition. With the Two’s and older Toddlers, we’ve been working on the circle shape. A pumpkin, for example, is shaped like a circle. There is a drawing app in Hatch where we can insert the picture of a pumpkin and the children can draw around it, draw their own circle, or draw shapes on the pumpkin.
But there’s more….with our new wireless internet, I’ve also been able to access many other interactive sites to work with the children. We’ve played shape games with the twos, alphabet bingo with the threes, and alphabet-sound bingo with the 4’s and Pre-K, for example.

3) What has been the children’s reaction to the board? Are they excited? Intimidated? Quick to learn?
The children have LOVED working with the SmartBoard! Please don’t blame me if your child walks up to your TV and starts trying to move things around or draw on the screen with their fingers or a tennis ball!! Working with the Hatch SmartBoard has been similar to working with a big iPad or other tablet device, so many children are familiar with the concept and are definitely quick to learn. Children, unlike adults, are not intimidated by technology.

4) What’s the funniest thing a kid has said or done in class?
Their faces when they do something and the SmartBoard responds are priceless! From taking their finger or the tennis ball and drawing on the board to tapping the board and having a sound or action happen – they are astonished! Some of the kids can’t believe that they actually did or created what shows up on the board!

5) What is your favorite part of teaching technology to the children?
I love seeing the kids get so excited about learning – especially when they don’t even know they are learning…Their eyes light up and they are so into the moment.

6) How do you see the children using these boards in the future?
White boards replaced chalk boards and SmartBoards are quickly replacing white boards. There will be a SmartBoard or some type of interactive board in every classroom before too long. Children at CUMP will definitely have an advantage having had some early experience with interactive boards and software prior to the elementary years.

7) Where do you see technology in the classroom in ten years?
While pen and pencil will always have a place in the classroom, technology is quickly taking center stage. With Forsyth and several other counties in our area working toward a “Bring your own device” classroom, it is more important than ever for students to be exposed to a variety of technology. Not only are many textbooks now online, teachers are posting homework online, students are taking end of course or end of quarter tests online, and older grades are being asked to submit homework online. Technology is going to play a big part in education over the next ten years.

This is Ms. Linda’s – an 18 year teaching veteran’s – third stint at CUMP. She was once a three year old teacher before leaving to earn her masters at Salem College after which Ms. Linda spent time substituting at Clemmons Elementary and raising her small children. Ms. Linda returned CUMP for the second time to teach Fours for three years before accepting a position as a Primary Reading Teacher in the second grade at Clemmons where she has since taught third and fourth grades. While at CES, Ms. Linda witnessed first-hand the implementation of SmartBoards and was able to attend numerous SmartBoard training classes. When not in the classroom, Ms. Linda enjoys exercising, being outdoors and spending time with her family which includes four dogs.

 

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