After completing this course I have a better understanding of the importance of teaching students new literacy skills in the classroom. Students need to be able to analyze a website and differentiate among sites that are reliable and those that are not. I know that my students are fairly comfortable searching the internet, but as far as knowing what information is best to use, they have difficulty.
From this course I have learned that there should be a plan for teaching students how to search the internet. They need guidelines of what is expected as well as information on internet safety. For fourth graders this is definitely important. In addition, students need to know how to analyze a website and use the information they find correctly. This should include giving credit to those sources within their assignment. For fourth graders it is sometimes complicated to explain plagiarism, but they definitely need to know what it is and how to avoid it. This will come with practice.
My professional development goal would include finding ways to incorporate technology in the classroom. By attending training sessions on technology integration and reading scholarly journals about technology in the classroom, I think I will be able to meet this goal. I saw a cartoon in the local newspaper this morning that really made me think. It had a picture of a teacher at the front of the room and a class full of students holding a book. One student says to another one, “How do we turn these on?” I think this is what we should think about as we prepare our classroom lessons. Students are advanced with technology and we need to make sure we are preparing them at school. They learn best through the use of technology, so we should find ways to do this.