Monday, August 30, 2010

Technology ... To Be Or Not to Be ... Used?

This week's question on the Homeschool Blog Cruise is "Do you use technology in your homeschool?" I would have to say a most definite yes! Technology is all around us and we use it even when we aren't really.

One piece of technology that I use most often would have to be my camera. I have a digital camera that I use in order to allow us to "keep" our homeschool creations whether they be giant Lego sun, a depiction of Stonehenge or a catalog of all that week's work.
My next most used piece of technology would have to be the computer. I use it all the time! Usually I spend part of my day collecting free worksheets and papers from online sources in order to keep some fun in our days. Audrie's entire K3 and K4 curriculum was totally from free sources all over the Internet. For both those years and this upcoming year I spend a lot of time going over the alphabet. Last year we spent a week on each letter and I designed some worksheets with a special dot-to-dot font that helps children just be able to follow the lines, but in turn they are able to see themselves writing letters. Then I find fun crafts and activities that go along with the letter we are working on that week.. Then we go to the library and get a bunch of books on the same letter and voila! instant curriculum. So without the Internet I'd have to come up with ideas and essentially be reinventing the wheel over and over again.

We also use the Internet as part of many of our unit studies. We have lately been doing some unit studies from Download-N-Go and they have many videos and links as part of the lesson. You can see what I said about our latest review on Roller Coaster when we "rode the coasters" from mommy's computer chair.

What would do without the Internet? I have a hard time remembering what it was like without a computer or the Internet. Our current generation that we are rearing will not know what that experience was like.

Some of the other technological items we use in our homeschooling include, our new phones (which I can download whole books onto to read anywhere we are, as well as interactive educational games and music), educational videos, DVD's, and CD's (which in turn use our blue ray player), and the television. Now on a side note, the television is not necessarily 100% of the time an educational tool. however, I am able to scan through many educational sites (like Discovery, Health, Science, PBS, to name a few) and look through upcoming shows. Just recently I taped a show on the universe and planets which I am planning on showing when we talk about the planets in these upcoming weeks.

Although all technology is not created equal, and not all technology is good all the time, I do think it is becoming a necessary tool in our current generation. I hope you take the time and stop by here and check out what others are saying about technology in their homeschools. I'd also love to hear from you. How do you use technology in your homeschool or life?

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