Monday, August 30, 2010

Education and Technology

This week's question was "Do you use technology (iPods, Computers, Videos, Digi. Cams,etc.) in your homeschool?"  I had to look on the TOS forum before I figured out Digi.Cams means Digital Camera's. LOL



Ok... my post is done!

Just Kidding Free Emoticons

There is a lot more to say.

What do we own, how do we use it, when, in what ways, do my kids use it, how, in what ways?? This could be another long post.

Nathan is on the old desktop which is now a server
I use technology a lot. The kids use technology a lot.
We have 6 people in our home we own and use:
  • we don't have any iPods,
  • we have multiple computers, we have both laptops and desktops.
  • We don't have a video camera but we do use videos and DVD's as well as the players to view them (or our computers in the case of the DVD's)
  • We have three digital camera's. An older one, my first digital camera that we gave to my 13 yos. A newer digital point and shoot for me (this does have video capability and I have used it for a few things but it is not primarily a video camera), and a digital SLR that my husband and daughters use and son Nathan once in a while. My daughter Jessica likes the digital SLR so much she is saving up for one of her own... she takes lots of pictures and does not want to have to ask for the camera every time she wants to take a photo. 
etc.... what could that be... let me think... other technology we have that we use for school...
  • calculators
  • scanner
  • printer
  • laminator
  • we don't have cell phones
  • we don't have a Kindle or other e-book reader
So I guess that is it for what we own...Now how do we use them for school?

I use my laptop and desktop computers:
  • to blog... like I did to write this post. And to read comments my lovely blog readers leave me!Happy Smileys
  • to keep order, keep track of and renew library books.
  • to search for resources for our homeschool. See my favorite sites in the page tabs above. I do this all year long and keep my wants in my Amazon Wish List. If you load the Wish List toolbar you can add things from all over the Internet. Keep them all in one place and compile a list next summer when it is shopping time for school.
  • to get freebies from the internet to use for school (see my freebies tab above).
  • as a reference tool for Bible study or other things: like Bible Gateway and the online copy of the 1828 dictionary, for looking up information we need for something we are studying.
  • to see reviews and samples of items I am thinking of using for school.
  • to research curriculum and order it.
  • I use my laptop while the boys are doing school, my desktop computer is in my bedroom. This way I can accomplish things and keep an eye on them and be assessable for questions. And nearby for "together" subjects.
  • and other things like e-mail, calenders, reading blogs, playing games ... fun things
The boys use their laptops for too much fun stuff... sometimes I can get them to use them for school. LOL Every day they use their laptops for Math. They use their laptops for typing up their assignments for writing with IEW. They also use them for personal writing projects they are working on. We set up a school desk on their computers so they can access their Math programs first thing. To get to their games they have to have one of us adults in the house put in a password.. after all their regular school work is done. Christopher uses my desktop computer for learning typing. The older program we have will not work on the laptops that are running Windows 7. When I have a book I want them to read that we don't own and the library does not carry I look for a copy for free from or some other public domain free download site. We especially use this for Henty novels. I have also used it for books recommended by sites I like, for instance: Bethlehem books, Old Fashioned Education, and Greenleaf Press. Sometimes I just find a book when looking for something else.  I used to have the boys read it on my laptop or I would read it aloud. Now they can have their own pdf copy and read the assignments right from their laptop.

We are reviewing a new program called LanSchool that makes things interesting for using multiple computers for schoolwork. Watch for the review in early October.

We use the Video and DVD players to play personal and library videos and DVD's. Like right now we are watching the Animated Shakespeare videos. I also have a Romeo and Juliet Ballet for us to watch. We watch a lot of science videos too, we like Bill Nye, Magic School Bus (even though they are really to young for the boys now... they still like them, and Eyewitness videos, too (history and science). Oh, and last year we borrowed the Moody Science videos from a friend and the boys watched them all. Adding video to your child's education can enhance it by bringing to life things they may not see otherwise... like Journey to the Edge of Creation.

The cameras are used to capture photos of field trips and nature hikes. We have not done a formal course of study but the kids have learned some things about cameras and about taking a good picture. Court, Nathan and Jessica also have film SLR cameras. So there has been some learning there as well.

Some of the other technology thing I listed are used like you would think. I love my scanner and use it to scan pages of books we have permission to print copies of. I like to have things in a pdf that need to have copies made, but some things don't come that way. It is convenient to have the scanner so I don't have to pay a copy place to make the copies I need. Also, I have it to scan our old photos so I can do the Blast From The Past meme that I designed.

The calculator and laminator are used like you would think. My laminator is new this year and I have been enjoying laminating things for the workboxes as well as bookmarks my husband drew for us, game pieces, and things I have needed for the TOS Crew.

My printer gets daily use. We have a laser printer. Prints thousands of pages with one cartridge... but the cartridges are more expensive. We print lapbooks, worksheets, math pages, timeline figures, IEW writing class pages, the pages I made and use for recording what we do for school each day, the workbox planner pages I made up to fit the way we homeschool, and many others.

So we use a lot of technology in our school. How about you? The way we educate would definitely not be the same without the technology. It would be much more like Little House in the Prairie... but we have it... so why not use it!!

Check out the other TOS Crew members and how they use technology in their homes and in educating their children clicking the link or the picture at the top which will take you to the Crew Blog. The links on the blog will be posted tomorrow morning.

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