My Digital Autobiography William Townsend

Early Computer Lab classes used these macs and a unified log-in to access drilling programs, mostly in math. The Accelerated Reader program was also available.

At home, educational computer games like The Cluefinders and Zoombinis provided a fun escape and critical thinking skills practice, if not really any content help.

The ubiquitous overhead projector also made appearances, particularly when learning cursive or math

Middle school brought the beginning stages of student-controlled technology in the classroom, with the introduction of laptop carts

Curriculum with the carts basically stuck to making presentations and doing research

From 8th to 10th grade, teachers got more adventurous with incorporating the technology. We started creating multimedia projects and doing independent research.

For 11th and 12th grade, my school unveiled a One-to-One initiative that gave every student a personal laptop to use while they were in school. Teachers started incorporating more research and online components to their curriculum, including through an online service called Moodle, which is like Sakai. Every student also got a gmail account and access to Google Docs, which allowed students to collaborate more closely on assignments and projects. Students also started taking notes on laptops.

Teachers took advantage of SMART boards and new projectors and started incorporating PowerPoint presentations and interactive activities. This trend has also been apparent at UNC, where I have only had a couple classes that did not use PowerPoint or a similar program basically every day.

Some teachers have even pushed technology use outside the classrooms, using YouTube and Khan Academy to create flipped classrooms. These classes also took advantage of Poll Everywhere and other clicker programs to do instantaneous assessments of student comprehension on a daily basis. Many students, myself included, were frustrated by these practices due to frequent technological problems and a lack of clear instructions.

Every class at the University has a Sakai page, where teachers can upload announcements, syllabi, and resources, as well as host forums for students to write and respond to discussion questions and assessments.

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William Townsend
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Created with images by Sidneiensis - "Vintage" • kjarrett - "Makeshift Chromebook Cart" • codenamecueball - "Youtube logo" • Creative Ignition - "Thinking"

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