Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Your Child and Technology: What your Third Grader Needs to Know Part 1

Your Child and Technology: What your Third Grader Needs to Know

From managing a mouse to using an online encyclopedia, your third grader will find technology an increasingly valuable learning tool.
By GreatSchools Staff

Technology enhances learning
Technology in the third grade classroom can provide a rich, entertaining range of learning opportunities that engage young minds and get them excited about all aspects of the curriculum. Your child will use technological tools to enhance her understanding of core subjects, including language arts, science, and math. According to the Common Core Standards Initiative that the majority of states adopted in 2010-2011, third graders should master certain basic technology skills that can be used in core subjects like reading, writing, science, and math. (Many states also follow the National Educational Technology Standards for Students.)

In third grade, your child will build on essential reading and writing skills, memorize math facts, and, through the lens of science, learn about the world around them. While using technology is no substitute for reading a book, mastering the multiplication tables, or conducting research for a science project, it's an important tool to supplement classroom instruction. Even more important, technological literacy is essential for your child's future.

Technology skills your child should have by the end of third grade
Should haves:
•Basic keyboarding and typing skills
•Ability to use a mouse to click, drag, and drop
•Introductory Internet research skills (with adult supervision)
•Experience using online dictionaries and glossaries to look up words
•Basic understanding of cybersecurity do's and don'ts

Nice to haves:
•Basic ability to use clip art and photo editing tools
•Basic ability to use PowerPoint or other presentation software
•Basic ability to use Excel or other programs to organize data and create graphs

Technology your third grader may find in the classroom
•One or more computers or tablets with access to the Internet (including Internet safeguards) and a printer
•Still and video digital cameras, photo editing software, animation tools
•Interactive whiteboard and a large monitor or projector the teacher can use to engage students in multimedia lessons
•Educational software, including multimedia encyclopedias and dictionaries, typing programs, interactive books, and educational games

The amount and quality of technology third graders have access to varies widely from school to school. Some schools have the resources to provide state-of-the-art computers and whiteboards in every classroom; others have a single computer lab that all students share. When evaluating your third grader's technology experience, the number and brand of computers in the classroom is less important to consider than how well technology is integrated into learning at your child's school.


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