Distributed Cognition 5

In regards to weather or not I think that technology makes us smarter I would have to say no to such a broad statement. Technology alone does not do anything. We have to take technology and use it in the proper way in order to enhance our learning and truly benefit from it. Sometimes we simply use technology because it is an easy thing that will distract students for a few minutes so that we as teachers can get something done. But we have to be more conscious of that and make sure that when we are assigning students activities that involve technology that the technology serves a purpose that nothing else could do. I love that my cooperating teacher makes her students look up their spelling word definitions in the dictionary still even though they ask every time to use google. Using google is just a cheat way of looking them up in the dictionary and it’s the small things like this that we can’t just give away to technology.

Now this isn’t to say technology isn’t beneficial, I love seeing technology in the classroom. I think it’s amazing that my students at Gesu have access to technologies like 3D printers and laser cutters along with iPads and Chromebooks and smart boards, they are truly a blessed school and to my knowledge have been using technology in an appropriate and productive way in which it would actually increase learning. Technology is a very beneficial tool, teachers just have to be conscious of if they’re using it properly or not.

Distributed Cognition 4

The last lesson I observed was a math lesson. For this project my students had been studying fractions and were tasked with creating their own pizza fraction. They had to add different types of toppings to it in different fractions units. Each child got to decide how many pieces they wanted their pizza to be and what each topping would be that would go on their pizza. They then took a trip down to the new technology wing and got to draw and design their different toppings, like mushrooms, pepperoni, and bacon…ect on an app that would then allow them to laser cut them out. Meaning that each child got to design their pizza and toppings and then see them be cut out by the laser cutter and then they got to color them and glue them into a pizza box. They then glued the toppings in and made a key with their fractions. For example one student had a pizza with 10 pieces and 3 of them had peperoni, 8 had bacon, and 1 had green peppers, her key was then: Peperoni = 3/10, Bacon = 8/10, Green Peppers = 1/10. What made this lesson even more amazing was that Pizzaz donated a bunch of pizza boxes so they were actually in true pizza boxes and not just on cardboard.

For this lesson many different types of technology were used including, pencils, colored pencils, glue, a laser cutter, cardboard, and pizza boxes. I believe that this lesson is an example of an effect of technology. This is because Salomon and Perkins state that “one would look for effects of as a consequence of interacting with a technology-the acquisition of a new skill or the improved mastery of an existing one” (Salomon and Perkins, 77). The skill learned here for my students was that of drawing their different toppings on the software for the laser printer. Most of my students had to re draw them a few times but they eventually got the hang of it and really enjoyed learning how it worked. This was a very cool assignment and I think adding in all of the different types of technology that my teacher did made it much more fun and intriguing that if they had simply drawn the pizzas in the pizza box with markers. I believe that the technology in this lesson again did enhance the students intelligence because they learned a new skill. Had they just drawn the shapes with markers in the box they would never have developed the skill of drawing on the laser cutter program.

Works Cited:

Salomon, G. & Perkins, D. (2005)”Do Technologies Make Us Smarter? Intellectual Amplification With, Of and Through Technology.”In: Robert Sternberg and David Preiss (Eds.).Intelligence and Technology: The Impact of Tools on the Nature and Development of Human Abilities. Mahwah, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates, Publishers.

Distributed Cognition 3

The second lesson I observed was a social studies geography lesson. The students were put into three groups and each group had an adult (the one teacher, the third grade aid, or myself), the adults each had an iPad. The students were each given a map of the world which was divided into countries and they also had colored pencils. We as the adults prompted our groups asking where they thought certain countries were and had them all point and guess to see if they could figure it out. Then we as adults looked up the map of that certain country on the iPad and showed it to the students, then the students had to point to it on their maps and then color it the correct color that the teacher had previously set for it.

This lesson was an effect with technology. This is because Salomon and Perkins define an effect with technology as “ the interaction when certain intellectual functions are downloaded onto the technology, thus establishing an intellectual partnership with the user” (Salomon and Perkins, 74). The students guessed where they thought each of the countries we covered were and were almost always incorrect, thus the use of the iPad enhanced their intellectual performance by allowing them to color the correct country. For this activity I believe that the technology did in fact make the students smarter. If they had not had access to an iPad during this activity it is a fact that many of them would have colored in incorrect countries.

Works Cited:

Salomon, G. & Perkins, D. (2005)”Do Technologies Make Us Smarter? Intellectual Amplification With, Of and Through Technology.”In: Robert Sternberg and David Preiss (Eds.).Intelligence and Technology: The Impact of Tools on the Nature and Development of Human Abilities. Mahwah, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates, Publishers.


Distributed Cognition 2

The first lesson I observed that included technology in my cooperating teachers classroom was regarding the students spelling words. Each student went to their respective spelling group and my cooperating teacher handed each child the correct spelling words and told each group to discuss what was similar about the words they had or if they could see any patterns within their group. All of the students figured it out fairly easily, as the one group had -tion and -sion words. After the groups figured out the pattern and discussed the general meaning of all of their words with my cooperating teacher they broke off individually and got their iPads. They then logged on to google classroom and went to their spelling section and opened up their word work folder, in this folder they had a chart that made them sort their words weather they had long i versus long a words or different suffixes….etc. They would have all of their words at the bottom of the page and then the chart dividing the sections and would have to click and drag the words and move them to the correct box, then when they believed they were finished they would turn it in online.

This lesson is an effect through technology. This is because Salomon and Perkins define an effect through technology as “ the use of new technologies qualitatively and sometimes quite profoundly reshapes activity systems rather than just augmenting them” (Salomon and Perkins, 79). Technology in this lesson reshapes it because students can do it at their own rate instead of having to do it with the class all together on just the teachers computer. The iPads let the technology reach each student on an individual level and reshapes it for that specific child. I don’t think technology here alone made the students more intelligent. Yes, the technology was helpful in keeping track of each students work, eliminating paper, and being able to individualize more, but it really did not affect how much the student understood what they were doing. I believe that they could have done this with a piece of paper and have had received the same information.

Works Cited:

Salomon, G. & Perkins, D. (2005)”Do Technologies Make Us Smarter? Intellectual Amplification With, Of and Through Technology.”In: Robert Sternberg and David Preiss (Eds.).Intelligence and Technology: The Impact of Tools on the Nature and Development of Human Abilities. Mahwah, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates, Publishers.


Distributed Cognition 1

For these next few blog posts I will be discussing distributed cognition and how it relates to education. Learning-theories.com defines distributed cognition as “a branch of cognitive science that proposes cognition and knowledge are not confined to an individual; rather, it is distributed across objects, individuals, artefacts, and tools in the environment”. One of the tools that distributed cognition uses is technology, which will be the focus of my next few blog posts. I will be sharing three different lessons that I have witnessed in my cooperating teachers classroom at Gesu that have included technology and will be discussing how distributed cognition fits into them.

The other main goal of this series is to decide if technology makes us smarter or not. And in order to address this question I will be looking at Salomon and Perkins article and will be discussing their three effects of technology. The first is effects with technology, which is how the use of a technology enhances intellectual performance. The second is effects of technology, which is how using a technology may leave cognitive residues that enhance performance even without the technology. And the third and final is effects through technology, which is how technology sometimes does not just enhance performance but fundamentally reorganizes it. Salomon and Perkins define these as the three ways that technologies could possibly make people smarter (Salomon and Perkins, 81-82). Over the course of the next 4 blog posts I will share the three lessons I observed and will also provide a summary of all of my thoughts on the idea of technology and intelligence.

Works Cited:

Salomon, G. & Perkins, D. (2005)”Do Technologies Make Us Smarter? Intellectual Amplification With, Of and Through Technology.”In: Robert Sternberg and David Preiss (Eds.).Intelligence and Technology: The Impact of Tools on the Nature and Development of Human Abilities. Mahwah, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates, Publishers.

Classroom Technologies

I have discussed much of the technology used in my classroom in my previous classroom blog post. However, now I will go a little more in depth involving the software applications. The classroom I observe in uses many software application. 

An example of this is for their math lessons. They use Singapore math, which is an online website/app that has tons of activities on it for the subject of math. Another app my teacher uses frequently is google classroom. The kids have a section in it for writing, math, spelling and science. They use it all of the time to type up their work and do spelling sorts (instead of cutting and pasting words into categories they just have to click and drag).  Using these applications allows my teacher to differentiate to the extreme because it’s very simple to change the questions each student gets and Singapore math already has tons of activities on it so she just has to assign the correct one to the correct student.

Another app they use is a book source app. This app allows my cooperating teacher to keep track of every  book that she has in her classroom on it and has an AR test for every single book as well. This allows the students to check out what book they have so that my teacher can keep track of that and allows for her to administer AR tests anytime a student finishes a book. This is a really helpful tool because she can’t always stop what she is doing in order to set up an AR test for a student every time they finish a book. This app is very helpful with classroom organization and allows my cooperating teacher to take a step back and let the students be responsible for their own reading and for taking their own exams (at least for reading). Overall, there are many different types of applications that my cooperating teacher uses in her class that greatly benefit her classroom.

Access to Technology

At Gesu there are many people who are in charge of the technology. They have a Primary Enrichment Teacher, a STREAM Director, a Technology Coordinator, and an Educational Technology Specialist. From talking with all of these people, my cooperating teacher (Mrs.Clary), and another third grade teacher at the school (Miss. Barrett) I learned a lot about the technology available at Gesu and how it is used.

I was informed that each classroom has either iPads or Lenovo laptops in it which the children always have access to. My cooperating teacher has iPads in her classroom and Miss. Barrett (one of the other third grade teachers) has the laptops. I see students from her classroom come over to borrow the iPads and I just recently noticed that students from my class go over to her classroom in order to borrow the laptops for certain assignments. Each student does have a specific number iPad and laptop they are supposed to use, just so they can keep track of who is using what and where each device is. All of these devices are available to the students from their tuition money. Because Gesu is a private school there is a tuition that each family pays in order for their child to attend, and then the money from that is allocated to technology.  Gesu’s technology coordinator is in charge of the firewall and is a key contributor in deciding what things should be blocked. The technology director also has the technology set up so that all of the applications on each device hold the exact same content.

Everyone at Gesu was extremely helpful in regard to telling me about the technology and showing me everything the school has to offer. The director of technology especially was helpful, she showed me the new technology wing. The wing includes 3D printers, a lazar cutter, coding tools, and even sewing machines! Last week I also had the opportunity to go into the tv studio there and watch my students preform a jingle they made about their favorite food. It was so cool to see all of the camera equipment and green screens that are available to the students there and was great to see that even the third graders get to use it. Overall, the technology at Geus is very advanced and the students get to experience a ton of different types of technology!

Digital Storytelling Script

When looking back to history, the earliest recorded systems of weights and measures originate in the 3rd or 4th millennium BC. Interestingly enough, history believes that the foot was given its name from the human body part. The length of the human foot was measured from the heel to the tip of the big toe. This is because of the King. In ancient times, he ruled the body to be an appropriate form of measure. Such as the length of a foot, the width of a finger, and the distance of a step were all accepted measurements. In the 14th century, King Edward II of England ruled that 1 inch equal 3 grains of barley placed end to end lengthwise. At first an inch was the width of a man’s thumb.

A hand was approximately 5 inches or 5 digits (fingers) across. Today, a hand is 4 inches and is used to measure horses (from the ground to the horse’s withers, or shoulder). A span was the length of the hand stretched out, about 9 inches. In ancient times, the foot was 11.42 inches. Today it is 12 inches, the length of the average man’s foot.

Unfortunately, these creative measuring devices allowed for different measurements to be obtained when different people measured the same items. Eventually, a standard was set so that all measurements represented the same amount for everyone. The standard system that was agreed upon by many places outside is the metric system. It has prefix modifiers that are multiples of 10. The metric system consists of meters and grams instead of the familiar yards and pounds.

Examples of length include the inch, the foot, and the yard. Knowing how to measure length is quite useful for measuring area and perimeter. Length represents the distance between two points. Weight isn’t as simple to measure as length. Weights and scales are still essential to finding the accuracy of measuring weight. Some examples of weight are ounces, pounds, and tons. Volume is one of the most difficult to measure. Some units of volume are liters, cups, quarts, and gallons. Volume measures how much liquid is in a space.Measurement is a very important skill to have because without measuring, we wouldn’t be able to make clothes, bake, furnish rooms properly, build stable houses, or accomplish many other daily tasks.