The net-book as a tool for education, an assistant and a classmate

Manushak Abrahamyan

In spite of the fact that teaching with net-books has been in practice at the Educomplex for already years, I should confess that it was difficult for me to admit the fact that all the learners should have their personal net-books in the 2013-2014 school year, and teaching-learning process was to be organized in 1-1 note-book/netbook environment. It was especially difficult to inform about this innovation to the first graders' parents. It was difficult but not impossible. I was happy to find out that there are parents in our community who realize that using net-books nowadays has become vital in modern education. A number of such parents trusted their children to me.

At first our aim was to recognize the net-book as a tool for education. Before that the learners used the netbooks only for playing games and watching cartoons, and now it was viewed as a tool for working, and which would help them to acquire knowledge and skills. In September we learned how to follow the most primitive rules of using the net-book (turning on/off, charging the battery) and also the hygene of using the net-book. We got used to doing special eye relaxing exercises every 10 minutes while working with net-books. It was a bit difficult to carry out all at once, because the learners appeared in a new social and physical environment. There was a problem of adaptation to it and assimilating it. But when they participate in this process every day, they consciously or subconsciously begin to follow it, it becomes something habitual, and they in their turn begin teaching others. The note-book became a family album for us during introduction stage. We uploaded the family members’ photos with the parents’ help. Presenting these photos the children told about their family members more willingly. Sometimes they were so inspired that began telling about where they had taken those photos, why they had gone there and so on. This way of presentation inspired even the less talkative children.     

The next step was the assimilation of the computer Paint program which allowed the learners to draw straight lines and geometrical images and colour the background without wasting much time. The note-book is used as an additional working tool while drawing. It is additional because we also draw in gouache and work with clay with great pleasure. Very often some children prefer to paint with paint program. We use this program while making congratulating cards, or some drawing some scenes from fairy tales or imaging a poem which later become educational films.

According to the educational program “Fun of Knowledge” the alphabet teaching is performed with the help of teaching words. The paint program also helped us in this stage. The letter recognizing process was begun with the word “աշուն-autumn”. We not only painted an autumn scene with Paint , but also we typed it, changed the font size, coloured it in different colours. The fact of typing one and the same word for several times enabled the learners to remember the letters « ա-շ-ու-ն» and their places on the keyboard. Playing with these letters the learners made up different words with them “նուշ, շուն, ուշ, անուն”.        

Then we began creating a series of personal media alphabets.

At first we were afraid that it would be difficult for children to remember the places of letters on the keyboard, but to our surprise they sailed through this difficulty. Although there are still some learners for whom it is difficult to do. But there are always classmates who are ready to help them.

Now that the learners already recognize nearly all the letters and can read and comprehend simple sentences, they work with the Word Office pages which have been made up by me. These pages help the learners to read by themselves and understand the task demands, to revise the stories which have been learned orally before. Every time they work with these small texts they also learn this or that tool of the Word Office program.

While working with net-books the children developed culture of collaboration and mutual assistance. They also avoided the first grader’s stress. Making mistakes, the fear of wrongly written letters is no longer frightening.  Now the learner has a tool in his/her hand which he/she knows how to use, which is always at hand, and which makes the learning process more interesting. It isn’t easily worn out and doesn’t get dirty. It also meets the learner’s interests. The net-book is not only a personal working tool but also it is a good means for group work. It provides communication among the learners. They still do a lot of things with the help of adults but the progress is obvious.





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