Reflections

April 8, 2013 – Major Project Presentations

Today is the last day of class, so the last people presented their major projects.  Milissa created a link for the Google doc where the whole ECMP 355 class attached their links for their major projects.  This is great because although I could have gone to everyone’s blogs and found all their major projects, it is nice to have all the resources in ONE place to save me time in the future.  Here is the Google doc:

ECMP 355 Major Projects

The last day of this class is bittersweet.  It is exciting to be done and have that sense of accomplishment but I also learned so much in this class and am very glad I took it before graduating.  I hope to keep up with my blog or else start a new one for the fall, and I hope other members of ECMP 355 continue with it so we can stay connected.  I have realized the opportunities the internet allows for connecting to other educators and gaining great classroom ideas, so I hope I will make this an integral part of my teaching.  If for some reason I don’t have access to computers or iPads for my class everyday, I will at least use the internet for my own development as a teacher and to connect with other educators and get classroom ideas/resources.

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March 27, 2013 & April 3, 2013 – Presentations of Major Projects

On these two days, my peers and I presented our major projects for the course.  I really enjoyed seeing what everyone else has spent many hours working on on their own time during the semester.  I especially noticed the creativity everyone had for their projects whether they were project A or B.  In regards to project B, I found that people were quite readily able to make connections to how they could use this project in their classroom or what aspects of it they could implement in their classroom.  For me, I found that unless I was teaching a foods class, I would probably only implement the idea and method into my classroom.  I will definitely allow students to have choice in their learning, and this project showed me the benefits of learning from the internet and “creating” on the internet as well.  One thing I also learned was the “trial and error” approach to learning.  Now, I understand that my students need multiple chances for success.  This reminds me of something I learned from Anne Davies textbook (for ECS 410 last year) “Making Classroom Assessment Work”:  Students needs multiple times to practice before their summative assessment.  It is unfair to teach students a skill and then evaluate them on it right away without giving them time to practice the skill through formative assessment and be given feedback.  This seems time consuming and like you would never get through all the content, but during my internship I could see opportunities where this was actually quite easy.  Instead of giving a summative quiz right away, you could give them a practice quiz, exit slip, formative assignment, homework check questions, etc.  I hope I continue to practice this in my classroom next year and do not just have summative assignments, tests, and quizzes as I see many science/math teachers do.

Back to the presentations, I found that those who did project A did a very thorough and detailed job.  They incorporated all the new technology tools and programs we have learned about in this class and the unit plan looks like it’s ready to use!  Although the project A presentations today were for elementary, I will still want to keep their blogs/projects attached to my blog because I could use their same outline for a unit plan for a high school class.  Or, I might even land an elementary job, and then I could literally use their exact unit plan!  This class has really taught me the importance and availability of networking and sharing resources online.  I could sit and make up all my own lesson plans, but that will take me hours…or else I could look at what’s out there and what has been done and adapt it to my classroom if possible.  Many times, people have new and “better” ideas than I would think of on my own.  It is my hope to spend some time searching these resources and compiling lessons this summer.

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March 18 & 20, 2013 – Blogging & Classroom Blogs

It takes so much time to figure things out regarding blogs on my own time, so having a quick little tutorial from a classmate was helpful!  I think since I have put much time and effort into learning how to use WordPress this semester, I would use it next year as a teacher for my classroom instead of switching to a different blogging site.  I wish I would have had more time to browse through my colleagues blogs during the semester and see what they were learning, posting.  At least having the “Reader” when I signed into WordPress kept me connected to updates people were posting.  I like the idea of blogging as a way of housing all your work.  For this class, it worked great and I did not even need a binder for once!  It was accessible anywhere I had the internet and a computer which was super handy all semester.  In my future classroom, I think I will use a blog as a way of organizing my classroom.  I might even have a parent blog where all the classes I teach are a  tab where students can go to see updates.  You can do much more with WordPress than you can with Super Teacher Tools.com which is the website I used for my classroom during internship.  Kandace’s Chemistry 20 Website was a very basic website I used during internship just for students who missed class to find what they missed and print off the handouts/worksheets they missed.  I found it difficult to maintain this website as I got busier and busier.  Also, I found that students would not always remember to go to the website to check for what they missed because they viewed missing school as “I’ll get the homework when I get back from the teacher”.

I could take blogging one step further and have my students all have their own blogs.  I could probably make this work in many different subjects but I would have to structure my activities and homework with this in mind.  It would cut down on paper, but I just can’t wrap my head around the idea of how students in chemistry 30 or calculus would use blogs to showcase their work.  If I were to implement this, I could manage to think outside the box and make blogging work for some things, but not all.  I would also have to ensure my students have access to computers or iPads so they could update their blogs and work on them on a regular basis.  Once I see what the school division has for resources, I can decide how I will implement this…but for now, it is good to know this is a possibility!

On March 20, we created a Google doc on Good Classroom Blogs where my partner, Twila, and I discussed the classroom blogs we found and what made them such great classroom blogs.  I also have more information on this in my March 18, 2013 post on my main page.

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March 11 & 13, 2013 – Digital Citizenship Classes

I really enjoyed learning about digital citizenship during these two classes.  I think this is an important issue that teachers need to be aware of and educated about during their teacher training at university (which would not have happened if I didn’t take this class!).  I liked that we had a few minutes to discuss the websites we found with our neighbors about digital citizenship as I found out some interesting things like there are “starter kits” for teachers for teaching about digital citizenship.  I felt a little rushed for time to read all three articles/websites on cybertips and cyberbullying, but I did find the first article (STF Cybertips for teachers) VERY practical.  It laid out what we should and shouldn’t do and what our rights and responsibilities as teachers are.  The Common Sense Media website was good to browse for videos for teachers and lesson plans on digital citizenship.  The part I do not fully understand is when would I use a lesson plan from this site if I am not specifically setting aside time to teach students about digital citizenship?  I am probably going to try to weave in different aspects of digital citizenship during the semester as we face different things in the class.  This quick introduction to the three websites was good in that I can go back if I ever need to and it exposed me to some resources I may find helpful in the future.  It’s good to know that there is support and information out there for educators.  “My Online Neighborhood” video highlighted many of the positives about using the internet at any age and for educational purposes.  His three rules of 1.  Always ask your mom or dad first 2. only talk to people you know and 3. stick to sites that are just right for you is a very good summary of what we need to teach younger kids about the internet. If you use the internet safely, it CAN be used for all ages.  However, the problem we have as educators is monitoring the sites/information the students can access.  Net nannies and site-blockers have increased the ways we can monitor but I don’t think there is a totally fool-proof way yet.

After watching Cyberbully – The Movie, I was reminded how serious cyber bullying is.  Again, in the four years of Education classes I have taken, we were not really made aware of the issue, let alone given the practical tools to deal with the issue.  Since I will be teaching high school, this video was very applicable to what my students might encounter.  Even during my internship I noticed all the talk about Twitter and Facebook and “who said what” and “who posted what”.  I was lucky enough to not have any issues interfere with the learning that was taking place in the classroom, but it could very easily have been an issue I would have had to deal with.  Students bring what happens on the internet in with them to school and we can see that reflected in the classroom.  Although it is incredibly hard to figure out what is going on or how it all started, if there is an “social networking” issue that comes forth in my classroom and interferes with someone’s learning I will have to deal with that.  I think I have safety in knowing that I will always have the Administration behind me and available to support the student and parents…and more than likely it will become an administration issue at the larger level.  However, if I do not do anything about the “potential cyber bullying” at the classroom level, things will spiral much more out of control.  I hope that I am not oblivious to what is going on in my student’s lives outside of the classroom and on the internet, but I think I will be able to sense when something is wrong based on abnormal student behavior.

I am also very glad I watched this movie because I can maybe use it in my classroom in the future.  If I am teaching high school wellness or health I could ensure this lines up with one of the objectives (which I am quite positive it does).

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March 6, 2013 – Online Class:  Adobe Meeting Pro, Skyping with Peers, & Digital Citizenship Website Link

Today we had time to browse our peers blogs which I am grateful for!  During the busyness of the semester it is very hard to find time to browse other people’s blogs, but I find it valuable and enjoy it when I get the chance.  After briefly talking about NETS in Adobe Meeting Pro, we broke into our Skype groups and talked about the interconnection between Assessment Matrix, Henrico county schools matrix, NETs, and Rubistar.  The conclusions we drew as a group via Skype were:  The Assessment matrix, Henrico country schools matrix, and NETs all seem to be for the teacher to assess themselves and their practices as a teacher.  Rubistar, on the other hand, is for the teacher to actually create rubrics for students.  Rubistar could also be extended to the students in the event that they could potentially make their own rubric for a project.  The big themes that we found to be overlapping in most of the rubrics were Problem Solving, Critical Thinking & Decision making, Communication & Collaboration, Research & Information, Creativity & Innovation.  Those are the major parameters that we must try to achieve for our students.  The Florida Assessment Matrix helps teachers see how they could use technology to achieve those parameters by giving teachers some practical ideas.  The Henrico country school matrix allows you to assess what level you are at with using technology in each of the 4 major areas.  There is an obvious interconnection of the major student learning parameters with technology in the classroom.  NETs lists parameters on Digital Citizenship and Technology Operations & Concepts which highlight the importance of students advocating safe and productive use of technology as well as students being able to understand and use technology systems.

I enjoyed having time to talk to peers about our Major Projects, as I have not communicated much with other about their projects and how they are going about doing them.  This brought up some questions we had and answered some questions I had as well.  I enjoyed that we went back to Adobe Meeting Pro to highlight important upcoming information and wrap up the class.  I feel more in the loop when we use Adobe Meeting Pro as opposed to doing the class completely on my own.  Lastly, we were left with the task of finding an article or website on Digital Citizenship or Cyber Safety:

Digital Citizenship Website – this simple, great website highlights what digital citizenship is, tradition vs. technology, social media, improving your privacy, bad citizens of the internet, and student blogs in an easy-to-understand way!

Basically, digital citizenship is a principle that helps users know how to use technology in an appropriate way.  As teachers, we need to know how to utilize technology safely and help your students be aware of their internet actions.  Teachers, along with their students, need to realize that everything we do online shapes what people (potential employers, peers, colleagues, parents, etc.) perceive of you.  Here’s a positive stat the website quotes under their “Social Media: Pros and Cons page”:  59% of students with access to the Internet report that they use social networking sites to discuss educational topics including career and college planning, and 50% use the sites to talk about school assignments.

This website shows you how to improve your Twitter and Facebook privacy with step-by-step instructions via a YouTube video!  The website gives great examples of bad citizens of the web by showing examples of their posts and that they contribute to their digital footprint and could hamper their success in the future.  Lastly, students posted in their blogs about how they have traced their digital citizenship and how it can be positive or negative.

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March 4, 2013 – “Surprise” Online Class

Today we took an extensive look at the Florida Assessment Matrix and discussed some pros, cons, and how we could use it in our classrooms.  Please see the attached Google Doc that my group collaboratively wrote on the matrix and what it means for us as teachers.  Technology Integration Matrix Google Doc One of the coolest things about this matrix is that it has the lesson plans underneath the videos in the corresponding boxes of the matrix that I could implement in my classroom.  If I was unsure how to integrate technology at higher levels I could use these ideas!  It inspires teacher to go outside the box of traditional technology integration in the classroom such as just using laptops for research.

The Framework for 21st Century Learning article mainly focused on the idea that students today need life/career skills, learning and innovation skills, core subjects and 21st century themes, information, media, and technology skills in order to be successful.

21st Century Student Learning

The support system you see below the “rainbow” is what is necessary in order for students to master the multi-dimensional abilities required of them in the 21st century.  The rubric teachers can use to assess themselves and their students can be found at: Assessing 21st Century Skills.  “The 21st Century educator utilizes instructional strategies and appropriate technologies to support all aspects of the learning process while incorporating opportunities for student self-assessment and peer and teacher feedback.” This rubric allows teachers to assess where they are at in the parameters of research & information fluency, problem solving & critical thinking, communication & collaboration, and creativity & innovation.

We also looked very briefly at the T.P.C.K model which looks like this:

TPACK

“The TPCK framework allows us not just to understand what effective teaching with technology is about, but it also allows us to make predictions and inferences about contexts under which such good teaching will occur.  Clearly, workshops for professional development that focus on developing skill sets specific to particular technologies or the programs that merely focus on generic pedagogical techniques removed from content are not sufficient; they only address the TK (technology) in our framework and ignore the connections with CK (content) and PK (pedagogy). In addition, the TPCK framework allows us to look more closely at successful programs of technology integration and suggest inferences about the causal mechanisms underlying their success. Furthermore, the framework also allows us to make predictions about the contexts within which teachers will apply technology in smart, interesting, and useful ways.” 

NETS are standards for evaluating and assessing the skills and knowledge students need to learn effectively in an increasingly digital world.  It is not enough for students to just be able to use technology, they need to use technology to analyze, learn, and explore.

NETS

Rubistar is a very useful tool to teachers as it allows you to quickly make rubrics for any subject and grade level.

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Michelle Morley’s Webinar on 21st Century Tools – February 13, 2013

In today’s 21st century classroom, we should use technology so that students are the center of: Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, and Critical Thinking.

Creativity:  Students create blogs to house their work.  Students can be creative with Glogster, podcasts, digital stories, screencasting tools, timeline creators.

Collaboration:  Google apps (drive, forms, docs, presentations), Wikis, Skype, Stixy (online bulletin board), Bubble.us (brainstorming tool).

Communication:  Twitter, Edmodo, Dropbox, Skype.  Students can post questions anytime for you to review or other students can contribute to their peers learning by answering questions.

Critical Thinking Skills:  Learn anytime anywhere through Khan Academy, YouTube, Snap Guide.  Opinion Matters through Poll Everywhere, Google forms (survey), SMART Response, and Socrative app.  Information Literacy (find and validate online resources).

As a becoming teacher, I should just pick a place, and dive in!  I can use Pinterest, Google+, Google Reader,

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Article Summaries/Review from February 6, 2013

Learning by Clicker

In 2011, the use of clickers in school skyrocketed and the demand for the devices and training was very high.  Teachers can poll students, then split them into small groups to have discussion, then poll students again to see what they learned from collaborative thinking.  Anonymous polls encourages shy students to participate and all students when the topic is controversial/sensitive.  The use of clickers increases student motivation because they love the game-like experience, competing with their classmates, and challenging themselves.  Clickers with more sophisticated screens allow texting capabilities, open-ended questions, and self-paced learning.  For choosing a brand of clicker, you will want to do research, but perhaps matching the interactive whiteboard and other software the school has is the best/easiest option.  Some tips the article gives:  ask questions “on the fly”, use clickers to help students learn and not just for quizzes and attendance, use different question types (such as critical thinking types), have students respond every 10 minutes, ask students to explain their answers, encourage debate by keeping results secret until the end and share your work with other teachers.

 Best in Tech 2011 Response Systems and Assessment

Some common response systems are eInstruction, SMART Response, Scholastic, Turning Technologies, DYMO/Mimio, Qwizdom, Promethean, and QOMO Hite Vision.  The goal of eInstruction devices is so teachers can student knowledge and tailor instruction accordingly.  Students love immediate feedback and teachers can pinpoint concepts students aren’t grasping.   The goal of  SMART Response is to engage students daily through formative assessment and give teachers a better way to analyze and track student data and progress.  Scholastic has features such as the Scholastic Math Inventory (SMI) and the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) that are used to assess students in math and reading.  They use the data to place new students in correct classes, examine growth rates in classrooms, and help students choose appropriate book levels.  Turning Technologies uses clickers as formative assessment tools before summative assessments.  They use them to individually poll, then allow group discussion, then poll again.  DYMO/Mimio is primarily being used in high school sciences and maths where the emphasis is on hands-on and collaborative projects.  Students love the colored buttons and the devices allow for immediate instructional adjustments. Qwizdom uses clickers for assessing percentages of students who don’t understand concepts and then reteaching, instant feedback on tests, and review games where students develop their own review questions. They want to help students who have a hard time with traditional test taking.  Promethean uses devices for brainstorming on the ActivBoard through text imput as well as quizzes that only let the student move on if the question is correct.  QOMO Hite Vision uses their devices primarily for answering questions as they read together as well as quizzes and tests to find out what students know about a topic. 

Handheld devices. advantageous or disadvantageous

Advantages for using handheld technologies:  teaches students digital literacy, learn new vocabulary words, practice publishing an electronic format, ELA teachers can use eBooks for free, text can be linked with video/audio/interactive tools (highlighting, crossing out, underlining, etc.), easy sharing of files, going “green” because less use of paper.

Disadvantages for using handheld technologies:  easier to cheat, cyber bulling, expose kids to inappropriate content and advertisements, too much digital learning may result in becoming less responsive to traditional lessons, educators need support and assistance with making lesson plans because the software is mostly made for business use, some handheld devices have small screens.

SMART Response VE

Teachers can prepare quizzes, tests, assessments in SMART Notebook and save all the results in the built-in gradebook and then exported into Excel or text format.  No student installation is required, so any mobile device can be used.  Tags and keywords can be assigned to students so that teachers can see areas that caused problems for students.  SMART Response VE is integrated with all other SMART products.  Students can access assessments from anywhere in the world which makes it a great tool for homework assignments or assessments.

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January 30, 2013 – Collaborative Article Review Online

Group members:  Kayla Graf, Megan Pearce, Angela La, Kandace Little.

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iPods, iPads, and the SMARTBoard article – January 23, 2013

I really liked the introduction to the article where Saine said that students often don’t see using digital literacy activities as schoolwork.  I agree that students often view using digital activities as more “fun” and not as “schoolwork” although they are in fact learning!  The first example given was with a teacher who had the students create podcasts on iPods.  I have never done a podcast, but it sounds like a great way to document and record student’s learning.  The other neat thing is it’s quick and easy to SHARE with other student, the teacher, or even friends and family to show what they have learned.  I liked the idea of using iPads in the classroom and specifically enhancing student learning through selection of apps they can use.  For example, the teacher who used Toontastic (digital story telling app) found that her students were more creative in their thinking and could identify key elements to a story.  Another example worth mentioning is the Geometry lesson using iPads to take pictures of shapes and then use the Strip Design App to explain more about the shape.  I could use this in many other subjects I am sure, I just need to check out the App beforehand and play around with it before my students use it!  Lastly, I found the example of using the SMARTboard for understanding literacy terms in poetry quite useful.  Students often have a hard time “memorizing” definitions.  By using the interactive SMARTboard, you can reveal, hide, match the terms within the poem you are studying as a class.

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30 Simple Ideas for Interactive Whiteboards Article – January 23, 2013

This article has 30 quick ideas of how to use your interactive whiteboard in the classroom with everything from classroom management to content instruction.  Some of the ideas would work better in elementary settings, and some could be used in middle years or secondary settings.  Since my focus is secondary education, I will highlight the ones that I could see myself potentially using next year in my classroom.

Going on a field trip by finding a virtual tour would be something that would be very visual and beneficial to students.  If I could find a virtual tour/website that was appropriate for the subject/grade level, this is a great alternative to going on a field trip.  Another great idea (which I learned about in another ECS class) is virtual dissections for biology if your school is short on funds.  Using the interactive whiteboard, students can pause at any point in the dissection and label the parts.  In a high school geography class, using Google maps to find student’s homes or any building of interest brings the content to a personal level.  I can create or use the pre made board games to teach a lesson on finance, money, math, etc.  For a high school English class you can project up a exemplar copy of a piece of writing and highlight, circle, and star strong verbs and good word choices.  Similarly, you can project a poor piece of writing, ask for student’s feedback and suggestions and mark up the copy for all students to see the editing/proofreading process.  I like the idea of setting a timer on the whiteboard for any activity where students can see how much time is remaining and thus they can learn how to be a little more independent while teacher can circulate room.  Setting up a gameshow like Jeopardy or Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader could be a useful tool in reviewing content.  Using an interactive periodic table to help students understand what the elements actually look like is a great idea for science or chemistry (discoveryeducation.com has one).  Having students create an e-portfolio is a really cool idea.  This allows them to showcase their work in pages they save on the IWB during center time.  For math, I really like the idea of using a digital graphing calculator so students can see what you are doing instead of walking around, trying to show each student.  One question this sparks is how to I get my hands on some of these applications though?  Does it come with the whiteboard software or can I download these things free somewhere I wonder? Finally, having a lesson on the IWB allows for it to be saved, reused, and even sent to absent students.  One of the biggest struggles during internship for me was catching students up after they missed class.  I had a class website, but still found the students needed one-on-one instruction to learn the material.  Using the IWB might help with this.

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Technology in the Classroom Article  – January 16, 2013

“Are You Ready For Mobile Learning?” article   (I have also linked the article on the tabs bar on the left hand side under “Education Articles”

Here is an article which discusses the use of technology for learning.  Feel free to leave comments!

The article emphasizes the fact that today we have so many devices (iPods, mp3 players, tablets, portable game devices, laptops, PDAs) that allow for digitally communicating with each other and accessing information from anywhere and anytime that would have been impossible just a few years ago.  Personal digital assistants (PDAs) are being used by teachers and students more frequently than ever before because of their limitless opportunities.  There is no longer a need to be bound to a computer lab; students can use PDAs at their desks or even on a field trip to store and analyze data, or for reading purposes.

Positives using iPods: students can download podcasts for instructional lectures along with audio and video lectures; collaborate on projects; showcase their work; capture material using a microphone for educational use; and teachers can provide visual step-by-step directions.

Drawbacks using iPods:  the cost and one-way communication as opposed to interactivity and the screen are usually too small to read large amounts of text.

Positives using PDAs:  plays audio, video, Flash movies; allows editing of text documents; mass storage; access to email, IM messaging, Internet; interactive; comes with stylus or screen keyboard to have text input; students can use them to take notes in class, conduct research and present projects.

Drawbacks using PDAs:  bulky to carry around and not ideal for long text entry without the peripheral input device.

Positives using USB storage devices:  students can store their work; transfer files from school computers to home; students can share files for collaborative projects; students can submit work to teacher.

Positives using E-book Reader:  students can access and store newspapers, books, and magazines; magnification of text for easier reading; environmentally friendly; can store all textbook material for several courses.

Drawbacks using E-book Reader:  cost and limited computing capabilities.

Positives using smartphones:  students can download audio/video lectures and podcasts; can play audio, video, Flash movies, access to internet, email, IM messaging, text messaging; can also use phone for mass storage.

Drawbacks using smartphones:  small screen makes reading text difficult, small keyboard makes text entry difficult, and lastly, using cell phones in school might be against your school’s rules.

Since I was born in the “technology era” I have internalized the positives and drawbacks to using laptops in classrooms, therefore I will not go into depth about that here.  During my internship, I witnessed a fair share of technology issues with laptops, internet connectivity and reliability, tablet usage, school servers, etc.  I know that technology is supposed to make our lives easier and allow us to accomplish things faster, but when it doesn’t work, it is hard to be willing to try it again next time.  Having a back up plan when using technology is definitely a good idea, but sometimes it is hard to find time to plan a Plan B on top of planning your lesson (Plan A).

There are many benefits to mobile learning which include: access to course information anytime and anywhere; enhances student-centered learning; appeal to tech-savy students; has potential to enhance interaction between teacher and students as well as students and their peers; supports differentiation and individualized learning; reduce cultural and communication barriers; enhances collaboration among students.  However, along with the benefits, I can see possible challenges that occur with mobile learning such as:  unfair advantage for the tech-savy students; may make it possible to cheat; non-techie students could feel out-of-the-loop; may be possible formatting issues depending on what types of computers your students are using, could require an additional learning curve just to be able to use the technology.

After reading and talking about many “technology in classroom” articles over the last 4 years of my education courses, I do think we have tremendous opportunities to use it in the classroom.  It allows the teachers to shift from being transmitters of knowledge to facilitators of learning,which I believe is very crucial in student learning.  After many educational discussions about implementing technology in the classroom, I have come to realize that there will always be pros and cons to what I will use and I just have to find a way to make it work in a classroom.  I am sure I will have my struggles using different technological devices over the years, but it’s a learning curve for both myself and the students.  My biggest worry about using technology in my classroom is that I won’t be able to keep up with the latest thing.  If schools want teachers to use technology, it’s imperative that we have professional development days where we learn about the technology devices we are to be trying in the classroom.  I would love to spend my own time figuring out how to use a new device, but I quickly found out during internship that my first year of teaching will be “trying to stay ahead of the students” (simply because planning for 4 classes a day you’ve never taught before is very time consuming!).

I witnessed during my internship that some older teachers are very much opposed to using technology in the classroom, which makes sense because people do not like change.  Many teachers have said, “This is the way I have always done it and it works, why do I have to change?” I understand their argument, but it seems that the big push in education is to integrate using technology.  Education is often behind and I think this is one way we can be “current”.  I also noticed that it is impressive and appealing when the young, newer teachers use new forms of technology in their classroom for learning.  I think my biggest downfall with integrating technology will be that I have the devices, but I have not learned them inside out and backward in order to use them in the classroom because I haven’t had the time.

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Reflection on first ECMP 355 class – January 9, 2013

The first day of ECMP 355 was quite useful and informative.  I enjoyed that we took time to get to know everyone in the class before getting started.  I also appreciate when professors take time to tell their students about themselves.  The quick internet search for Milissa Gavel showed us two things:  information about Milissa but also that when we google our own names, we want positive webpages and information to come up first.  I have been informed about my “digital footprint” in other education classes, especially before we went out for internship.  My information on the internet has always been appropriate, but one thing I am still wondering about is how do I make sure MY facebook and twitter pages come up first and not some other Kandace Little?  When I google my name, many other Kandace Little’s pages come up before my own, so how is a future employer going to know which one is actually me?

As with the beginning of any new semester, it’s always overwhelming the first week when you get all the course outlines with assignments and due dates.  I just need to take some time on Wednesday to read through the expectations and course assignments to wrap my head around what this class will entail.  I like the idea that we are making our own blog where we can experience using a new website and will be our main form of communication during the semester.  I haven’t used wordpress very much prior to this course, but even what I learned on Monday was enough to get me started.  Last year, I used Google docs for ECS 350, which was new to me.  Learning a new program is time consuming, but once you have the basic skills, you can learn the rest as you develop your website.  I found the pace of the first ECMP 355 class to be good.  I enjoy having some class time to work on things, especially when I am new to a website, so that I can ask questions to the expert!  I learned how to pick a background, how to make pages, posts, upload pictures and edit text on pages.  I like the idea of having Wednesdays off campus because of convenience, but I am also one of those students who likes to have face-to-face interaction and literally going to school to learn…so we’ll see how it goes!  All in all, I hope this class challenges me to learn new technology skills and equips me with applicable technology ideas to use in my classroom next year!

5 thoughts on “Reflections

  1. Commenting on your article reflection:
    I can totally relate to how you feel about technology! I had the same issue both in pre-internship and internship where I use PCs and the schools that I was at used Mac computers and I had no idea how to really use them.
    I also support your point that PD days should be used for teaching teachers about technology. I was at Grant Road school and they used PD days to talk about PowerSchool a lot because it was the new thing and even though we had older teachers that probably didn’t want to ‘change’, it is Regina Public’s decision on how they want their schools to run. I was always told that as a teacher you have to “be flexible” no matter what the situation so hopefully we don’t get too frustrated with technology in the future!

  2. Your reflections are very thorough and detailed. I enjoyed reading your writing. Keep up the good work and whenever possible try to make connections to other literature to move yourself higher on the rubric.

  3. I love that you added the pictures from the last reflection! I might have to add that before I post mine. It is so much easier to explain how you understood it when the images are right there!

  4. In response to your March 4th reflection. Thank you Kandace for your in-depth reflection and for providing links, your effort is truly appreciated. I was unable to attend monday’s class and missed the core of the conversation. From what I can interpret from your reflection and my understanding of the readings are these assessment tools are Blooms Taxonomy of the future. These tools push higher levels of assessment using technology but also encourage more self assessment for teachers and students. I believe this type of assessment is essential to creating an efficient classroom. I think using higher levels of self-assessment for students as well as teachers will provide opportunities for self reflection, progression, a more connected learning environment.

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