My last and Final Class Reflection

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Reflection on the Class

                This has been an extremely informative class. I have never been a fan of technology because I have always seen it as an unreliable, complicated, and an unstable tool. It is constantly changing and I already struggle to keep up with the next hottest item.  I really enjoyed learning how to utilize familiar tools, such as PowerPoint and Excel, to make my classroom more engaging. I enjoyed making the interactive PowerPoint and the Jeopardy game. The Jeopardy game was one thing I wanted to learn in this class. I am excited to continue using this knowledge in my classroom and hopefully keeping up with the latest tools. My fears are that I am going to fall back into the rut I was in of never using technology because I can’t keep up with what’s new and fun.

                I hope to improve my use of technology in the classroom by following the several blogs that Mrs. Arnold gave us, continue taking professional development, and collaborating with co-workers. Mrs. Arnold gave us several names of blogs and sites that we could read that would help us keep up with what’s new in the classroom with the use of technology.  She informed us that is how she finds the latest tools. I also plan on taking several professional development classes during the summer that deal with technology and how to use the IPad. Collaborating with my tech savvy co-teachers is also something I will continue to do. This will be easy because as I see them use something new or different I will learn how to use it and find out what it is. I want to continue to use the Jeopardy games that I learned how to make, teach my students how to make interactive PowerPoint’s, and continue to allow the use of my IPad and engaging apps to help them learn.

The Business World Works in Groups… That’s Just the way it is.

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Middle School Car: Ballon Project

http://www.bie.org/videos/video/middle_school_project_balloon_car

Author: BIE

This was a fun video about a middle school using project based learning across an entire grade. The students used recycled materials to build a car that would actually work. The teachers collaborated and took a lesson from each piece of the puzzle. The math teachers talked about the banking side, english teachers had the students write a commerical for their car, and science teachers had professional scientists come in once a week to work the students. The students were given a card with some information on it about how much they earned a year and how many children they had which showed them what kind of a car they could in turn afford.

I thought that this was a great project. It hit all the core subjects that the students had as well as several standards across the board. The prinicipal’s comment about the business world works in groups is so true. I have never thought about it until now but it makes so much more sense to have students work together. You always have to be mindful of the “mooch” but students learn to work together and if one person isn’t pulling their weight they would get “fired” in the real world or receive a zero in the class room. I really enjoyed this video and may share it with my fellow teachers.

DUHHH!!!!

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Project Based Learning

http://www.bie.org/videos/video/project_based_learning_explained

Author: BIE

This video started about talking about what school used to be like. Memorizing facts, taking a test, and never fully grasping the deeper meaning. It explains that in a project based world our classroom should involve more kinesthetic movement as opposed to what has been done in the past which is sitting in a desk listening to a teacher talk. The video shows an example of how we are never expected to solve a problem alone. We are given a team or create a team to solve issues within our work environment. Students are taught about communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. 21st Century believes that allowing students to work in a group they build more skills working with others than if they memorized information and took a test.

I think that this video was an eye opener to me. I know that in my job I work with a team and if I have a problem I can go to a friend and ask for help. I am never expected to just figure the problem out for myself and hope that it’s correct. This is silly and would only get me in trouble if I was wrong. It seems so obvious now that students should be allowed to work in groups. I do think that they would learn more from each other and about the topic as opposed to memorizing everything. They also learn how to communicate and collaborate with each other as well use critical thinking skills. I named this Duhh because it seems like such an obvious thing however we as teachers always expect the students to be able to work alone and show us what they as an idividual can do not as a whole.

NETS-T Standard 5

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Standard 5

Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstratingthe effective use of digital tools and resources.

a. Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning

b. Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others

c. Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning

d. Contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community

Summary-

Teachers continuously sign up for professional development in order to improve their current teaching strategies, show students that we are always learning, and become a leader by using technology and different resources.

 

a. This is a weakness of mine. Before this year I struggled to use technology well in the classroom. I could barely use the promethean board and now I am starting blogs and actively using my IPad to keep students engaged. I am hoping that my cohort can continue to be my learning community for the next year.

b. This became a strength of mine this year as I have been thinking of ways to improve the tutorial classroom. I suggested allowing the students to start blogging about their potential careers and the other tutorial teachers really liked the idea. I have found that the librarian is also a great source for the latest technological resources

c. This is a weakness of mine because I go to professional development to learn about current research in the area of special education but I never do it for technology. I have quickly learned this year that using technology in the classroom is going to keep the students engaged and wanting to learn more. They are going to want to use the latest resources because it will be fun and they usually don’t realize they are learning.

d. This is going to be a strength of mine this year. Since I have started this class I have found more ways to include technology in the classroom and have been able to show other teachers how to do it too.  I am contributing to the life, use, and revitalization of technology through the use of the IPad and blogging.

Remembering to keep the students engaged… not entertained!!

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Teaching in the 21st Century

Author/ Creator: Kevin Roberts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTIBDR4Dn2g&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_992282

This video discussed what it is like to teach in the 21st century. As seen on the video, students have endless opportunities to learn from Google, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, cell phones, YouTube and IPods. Also, the video posed several real world questions that most teachers don’t ever ask. The video made it a reality that teachers are quickly being replaced by technology which is a scary thought.

The video’s main question was “What does it mean to teach?” Teaching is keeping the students motivated to learn through the use of a variety of resources. Teaching in the 21st century can be overwhelming and intimidating. There is so much technology out there that I have never heard of or only know about because of taking this technology class through the masters program. Teaching becomes harder and harder not because of having to know new content but because we are constantly having to keep up with the latest technology. Students are enthralled with technology and love using programs and apps they have never seen before. We don’t want to be replaced and we want students to understand the importance of a human connection while learning. There are some things that technology can’t provide students with yet and that is a student teacher relationship and real life experiences. Another interesting point brought up in the video is that we are no longer the main source of knowledge but more of a filter. We have to sift through the mounds of information that is being thrown at them and help then take away important facts or life lessons. The questions in the video are things that our students will encounter at some point in their lives and it seems that teaching is becoming more about how we will teach them to solve the problem and not about knowing the small or surface facts about the problem.

I do like the way the video presented the ignored fact that teaching is about engaging students, not entertaining them. I think it is important for all teachers to remember that and make sure to use technology wisely and when it is appropriate and not just because it is a way to keep them entertained. The key is to keep them engaged and challenge them to their furthest point and beyond.

Technology can be so Intimidating

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21st Century Education in New Brunswick, Canada

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjJg9NfTXos

New Brunswick Department of Education

This video is about all the changes in the world that have occured in such a short amount of time thanks to the use of technology.  How we communitcate, work, play, and learn has all been greatly impacted by technology in some way. This video not only makes us aware of how much the world has changed but informs us that it is going to continue to change and that schools needs to show their adjustments too. This video shows how that 21st century schools not only teach students but they are active in their community and around the world starting with the youngest students.

This video scared me and gave me much anxiety. Although I am aware of everything that was presented in the video I feel that I try to ignore how much technology has become a part of our lives. When I was a student I was given the opportunity to be in a computer class weekly but what terrifies me the most is that the students know more than I do. Technology is changing so fast and so drastically that I struggle to find ways to keep up. Keeping up doesn’t mean knowing what the students know and using that piece of technology or program but being able to teach them something new and always be one step ahead of them. It is amazing how far technology has come and how dated it will be by 2020.

Letting Them Figure It Out

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Figuring it out: Giving up Control

 

http://figuringitouted.blogspot.com/2011/06/giving-up-control.html.

By: J Bevacqua @jvbevacqua

                This article was posted by a principal who still teaches a class. In this class he decided to allow the students to pick one topic that they really wanted to know more about. He didn’t give them a preapproved list of topics or worry them with how they were going to be graded. The students took total charge of what they really wanted to know and used several different sources in order to find the information. The author states that the students were excited to present their project which has encouraged him to let go a little and give up more control of the classroom in order to encourage their engagement.

                I do like the idea of having the students pick a topic for a project and presenting it to the class.  It reminds me of a menu assignment where students get several options of topics and types of assignments to complete. I do think that with elementary and middle school students this may be hard for them to want to push themselves and search deep down for a challenging question. I think I could do a modified version of this with my student’s transition project. I can allow the students to come up with a question about their job goals in high school, after college, during college, how they will get there, or any other aspect of their future job. I do think that the students would enjoy this for their final project once we have talked about several aspects of their future goals.  Although this is a great idea it is going to be hard as the teacher to let go control of what they are going to do their final project on. It will be my job to encourage them to get back on track if they start expanding their topic too far and make it unmanageable but at the same time to think outside of the box.