Currently, my students are doing a project that requires them to search the internet for information. Many of them simply input their question or topic and rarely get good information -- simply because they do not search smart. Well, we are working on it and I think that these helpful hints will cause them to become a better Google user (and web user).
Teachthought.com posted a short tutorial that is very helpful when it comes to searching out information on the internet using Google. I think these are little secrets that every one can benefit from.
Currently, my students are doing a project that requires them to search the internet for information. Many of them simply input their question or topic and rarely get good information -- simply because they do not search smart. Well, we are working on it and I think that these helpful hints will cause them to become a better Google user (and web user).
For the entire article, click on this link at Teachthought.com.
I am on cloud nine right now!
As an educator, I am always taking small assessments of my students. I am always asking if they "get it" or understand the material we are going over. Sometimes I don't even have to ask because I can tell by the look on their face whether they are engaged in the process or not.
I have a particular student that was difficult to read at first. She is a very good student who participates in class and completes all of her work in a timely fashion. Her behavior is stellar in the classroom. She is very confident and polite. She is definately a teacher's dream. But I noticed that there was something written on her face that told me that she was frustrated or possibly ... bored!
She's a high functioning student and I thought I needed to engage her more in her learning. After a couple of discussions with my mentor teacher, I decided to approach her with the idea of blogging or setting up a wikispace with some social studies content that we were learning about. I had to make sure that she was allowed to do this, number one, and number two, make sure she had internet access at home. (There have been some typical logistical issues with technology at the middle school that I am student teaching at, therefore it was something that she needed to do at home with supervision.) After my discussion with her, I wasn't so sure that she wanted to do this! After all she is hard to read and this isn't for a grade. Most seventh graders are in constantly in need of some type of motivation to get any work out of them.
Yesterday, in the last period of the day, my student approached me and said she had opened up a Weebly account and began setting up pages. I was shocked!! We went over to a computer and I had her pull it up and was just amazed. She set up an account, navigated through the set up, and added content without anybody's help! I thought for sure that she would need help getting the ball rolling, but I underestimated her abilities! (I was 42 when I first started a blog, and it took weeks to get used to it!)
There is a lesson to be learned here: students will own their learning if they pointed in the right direction -- even without the traditional motivations (i.e. grades). Her motivation to do this is because she enjoys the freedom to express herself intellectually on an individual level via the Weebly blog. She needs this outlet to go above and beyond her classroom.
And I feel like a million bucks right now because all I did was give her a little nudge out of the door...these moments are what teaching is all about.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
"This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end; but it is perhaps the end of the beginning."
I love that quote. I was listening to a James Bond novel, and at the end of the novel, the last line is that quote (anyone who loves the James Bond movies will see something like it at the end of the movie: James Bond will return...).
I love it because that perfectly describes where I am at in regards to technology, education, and my personal philosophy of education. When I first started this blog for this class, I had no idea how much I would come to love doing this! My very first blog in September 2012 is a joke!! That's alright. You can agree! My instructor, Garth Holman, had us start there, however and weave a very well planned, much needed course in technology and the implementation of it in the classroom. By far, it was my favorite course in the College of Education at the University of Akron.
...But it wasn't the technology that won me over. I am already sold on that aspect. I am lover of all things Apple. I love the innovation and style that Steve Jobs and his company has given to technology and our every day use of it. I mean, where would I be without my iPod Classic???!
No, it wasn't the technology. That was icing on the cake. What changed in me was the perception on how I am to teach. Garth had us follow about thirty or fourty educators and organizations on Twitter one day in class. I thought, "This is excellent, but aren't you overdoing it a bit?". I did what Garth said and I began to check out these people and found out that there are a ton of people out there who believe the way I do. I had ideas rolling around in my head in the way education should look; but what I was writing in papers for my education classes was not this vision. I wrote an educational philosophy during my first year in the College of Education that has absolutely nothing in it about teaching others. Helping others, yes. But not teaching.
Sadly, I passed those classes with A's and made the Dean's list as a part-time student.
I am not blaming the University, however. They have a program that they must keep to provide the public with qualified teachers in accordance to organizations such as NCATE. I get that.
I will, however, criticize our broken educational system in the United States. I believe that we are so geared, as a whole, to performance examinations that we lose the real essence of why we put kids through 12 years of school. Is it about knowing a bunch of useless facts that we spoon feed our kids everyday that they lose the ability to use or discern relevant information for their daily lives? Is that education?
NO. It isn't.
Education needs to be made relevant to the learner or they will forget what you, the educator, spent three hours preparing for them. So when I teach, I always ask the kids this questions: "SO WHAT??". Who cares that this happened or that person was some great historical figure...why is this fact relevant? Maybe it isn't!! (and why is it when a student graduates from high school and goes to college and fills the first two years with irrelevant, old information that they learned from their high school experience? Is it because we can show them naked pictures of Western art now???)
Garth put it this way: he said in a conversation that we are helping students to put the pieces of the puzzle together. When you sit down to put a jigsaw puzzle together, usually you stand the cover of the box up to see what the picture looks like. It makes it a ton easier when you know what it looks like. Unfortunately, in education, we have thrown away the box and told the kids to put it together. That is plain stupidity on our part as educators.
The good news is that it doesn't have to be this way. I have experienced, as I have said, a shift in how I should/will teach. I feel I have some proper resources to use by men such as Sir Ken Robinson, Alan November, and Garth Holman at Teachers for Tomorrow. These men and other organizations, such as Edutopia, have a VAST amount of help for educators. This semester has been all about learning about technology, that is for sure...but I have been doing Personal Development as I connect with all of these resources.
So, I am encouraged. When I bump into a fellow educator, I am always trying to get them to see things differently. There are times when I can really connect. Then I have had resistance also. I am not really surprised.
The biggest thing for me that I have pulled from this is that the students should own their learning. I heartily agree. Why should I do all the learning and the teaching in my classroom? I already know the material! I want to challenge my readers, those who are educators, to find ways to have your students become responsible for their own learning...to take ownership unlike they never knew they could before. This can be done through inquiry learning or someother PBL technique. I promise you it will bring the fun back into teaching. And the kids? I think they will learn more and have fun doing it. Technology is the tool to do this -- if used properly.
One day, I will rewrite that philosophy and post it. I promise. I know there are those out there who read these blogs, so I would love to make that accessable online. I think I am to that point where I can start framing something out soon...
Well...well...well...it is bittersweet. This is the last class blog I will ever have to do for a grade! However, it has been a pleasure to do so. I never knew what blogs where until Garth explained that they were like digital newspapers. I thought, "well, that is all you have to say! I'm going to communicate digitally!". I've come along way from my very first blog. Actually, I think I write more now than I have ever done for all of my classes. You want to know why? BECAUSE I SAW THE NEED TO OWN MY OWN LEARNING AND NOBODY MADE ME DO IT!...somebody gave me the tools and said, "go at it!".
I have not turned back since!
OK. Now she's singing!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers out there!!
(Mr. O'Connor will be back!)
Who Owns Learning? -- Alan November
"We need to empower students to own their learning" -- Alan November, from Who Owns Learning?
Alan November, is an American educator and educational consultant. His main thrust is to enable educators to integrate technology in their classrooms and allow the students to "own" their learning. November states that schools don't have technology problems, like the used to do, they have a motivation problem. Getting kids to learn is a tough job! The problem, unfortunately, becomes the teacher's problem -- not the student's problem. But wait a minute, who is the one who is supposed to be learning in this scenerio? Why should we be putting forth all this effort to spoon feed children their daily amount of facts? When is it time that the students take their education as their own? November argues that we need to empower students to personally own their learning.
November suggests that there are three things students need to succeed:
It has been said that today's generation has so much information it is like drinking water from a fire hose. Students need to know how to filter through this information and become trained in how to use it properly.
2. Working Globally.
We are now in a global world. Business, politics, manufacturing, and so on are all part of a global process these days. We must educate the next generation with a global mindset. Technology can easily aid us into doing this.
3. We need to empower students to become SELF-DIRECTED.
My mother called this personal responsibility. This simply means that you are able to do tasks on your own without anyone telling you to do it. November expounded on this idea. He argues that we can train students to work without supervision and cut through layers of management. November explains that things get done more efficiently when you have people employeed or companies running like this. We must begin to train students and form these habits in the classroom. Companies will look to hire this type of person above those who constantly need direction and supervision.
There are more things that can be learned from Alan November. He has a wealth of information and years of experience to prove his philosphy and beliefs. I highly recommend what he has been sharing as an educational consultant. If anything, you will find it inspirational.
OK. So What? Here is another educator on the circuit with fancy words to make me buy his book, right? No. I don't think so. If you watched the video you will see that he spoke about several personal stories. Well, I am going to let Mr. November speak to his own stories. However, what I would love to share is a personal conversation that I had with a colleague of mine.
I was sharing the contents of this video with her when she mentioned to me that she had one of those moments in her teaching career also. She went on to tell me of a student that she had that couldn't get it together for a project. He said he couldn't draw or do a craft like the others around him to complete his assignment. She said, that was ok, but told him that maybe if he would take this sketchbook around the halls and start drawing, maybe something would come together. The teacher had no idea what she just did. He started drawing like there was no tomorrow! You see, he had this hidden talent that he didn't even know he had until he started sketching in the book she gave him. She told me it was her greatest moment of teaching so far: BECAUSE SHE DID NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING TO MAKE HIM DO THIS! NO ASSESSMENTS WERE GIVEN! HE FOUND A NATURAL TALENT BY OWNING HIS OWN EDUCATION!
It was a great moment I was abled to share with her!
Google/ android Apps For Mobile Devices
Above: examples of many Google/Android Apps that are centered toward Social Studies.
The examples of Google apps above are centered around social studies. I found the Google Play store, at first, a little difficult to find the apps that were age appropriate for the secondary level. As soon as I found one that I really like, the store suggested some more apps just like it and therefore it was pretty simple to navigate at that point. Most of the apps were free. There are a few that you can pay for but they are only a few dollars to purchase. I do not own an Android device, but I found a lot of apps that I could use in the classroom. I love the interactivity I can have with documents, such as the US Constitution app (see video below). The US Constitution app makes learning more interesting because it gives extra information about all sections of the US Constitution and it very interactive. The next video, World History Trial, is a timeline app that shows world history in a very nice graphic interface. I could use both of these with students as tools for them to understand and link concepts together throughout their year or semester.
Apple apps for iOS devices
Above: examples of many Apple Apps that are centered toward Social Studies for the Mac and IOS devices.
Apple, in reality, makes very few apps. Apple makes excellent hardware and devices to run apps on, however. What I found in my scavenger hunt for apps in the App Store, were basically apps that were focused on young children -- not the upper grades. This occurs because the main thrust behind Apple devices is to change the experience on how a person, or student, relates to technology as a whole. For example, they have developed a line of textbooks for students which are interactive through the iBooks store. These textsbooks replace the paper texts that major publishers, such as Pearson, have printed for years. The textbooks are for use on Apple's iPad (s) and iPhone.
OK, So What??! Apple and Google have ebooks and now you can download them on your devices. But wait... there's more!!
First of all I see kids of all ages at the high school that I work at LOADED down with text books in their back packs. There have been studies that even say that students who carry such a heavy load injure their backs. What happens if we get rid of those books, roughly costing the school about $100 plus a piece (multiplied by the classes a student takes and all the rebinding costs, etc...) and give them an iPad with the books on it. The iPad plus the books would probably cost under $400 total per student...unless the school gets a grant of some type. It can even be cheaper if the school has a bring your own technology program (BYOT). Publishers force schools to buy new books every few years. The running joke among cartogaphers is that a map is out dated is soon as it is printed. It is the same way with some modern history books. What is great about the interactive textbooks is that it can be continually updated without having to repurchase the book -- and it is a simple software update like anything else on a computer.
The interactive book is a wonder in itself. When you open it up, you will find texts and pictures, of course. Apple's textbooks also contain these elements: video embeded into the text, interactive graphics, assesments at the end of the chapters and units, and the ability to highlight and take notes as a student is reading -- all with the swipe of a finger!
Unfortunately, not every child has an iPad and the upfront cost of this type of technology might be high, but the return will be worth it! It is my hope that schools will begin to look at technology as infrastructure just as they do the physical building, gyms, and other sporting venues such as stadiums. In my opinion, it should become one in the same.
There is another app that I personally use that can be a powerful tool in classrooms today: Ghostwriter. Ghostwriter is not free, but costs $5 in the App Store for iPad. For years I have used a notebook to take notes with when I went to class. When I got an iPad, I also found a keyboard that hooked up via Bluetooth. That was nice, but a little awkward. Ghostwriter allows me to use the surface of the iPad as a writing surface and I can take notes with a stylus -- just like if I were writing with a pen and paper. Ghostwriter also comes with a couple of import and export options. Maybe we should reconsider teaching elementary school children penmanship when programs like this still exist! Anyway, it is another great tool for the student!
The future of Technology in Education
Scotty Asks: "Hello, Computer" (CC)
In a hilarious scene, from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,
Scotty decides to give a future secret to a man in the twentieth century. As he attemps to inteface with the computer, he picks up the mouse and begins to talk into. In the Star Trek universe, a person interacts with the computer simply by talking to it. Yeah, I know...it was a lot funnier in 1986...
The fact is that technology, especially in the last 150 years or so has drastrically effected the way we as humans live and learn. I would like to make mention of a few technologies that are in the works.
The first one is speech recognition. Mashable.com reports that there are significant advances in speech recognition. We already have Siri on the iPhone (and other Android devices have an equivilent software loaded on their phones). I bought a Ford with the Sync technology that allows you to speak commands to the computer via your cell phone -- that was a big selling point. The technology is already here, but how can we implement it in schools? I thought of a few direct ideas, but I think as we increase the use of Siri and speech recognition, it will become apparent that it will become integrated in our everyday lives...just like TV. Personally, I think that children in special education will value from this type of technology, especially those who have the inability to use their arms and hands. I also think languages will be easier to learn using this kind of software.
The next type of futuristic technology is retina or eye print technology. The problem with all this technology is security. Everyone of us has a list of passwords to access our online accounts. What would it be like if your computer, cell phone, or other mobile device only recognized you by your eye print? This might cut down on people stealing your hardware and hacking into your accounts on a physical level. My thought is that student will not have to worry about someone using their device as well...and even better, since the device is unique to the individual, so will tests; this means there will be less cheating.
I also think it is important to note the safety of students in the building. In today's world, schools today function with all of their doors locked and a visitor must be "buzzed" in to get into the building. This usually means that you must also sign in at the front desk and declare why you are in the building. If eye print technology were implemented, a data base could be formed and with a few strokes of a key board, you can either choose to allow a person to come in or refuse them entrance (for a multitude of reasons). Another idea is that it would be a great way to take attendance! Big brother is everywhere!
The video above, from Lecture Tools, contains some neat observations that are already happening. I think this is the type of classroom future educators are going to consider as "normal". It captures the essence of PBL, differentiation, and the integration of technology in the classroom. What a great time to be a teacher!!
When I started this assignment, I thought what is Web 2.0? I thought it might be some kind of tech savvy term but I couldn't make a connection. It looked like everything else I had been working on this semester. Well I was right about that -- this is what Web 2.0 is. It is simply using the internet in various interactive forms (videos, podcasts, Prezi, quiz and poll taking software, and so forth) to do some task, such as learning. Wikipedia has a nice definition and you can click here to see it. So Web 2.0 is an all encompassing term for all the available tools out on the internet that can help educators in the classroom -- of course it is not limited to education.
I purposely placed the word cloud first in this post because I think it says a lot about these tools. We have moved from a very static internet experience (remember Windows 95 era?) to a very interactive user experience. It has directly changed our lives. But back to the word cloud...my favorite term in that picture is "joy of use". That's it in a nut shell! I love working with technology if there is some kind of joy or satisfaction I am getting from it. I love Apple products and their applications because they are simple to use and just work. When I buy a song or video from iTunes, I am sure that it will show up on all my devices without the need to burn it to a CD because of iCloud. That brings me joy!! Simplicity, ease of use, and purposeful tasking is finished! I like that. So why don't we try using this concept in the classroom? We can! So l have hand picked a few items that I think will be helpful in the use of the Web 2.0 concept for my future classroom.
GoAnimate is a fun, interactive software that can be used by all students of all ages. The example below is something that I quickly put together with their free version. I, personally, think it is hilarious. It is at a real juvenile level and that is probably why I see it that way. However, I think my students would love to mess with this software as well. There are different templates that can be used for the video and all you have to do is add the transcript. The rest is up to the software. I think this could be integrated into a lesson where students might use it to contrast ideas or thoughts about certain issues. My example below is addressing national health care and First Lady Michelle Obama's initiatives to help Americans eat healthier. In ten short sentences, I think I get my point across.
Example Quiz Question from Brain Pop
Brain Pop is a colorful, interactive educational website. This site contains many activities across all educational disciplines. I was interested in the Social Studies part of the website. The example to the left is a screen shot of an actual quiz questions that students can take. This can be a helpful resource to students who need that extra push into fully understanding a concept such as government, for example. I think this website is age appropriate for even twelfth graders.
Brain Pop Categories
As you can see Brain Pop offers quizzes, activities, games and more. So it is a one stop website to keep the kiddies on their toes! The downside is that you must have a subscription to access the full benefits to this website. There is a trial version to help you decide whether it is worth the cost of membership.
I think I would use this web site for homework, extra credit, or extra scaffolding for students who struggle. It is somewhat limited in what they offer because they must appease every disciple. You can't bank on diving into deep concepts when using this software when it comes to Social Studies. Just the facts, ma'am.
Example Polleverywhere.com Question
I am glad I rediscovered this software. I was first exposed to it in one of my college classes and thought it was a lot of fun to participate in. What fun it is to actually be the one making the questions!
The example to the left is one that I made up for my blog. I sent out notices for people to vote on Twitter and Facebook and all I received was one vote -- mine!!! Oh,well.
Students will be eager to use this nifty little piece of software because it involves using a cell phone or a smart phone. The question, made up by the teacher, is posted online. During a lecture or class discussion, students are then asked to use their phones to text a response. This engages the students in their learning while using the technology that they are trying to hide from you while you are teaching! The results are immediate and you can quickly assess if you are getting through to all of your students or not. Depending on the question, you can also find out how much they know before hand.
I think this would be a helpful tool to use in just about any classroom -- especially to break the ice or bring understanding to your students during instruction.
Museum Box is the best piece of software that I have found during this round of searching for educational tools on the web. The example to the left is on the British abolitionist. It is can be found at their web site. (To my dismay, this particular site wants licensed educators only...not there yet!) Anyway there is a story behind why they call it the Museum Box, and what it stands for. You will have to go to the website to find out the backstory! However, I think it is the most interactive and multifaceted software for educational purposes around. It can be used for Social Studies without any trouble! What is so cool about it?? Well, each block represents someone in your museum box. Clicking on a particular person opens up a cube in which you have six pages (or sides) to add web links, pictures, documents and so on that relate to that individual. It is a web quester's dream come true! Everything packed in a neat box! You can have up to eight people/cubes per layer. So if you run out of room, you can put more cubes in a second layer. This is a great use of primary and secondary source that students will be enriched from researching and reading. (see some a blog by my friends at teachers for tomorrow who attest to the same line of thought)
This software allows students to learn through an entire unit while adding to their cube little by little through the lessons that are given out. In fact, it could be used as a portfolio for the entire semester. The use of this software is unending -- it all depends on the amount of work you, the teacher, are willing to put into it. But remember, you won't have to see another poster board project again. I encourage all educators to check this one out!
Lastly, I stumbled across something this morning that I thought would be equally important to use in my classroom. As a Social Studies teacher, I am geared toward what society is doing or thinking. I think my students should be aware of this as well.
RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce) is a 21st century think-tank for enlightened thought. They have a video series of lectures that are accompanied by an artist drawing out the speech. It is really neat. It helps the visual learner, like me, to really concentrate on the ideas that the speaker is addressing.
Why would it be profitable in the classroom? The use of this tool is two fold: One, it exposes students to new ideas that are current in society (like the Did You Know? videos) and two, the medium itself helps students to connect these ideas and concepts which they normally would not have.
I also believe that this type of thinking taps out Bloom's taxonomy by pushing them to think and create and believe that it is possible to learn more than what is on a worksheet. You never know which student you will effect just by showing a video that might inspire them to become the next Steve Jobs. It might be a flick of the switch!
I am very much a visual learner. As I researched this week's topic out, I would be the type of student who would benefit greatly from the type of software that is out on the internet with easy accessibility. A visual learner is a type of student whose strength is learning with their eyes. They watch things, such as a movie; learn from using maps, graphic organizers; or even have a love to read books. These types of people are very visual. Fortunately, technology has moved into the classroom where these learning skills can be used whether on a computer, iPad, or other mobile device. These devices can bring a lesson to life.
I also feel, on the teaching end, that I have the most fun teaching when I can use technology -- beyond a powerpoint and a lecture--but I have something visual for the students. I learn this way and therefore I will teach that way (as much as possible). Nevertheless, these are some really neat tools that one can use to increase productivity or learning in the classroom. I think this engages the students in a very positive manner. Check out the following examples:
The figure above was made from words selected from the ISTE Standards for Students using software from Wordle.net. For more information and examples of word diagrams/clouds check out teachersfortomorrow.net. I think students of all ages would love this exercise.
The above timeline was created using timetoast, a software that allows you to add images, dates, url's and the like to a timeline. The screen capture to the right displays a part of the process.
I have heard it said that knowing dates in Social Studies isn't important...only concepts are. I disagree. I think it is important to have both pieces of information. Dates can link events together in a very logical progression. (Should we dismiss spelling and good grammar because it is difficult to do at times???) Thus the use of a timeline. This software (and other websites out there that do the same type of thing) are very good at allowing teachers, or students, to develop a historic time line. They are interactive and fun to develop. Again, this can be an aid not only visual learners but to all learners -- especially in the discipline of social studies.
WebspirationPro Graphic Organizer
The image to the left is a screen shot of a graphic organizer by WebspirationPro. This enables both teachers and students to take an idea, concept, or historical occurrence and map out the cause and effect of an event. For visual learners, this can be an essential step in remembering what causes events to happen and what are the ramifications of that event. This particular graphic organizer is free for a period of a month. After that it must be purchased to access. Inspiration is very much the same type of software. Both of these graphic organizers allow learning by using a scaffolding technique via a visual software. Teachersfortomorrow.net also contains other visual aids that can be found on the internet.
**MS. Ricker and mr. O'connor Podcast on Inquiry learning and web quest**
This weeks topic is on inquiry learning, a constructionists approach to teaching and learning; and problem based learning (PBL). All of these approaches to teaching and learning are geared toward the student becoming the facilitator of his/her own education, with guidance from the teacher. The student becomes actively involved in the learning process as they begin to discover, or inquire, how to solve a problem or come to a certain conclusion about a specific topic. The teacher, as stated above takes a secondary role as a mentor or facilitator of the lesson. This type of teaching could all be done in a library, honestly. I could give students a subject and within the time allotted they can return with their findings using books, magazines, journals, and so forth. Sounds familiar doesn't it? If you went to school that had no computers in it yet, that is the way it was done. But what would it be like if we threw in a couple of computers into the mix with an internet connection? Well, check it out...
The most commonly used method of inquiry learning through the use of technology is a web quest. "A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented online tool for learning, says workshop expert Bernie Dodge.This means it is a classroom-based lesson in which most or all of the information that students explore and evaluate comes from the World Wide Web. Beyond that, WebQuests:
(sorry about the highlighter...Diigo does that to text...)
Using a web quest in the realm of Social Studies will be invaluable to me as a future educator. Due to the wealth of information the internet brings to our finger tips, understanding history is a matter of a couple of clicks of a mouse button. Students can now explore through a ton of resources and quickly understand any given topic. Here is an example of a web quest that I personally developed for a lesson:
This is the best webquest site I have found so far (all disciplines are there): http://zunal.com/index.php
This sister site for teachersfortomorrow.net is studentsfortomorrow.net. Check out this web quest from that site. It is over-the-top!
I have to admit, there isn't much to my first web quest! However, I will get better at creating one the more I work at it.
I thought about implementing this type of learning for a long time. I think it is an imperative that education begin moving toward alternative approaches to education. This has to begin from the bottom to the top, from kindergarten to the University level. Flipping the Classroom and web quests are just the beginning techniques. Education is slow to change, but the world outside is not. It is important that educators begin to develop the kind of student who can think critically about a problem and come up with a solution. After all, when a person steps into a career, they will find nothing but problems to solve. A doctor or a mechanic both are faced with difficulties to overcome in their respective fields. Students need to be urged to become proactive and own their education. We need to ready our students for their future. Technology, married with the use of the inquiry learning technique will allow educators to do this.
My friends at teachers for tomorrow have a lot of wisdom on this-check out this blog.
Ripped off image from the web.
This is part of the semester where the serious side of technology must be discussed. First off, we have standards! While I knew that the State of Ohio had technological standards for their classrooms, I didn't know about the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE). ISTE is not only a society that is interested in technology in every classroom but they set the agenda for schools across the globe with their generalized but visionary standards. This site offers a vast amount of resources for implementing technology in the classroom. The website offers a very large community who blog and trade ideas. There are also various ways that this market place of ideas is communicated: through the blog, video, literature, and even pictures. Their blog, Community Ning is a social networking site for the education community as a whole. It is an attempt to bring professionals in the educational world together and learn different techniques from one another. With a vast amount of resources, ISTE has become one of my favorites to go to find ideas to use in the classroom.
In this digital age, we have found ourselves continually being challenged on an ethical level. If educators choose to use the internet for their students to compile information, isn't it in the best interest for the students to filter out the negative influences that can be obtained within a few clicks of a mouse button? How do we protect our students from online predators or scams? Is it unreasonable to have the school district to force students and faculty to sign an AUP (Acceptable Use Policy)? What is cyber-bullying?
With any digital device, from iPod Touch to lap top computers, every item has the potential to work on good things or bad things according to what the user puts in the computer or device. As educators we need to teach students how important it is to yield their devices correctly and protect them from any potential threats. Students need to learn to use appropriate conduct while in use of their devices. They need to clearly understand that there are consequences to inappropriate conduct. But hopefully the benefits of technology out weigh the bad occurrences.
Bullying is not a new concept. However, cyber-bullying has been at the forefront of educator's minds since the Columbine incident. There has been a nationwide campaign to instruct students and staff alike on this subject. This campaign is a proactive approach to stop the problem within our culture.
I would like to say one thing about an AUP: sign it! It protects both you and your employer! Some people have expressed that it is an invasion of your privacy. I can understand that, but what are you doing at work that constitutes the administration not to trust you?
It's Not Yours!
Copyright doesn't mean that it is your right to copy!!
As educators, we walk a fine line when we "borrow" things or ideas to teach a lesson. We must be careful not infringing on what lawfully belongs to someone else. Students are drilled on the issue of plagiarism throughout their academic life. How much more should an educator be responsible for handling lesson material properly.
Unclear on what or how to teach with copyrighted materials? See this website:
See Teachers for Tomorrow website for articles on SOPA and PIPA:
Blooms Taxonomy For iPads!
The blog that I read was on the use of iPads within the classroom. They even teach Blooms Taxonomy on an iPad!
This blog looks like it is filled with ideas for technology and education. I enjoyed the variety of subjects and will continue to use them as a source for my professional growth. There are a lot of good ideas here! Check it out!
...a teacher certified in AYA Integrated Social Studies