Sunday, May 3, 2015

Technology and Teaching: Ms. Fagan's Way

Teaching with Tech

 Technology is becoming more of a necessity than merely the fun and exciting gadgets we grew up with. It is a tool that is fluid and will change with the growing demands of the world. As an educator it is my duty to ensure the likelihood of my students' success by instilling a sense of wonder in the world to continue searching for answers, a pride in their work, and the tools necessary to achieve these goals.

pinterest.comOriginally, I believed technology to be trivial to my classroom in particular. That has changed irrevocably at the end of this semester. Though in order to maintain stability and control of my classroom and lessons I must ensure that a few tenants are followed. They read as such:
  • Be Relevant
  • Be Internet Citizens
  • Be Positive
  • Be Open to new ideas
  • Be There for your students***
The last one is the most important of them all. This is a lesson I learned long ago in a simple summer job. "Be There" for people. Doing this for our students is the simplest thing to ask for; but, can be a challenging task to be held up to. I believe with the many apps Google has to offer that I will be able to BE THERE for my students and to interact on a wider scale. 

Technology is the next step towards a brighter future for our students. It is our responsibility to stay up to date, open, and excited about new tools that can pose even more possibilities in the lives of our students. 

Final Reflection

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Part 2 of Blog Post #5

PLN Summary

Throughout the semester, myself and the other EDM 310 students have been exposed to a variety of contacts that will prove essential with furthering the growth of our respected Personal Learning Networks. The original sets that students had the opportunity to download are great jumping-off points; however, I believe that the exposure we've received is far more beneficial. We have had several speakers come into the classroom as well as numerous contacts added to our C4T assignments that provide even more insight and potential to helping us future educators in the future if we need to call upon a professional for help or guidance. Here are a few options that I have deemed appropriate for my own PLN system:

These are just a few in comparison to the educators at the University of South Alabama that are willing to be a part of my PLN. I will be able to use educators from past courses dating back as far as high school to the teachers I will come in contact with near and around the world. 

I hope everyone has enjoyed the process of growing their PLN! It has been an interesting and insightful journey! Keep searching!

Final C4T- April

pinterest.comMy final C4T teacher is Teacher Tom. He is an interesting preschool teacher who uses a variety of unorthodox teaching methods. I was able to read up on a few exercises that seemed like simple interactions but proved to be so much more.

Through these simple questions or raising the slightest curiosity he was able to teach a variety of lessons without the young ones even realizing it. It is enthralling to see the many ways that teachers impact their students even when interacting in a manner that isn't in a typical classroom lecture style.

With all of the teachers I came in contact with this semester he has been the most interesting and thoughtful. I am thankful for the opportunity to interact with a variety of educators to see the many ways to "skin a cat". I think seeing their blogs and opinions, responding and asking questions is a great way for future educators to start thinking of ideas and realizing that "Plan A" isn't the only way to teach a lesson. Thank you for this opportunity!

Final C4K- April

Throughout the semester I have had the opportunity to comment on some pretty amazing bloggers' pages!

This month I commented twice on a young lady's blog. Her name is Tressie.

The first blog she wrote about the different forms of narration found in literature. This was truly exciting to me that she not only recognized the difference but was able to loosely grasp the importance of the various forms of narration. She remained curious and researched on her own to find out more.

Her second post was about the concept of being kind over being right. I believe her response of being kind in a situation over being right is the better choice. For her to understand this concept and to want to inhibit the ideal of being kind and not prideful to all ages is a wonderful thing to witness.
She truly is able to express herself via her blogging. I am glad to see that students are able to express themselves, explore new concepts, and truly expand their horizons via blogging. This semester has taught me so much and my interactions with students through the C4K program has been truly humbling and insightful. I cannot wait to make a difference in my students' lives and expand their writing experiences through blogging just as the teachers from which these students come from. Thank you for the opportunity!

Blog Post #14

Teaching Our Students Can Be A Profession

  • Seniority
  • Professionalizing Teaching
  • More school options for families 
  • Adding more knowledge based curriculum
  • Beginning school earlier than age 5
Mr. Klein was asked what he would change with the schools of today and he responded with four key points:

First, families must have the opportunity to decide from a variety of schools where their students will go. Parents will more often than not go for a school of quality over convenience. Parents will research schools and find the schools with the best ratings and reputations. 

Second, a change in the curriculum regarding the use of technology is a must. With the changes made daily in the advancements of technology it is imperative that students have access to any and all of it for the betterment of their education. 

Third, schools need to adopt a knowledge based curriculum that is more content driven. This will inhibit a style of learning that the students will gain more from than merely prepping for a "burp-back" standardized test. 

Lastly, starting students in school earlier than the age of five has proven to be highly beneficial and is practiced in many parts of the world currently. Certain day cares are incorporating lessons into their day to day routine to benefit the young minds. This is an option for parents who live in an area where it is offered.

The two main issues Mr. Klein addresses are that of seniority and professionalizing teaching, this is my summary of the two:
  1. The first is of seniority, it is a major problem within school systems and I agree 100%. The effectiveness of an educator and their impact on their students cannot always be measured in years of service. The "Police" system from Shanker, where teachers are given aptitude tests on a regular basis, I do not believe would solve the issue. Educators already go through a series of aptitude exams before joining the education system. I believe the depth of the lesson, the content taught, and the effectiveness of their delivery is a better way of judging a teacher's quality and the overall potential outcome of their students. 
  2. Professionalizing teaching simply means holding educators to the same standard one would a doctor, lawyer, or any other profession one deems highly esteemed in their level of professionalism. Having an elitist mentality is not a bad thing. I think that only the top tier of educators from a graduating class should be selected to become educators. Not every person who attains a degree is adequate to teach in their field or any. Another factor should be the overall personality of the teacher. An educator should be humble, outgoing, and willing to take criticisms. This will better their interactions with their students and inhibit an environment where students, parents, and fellow educators are comfortable and willing to interact more willingly. 
In conclusion, I believe that educators are not given the respect or held at the same standard as other professions that are deemed to being more elite. Some of Mr. Klein's ideas I would definitely support but not all would be effective. Teachers are not revered as a true profession and are not taken as seriously as they should be. Both of my parents (both teachers) always remind me that, "You never become a teacher for the pay. You become a teacher because you have the drive to improve the lives' of the youth and leaders of tomorrow. You want to make an impact on the next generation." I do not believe in keeping teachers who are only judged by their years of service. I believe that only the best qualified educators should remain employed or be hired on to better their learning institution.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Blog Post # 13

What Did I leave out?

Throughout this semester, collectively, the EDM 310 classes have learned about a variety of new technology and have been invited time and time again to go out and search on their own. In my concentration, Secondary Edu./ English, I believe a good blog post assignment would consist of using these technologies:

  • Eaver: this tool allows you to record a Skype call. It is free if you record under five minute increments. I would have my students find a modern novelist and attempt to conduct a proper interview with them via Skype being that it would be the easier option. 
  • Popplet: is a great tool for organizing thoughts, collaborating ideas, and an interactive tool that allows students to work off of a central idea and make it grow. This tool will be so helpful when prepping for essays and other written works. This will even be a great collaborative tool among groups during group projects.

The Lesson:"A Poem of Growth"

1. Students will get on Padlet and will be given the simple task-as a group-to answer the question "What is growth?"

2. The groups will answer the question by stating six central characteristics or traits of 'growth'.

3. The task will be to write a poem starting as a four line stanza-rhyme scheme unnecessary-that will use their first thoughts on their original six characteristics.

4. The first four lines will be added to a blog post with appropriate blog items: atl+tag modifiers, images, and links to one of their favorite poet's poem via an accredited virtual library.

5. Over the course of a month the student will watch and read the following videos and blogs on 'growth':

6. The groups will then add their ideas to Popplet and use the central idea of 'What is Growth?' and fill in their original six ideas and then continue adding to it.

7. By assignment posting day students will individually add four more lines to their first stanza.

8. This will continue until all 16 lines are written. 

9. Then post full poem all together.

10. Students will create an extensive self- and peer-evaluation of their personal and group member's growth. 

11. They will be exercising Self-Reflection and Evaluation. As well, they will be adhering to the rules of writing a proper blog post, research, and creative writing while using technology.

Hope you enjoy my "What did I leave out?" blog idea! Go Jags!