Final thoughts on Technology in the Classroom

Prof. Knight, I want to thank you for your patience, knowledge and creativity. I have learned so much about technology and how to use it for the best interest of my students. It is possible to “teach an old dog new tricks.” I grew up without the benefit of technology and you showed me what I can really do with it.

It may be a little bumpy at first but I know I will take what I’ve learned in your class and creatively and passionately open the minds of my students to the wonderful world of English.

I can’t wait to try everything I learned in your class and apply it to my lessons. The flipped classroom, digital story telling, and blogging, wow, I can’t believe before your class, I never would have considered any of these fabulous tools.

Thank you again for opening my eyes to a whole new world for me and for my future students. I have the confidence to really try new and innovative ways to reach every student.

5 Reasons to Allow Cell Phones in Class

STUDENTS and SMART PHONES

http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2012/07/5-reasons-to-allow-students-to-use-cell.html

I agree with the author that with tighter budgets we have to find innovative ways to educate students. I have to admit that as an English teacher, I was skeptical of the use of cell phones in the classroom, but they are here to stay. We have to use the technology to our benefit. The motto of the 21st Century is to do more with less.

I also believe that the safety of the students comes first and we have to teach them how to use technology responsibly. While in law enforcement, I saw technology used for the wrong reason and it can lead to dreadful consequences.

Influential or Helpful Tweets

I believe each of these tweets are very influential but not in a positive way. Each of these tweets focuses on what’s wrong with education in America. It is very important to identify what is broken in the education system but you also have to focus on the positive as well. The first tweet deals with the attempt of reforming schools on Indian Reservations in the U.S. While in the FBI, I worked in a unit that focused on crime on native American reservations. The unemployment rate, crime rate, and alcoholism and drug abuse are the highest in the country. For these reasons the education of the youth on the reservations is terribly broken.

The second tweet talks about segregation still existing in our schools. I believe it is possible when you compare the more affluent schools to the schools in other areas not as financially well off. I think you should do the very best for your students regardless of where the school is located. As a teacher, if you don’t give one hundred percent all the time then the amount of resources means nothing.

The last tweet is about how one million students in the U.S. attend unproductive schools. As before, the teachers can not give up on their students and parents need to keep involved in their children’s education.

Digital Learning Playbook

While reading the article about the digital learning playbook, the first interesting thing I noticed was the statistics that were compiled.  Girls led in virtuously every category from High School Student initiated use of technology for schoolwork to the digital writing activities (Girls led in 9 of 11 types of digital writing activities).

Of course there were things that were not a surprise, such as boys using technology for gaming.  One quote did surprise me:

“I play games that develop critical thinking skills and analysis of situations.  I play strategy games that are involved, complicated, and a real challenge.  I learn about things that I am interested in by internet research and I have learned much about what I want to do and what areas I’m interested in.  I like this learning style because it teaches me about what I want to know and helps to make me more prepared for a job in a field that I am interested in.”  (Boy, Grade 9, Jacksonville, Florida)

Girls were just as involved with technology as boys.  Quoting one girl:

“Outside of school I’m using technology to better prepare myself academically, by training myself to find answers to my questions.  This helps me to self-teach myself to better myself for my classes.  I also look to read articles on the internet about new and arising issues, so I can be socially aware, it something that I view as extremely important.  I use my smartphone along with my laptop computer to access my technological needs for me to succeed in the future.” (Girl, Grade 10, McAllen, Texas)

I can remember when I was in school and education’s big push was to get girls interested in math and science.  After reading this report, to quote an old print ad and commercial, “We’ve come along way baby.” 

“Education is Broken”

I loved this video because it made me realize that I can “fix” education, but I can’t do it alone. My students will be able to help fix their education and take ownership of it. I need to facilitate and guide them in that direction. I want to be able to go beyond poetry, literature, and papers. High school is a microcosm of the world around us.

I want my students to be able to relate the subject of English to the world they live in right now. I know this will be a challenge but the most rewarding adventure I could possibly take. I agree with Chris Lehmann that students need to do and to create something. Not just to do or create, but create something that can be shared and possibly be used for the good of all.

Teachers should teach life lessons and not just English lessons in my situation. Students need to see how the world uses communication and how that communication affects those around them in the community. I want my students not only to excel in the classroom but as citizens of the global community.

So after watching this video, our challenge is to make sure school doesn’t stink….Are you up for the challenge?

One Thing to Remember…As a Principal

I chose the edreach podcast “The Only Thing a Principal Needs to Remember”. I really liked this podcast. I plan on becoming a principal someday and this was very good advice in the podcast. The speaker after all his training and education came down to one conclusion and that was not to forget that you are a teacher. sounds pretty simple huh? When you get in position of leadership, you can’t forget where you came from. I have seen too many new managers rush right in and change organizational structure, policies, and procedures. The first thing I will do when I become a principal is to walk around and observe. I do not want to be one of my former managers and change just to put my thumb print on the school.

I agree with the author of the podcast that you should be a teacher first. I have heard of younger principals who only spent three years in a classroom before becoming a principal. I think there is no way you will be successful going in that direction. You need to be able to understand and empathize with the teachers regarding the daily struggles and concerns involved in the classroom. You need that point of reference also for budgeting. As a teacher you know what resources would be needed in the classroom.