Friday, December 6, 2013

Final Blog Post - #16

Even though EDM310 has come to an end, the material I learned from it is just beginning. From this class I have learned to blog efficiently, comment properly, use technology, and revise myself and peer work. Through these I will be able to create a project-based learning environment in my classroom and pass on the tools to be a life-long learner to my students. By looking at my Blog Post #1 I can actually say that I would not change much about my classroom! I will however incorporate more projects to facilitate learning rather than just reading and writing. With my major being secondary history and geography, the possibilities are endless. My students will blog, act like travel agents to make brochures, and propose questions about history that is not common to normal high school students. My students will debate, create maps, political cartoons, and study music and paintings in order to create the best possible learning environment. Through tools like blogger, we will share data with other classrooms around the world. 

My method will be to basically let learning happen. Students today have so many things going on and technology has made it easier for them to be "connected." Because of this, education has to change. The same technology students are using outside of the classroom can be used inside for education purposes. Standing in front of a board lecturing will not be my approach because it did not work for me. I want my students to enter my classroom excited about what they are about to learn and leaving wondering what the next class session will hold. Online resources through a personal learning network will allow me to always be learning and growing as an educator. Through teacher collaboration we will work together to see what methods do work and eliminate those that do not. My blog post #1 lacked these things and closely resembled "burp back" education. Hopefully what I learned in EDM310 will change that. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15

Assistive Technologies - Brague Group

By: Morgan Rushlow - Braque Group

I am blessed to have all of my senses that I was suppose to have. As a student I know that a class can be difficult enough even for me. I do not know where I would be if I could not see or hear. I know that it is not only hard on the student, but it is hard on the teacher as well. It is a good thing we have more and more technology to help out these students and teachers understand and perform better. Braille books are very helpful for blind students, if they can read Braille. Also, most schools are going all digital. What do those students do then? How about if each student has an ipad, a student who is legally blind might have one that will read the book to them. If we were listening to a book in class on day, a student who had hearing impairments could follow along on his ipad. There are many ways our students can learn, and most of them have the drive to. On a website I found, they spoke about a student Karen, she was legally blind and they went through her day. She would sit in history class, and listen to the teacher speak about the American Civil War, as she took notes on her personal digital assistant (PDA). She then went to her English class where they were talking about the story To Kill a Mockingbird. Karen had downloaded an electronic copy on her PDA. That way she could read it with her braille. She also switched back and forth between the story, and taking notes. Later she went to the library with her partner for a project, and used the computer there. In the library there is a computer that whatever page she is on it will read it out to her. This makes things more simple for the librarian. She can stay busy doing her work while Karen gets done what ever she needs. Karen is a star student, and is at the top of her class. Karen was taught at a young age to use her resources wisely. There will come a time as a teacher that I might have to teach someone with a disability, and I will be ready for whatever it throws my way because you just have to remember the student is just as excited about learning as you should be to teach them. I got this information from

I viewed the videos about iPad usage and how it can help students with disabilities learn because it has features that help the deaf and blind to navigate the apps and do the tasks they intend to do. It has not only a speaking feature for the blind but a voice-command for the deaf and blind so they know exactly what they are doing and going to- however, i find that while the iPad is great because of these features it is best if someone is there helping the person navigate the iPad, because they may navigate to the wrong app or type the wrong thing. The features the iPad has will be good for use in teaching students with disabilities of any kind as well as those who are not disabled in any way. the iPad is a device that is versatile and can perform so many functions, although it is important to know how to use it best and to make sure that the users of these devices get the help they need in using it. I found some information about iPads on the web and found some pretty interesting things- such as  this website states-, iPads are helping students all across the board in their learning because it is helping with not only hearing and sight impaired students, but it is helping those who are having a hard time with communication skills such as those with autism as well. iPads are indeed having a major impact on learning outcomes and they have a very important role in the future of education, as apple states in its’ very own statement about its’ own creation,the iPad- iPad makes it possible to do so many things now that were not possible even 10 years ago when iPad was not even a thought in Apple’s mind, that it is an understatement to say that it is going to be transformative, as this website states-, iPad lets you express yourself in a variety of ways and this is why students can learn communication skills better with it because there are so many ways for students to participate in class and so many different apps that creatively express yourself it is mind-blowing. Clearly mind-blowing is an understatement in terms of what the iPad can do and will do for not only learning but for everything. iPad is a truly amazing piece of technology and it is worth it for schools to try to see how it improves student learning outcomes. iPad is truly revolutionary. Sure iPad has its issues and is best used with a helper if needed, its benefits outweigh the problems with it. As a collaborative secondary education major I plan to use iPad in my future classroom for these reasons-because it can do so much and can inspire creativity in ALL students.

By: Daniel LoVette

The Mountbatten braillewriter is something that I would definitely use in my classroom if the student had practice using it. There will be a lot of note taking of many things in my classroom so through the braillewriters ability to give audio feedback, the blind student will be able to participate more often in my classroom debates, projects, and even lectures.  

If I were going to be a math teacher, there is no doubt that I would use Art Karshmer’s invention. He discusses how teaching math to the blind is difficult because all braille is linear and a lot of math problems require numbers to be stacked atop one another. Thus, he created a 3D grid that uses blocks with braille numbers on them. This way the bling student is able to work math problems like the rest of the class.

Blog Post #14

What Did I Leave Out? 

Learning How to Learn History

For the first blog post, I would probably have the history/social science majors cover an issue in history by focusing on how to explore historical documents and texts in order to come up with creative questions to ask their future students. In James Loewen's book Lies My Teacher Told Me, he gives five ways to look at an historical text in order to understand history better. By using these five questions to better understand history, EDM310 students will get the creative gears flowing at the beginning of the semester and have a guideline to go by when creating project-based learning plans. (I have underlined a part that will, in my opinion, work well in EDM310.)      

1) First, why was it written (or painted, filmed, etc.)? Locate the audience in the social structure. Consider what the speaker was trying to accomplish. Does the speaker have an agenda? If so, what is it?
2) Whose viewpoint is presented? Where is the speaker located in the social structure? What interests, material or ideological, does the statement serve? Whose viewpoints are omitted? Students may then attempt to rewrite the story from different viewpoints, thus learning that history is inevitably biased.
3) Is the account believable? Does each acting group behave reasonably -- as we might, given the same situation? Are there internal contradictions? Does it cohere? Do some assertions contradict others?
4) Is the account backed-up by other (secondary) sources? Or do other accounts contradict it? This is where you have to do your homework.
5) Finally, after reading the words, seeing the image, etc., how does it make you feel? Emotion is the glue that causes history to stick. By examining the author's choice of words, images, context, etc., we may sense the power of communicative ideas, and understand what they mean, to us as individuals and to society at large.

If you learn, memorize, these five questions, you will have learned how to learn history. Not just for your college education but for the remainder of your natural born life.
Material culled from Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen. Used for educational purposes only.

The assignment I have chosen will be to look up five questions about the secession of the southern states. I chose a Facts on File article but most credible articles found on the internet will do. So the following are some questions about the secession that will promote learning by encouraging students to think outside the box so to speak.  

Secession of the Southern States

Many Southerners drew parallels between secession and the colonists' declaration of independence against Great Britain. In what ways were the situations similar? In what ways were they different?

         Many Southerners drew parallels between secession and the colonists’ declaration of independence against Great Britain because of the similar disagreements of taxation, and rights against a seemingly tyrannical government. They were different because the secession was not about these so-called similar reasons. It was undoubtedly about having the right to own slaves, which was an entirely different situation. In a democratic government, capitalism will always spark controversy. How much control should government have of states rights or even the rights of individuals? Southerners that did own slaves (which was around only ten percent) justified their secession by their rights stated in the constitution. When government tried to infringe on that right, secession was top priority and they were even willing to fight for it. In the nineteenth century the United States was growing at an alarming rate due to the Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican-American War. With “Manifest Destiny” issuing a guilt free pass to grab up land west of the Mississippi. The main question was would these new territories be considered slave states? When the colonies demanded independence from Great Britain, the reasons were: “no taxation without representation,” and ultimately independence culturally, and financially from Great Britain’s government control. Many will argue that these were the same reasons for the south seceding but the underlining cause of these many problems was slavery. This single underlining problem provided the southerners succession with the justification it needed by drawing parallels with the declaration of independence against Great Britain.

Should the South have been allowed to secede if it decided that remaining in the Union was not in its best interests? Why or why not?

         The South should not have been allowed to secede even if it decided that remaining in the Union was not in its best interest because of the “supremacy clause,” and the main focus on equal rights by the constitution. Even though events that led to the Civil War upset the South by seemingly threating their rights, only a small percent of southerners owned slaves and that small percent were the wealthy and powerful. The rest that followed were blind by pride and ignorance. Article five of the Constitution, considered the “supremacy clause,” stated that the Constitution was the supreme law of the land. It rules as supreme law to benefit the people, even slaves.  Although a slave owner himself, Thomas Jefferson stated in the Declaration of Independence that: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…” Government has the right to protect natural rights. The tenth amendment is one amendment that is in the favor of the southern states. The tenth amendment says that powers not granted to the federal government will be the rights of the people and the states. Without the southern states the United States cannot stand and both the Confederate States of America and the Union would not be able to stand-alone. Sometimes the federal government has to step in to do what is best for the nation as a whole. There are many different reasons that the South used to justify their decision to secede from the Union but the ultimate reason was slavery and they should not be able to secede just because it is in the best interest of the rich.

What role did slavery play in the Civil War? Do you think that the North and South could have ever reached a compromise on slavery without resorting to bloodshed?

         Despite popular belief, slavery obviously played the main role in the Civil War through the Missouri Compromise of 1820, Wilmot Proviso, Kansas-Nebraska Act, “Bloody Kansas,” and the dependence on slavery in the southern economy. These events aggravated the South, and led to increasing tensions between abolitionists and pro-slavery supporters that would never be able to compromise without bloodshed. With more states being added to the Union, the growing issue between free state supporters and southern sympathizers were: “would these new added territories be free or slave states?” The Missouri Compromise in 1820 was the first attempt to postpone a major conflict and provide a temporary balance of free and slave states by adding Missouri as a slave state. While settlers in Missouri were constantly divided on the slave issue, the land gained during the Mexican-American War would increase controversy when the Wilmot Proviso stated that the new states gained would be free, in an attempt to stop slavery in it’s tracks. Supporters of slavery continued to argue that it was their state and individual right to own slaves and by prohibiting doing so was a power that the government did not have. The Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 soon would give settlers of the new admitted states the right to determine if their state were slave or free through popular sovereignty. Popular sovereignty solved nothing, it gave only a legal right to either support or abolish slavery, which increased the hatred and violence between the two groups. One famous abolitionist’s belief led to his conquest of door-to-door visits killing any supporter of slavery known as “Bloody Kansas.” This radical abolitionist was John Brown, and the rivalry him and the “border ruffians” caused was almost a civil war in itself. John Brown stated: “I will take their lives as coolly as I eat my breakfast.” Through John Brown’s religion and tribunal life, many saw him as crazy and many perceived his rash actions to be “just.” Such a belief is up for debate but his actions arguably began the rise in hatred and paranoia within and between states. Frederick Douglass who was an ex slave, writer, and nonviolent abolitionist said this about John Brown: “His zeal in the cause of freedom was infinitely superior to mine... Mine was as the taper light; his was as the burning sun. I could live for the slave; John Brown could die for him.” Although a major part, John Brown’s holy war was just a result of his convictions to end slavery, and bloodshed was the solution. Not only was slavery considered a sin, it was the backbone of the southern economy and many were able to fight for that right to continue. With the election of Lincoln, tariffs, and other acts of war, the Civil War became evident and an end in sight was nowhere to be seen without bloodshed. 

What would the U.S. be like today if the South had won the Civil War?

If the South had won the Civil War, the United States of America would be no more due to divided beliefs, a weak defense, and ruled by overly rich plantation owners through capitalism. As a nation as a whole, the U.S. was powerful, and threatening to any surrounding countries and a country on the rise but without the North, the South would be a slave dependent confederation with only two classes: upper and lower. Without the distribution of wealth, the rich would get richer and the poor poorer. They would be driven by money only and would eventually have a civil war caused by uprisings of their own soon enough. The U.S. would not expand and the North’s industries would eventually suffer bankruptcy. The concept of slavery might even spread to the Pacific Ocean and be a South America ruled by the rich with a “concentration camp” demeanor.

Imagine that you are President James Buchanan; write a speech in which you respond to South Carolina's declaration of secession in 1860.

South Carolina,

You have declared to succeed from this Union for reasons that are in your best interest. Although secession is not legal, I am afraid that neither I, nor the federal government has the constitutional right to stop this treason. Despite your secession I will continue to retain military outfits and forts in your territory. I say with satisfaction that your actions have left an awful taste in my mouth and a sympathy for the future of this this nation that rivals none. I cannot wait for someone to succeed ME! Hopefully it will be that magnificent governor of Illinois, Abraham Lincoln.

Thanks a lot,
James Buchanan

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Project #12 - Part B - Braque Group

Last Comments4Teachers

David Truss
Pair-A-Dimes For Your Thoughts 

Click for access to Pair-A-Dimes

Learning and Failure
Comment #1

In this post, Mr. Truss explains how failure can invite learning. He says that children today are not challenged enough and that failure isn't always a bad thing. When we fail, we learn from our mistakes and thus are able to correct them in order to be better in the future. Through this, students as well as educators get more meaning from a project or lesson and are more likely to remember it in the future and I couldn't agree more. 
"Mr. Truss,

"This is a great post and I could not agree with you more. I am a student in EDM310 at The University of South Alabama and I can honesty tell you that I had not been challenged enough to fail really until I started my college career. From challenge and failure, my learning has been more authentic, deeper, and more meaningful. While reading your post, I could not help but think of Dr. Randy Pausch’s quote that says: 'Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.' Even though we might not achieve something at the level we wanted, we are always growing and learning!"

David Truss is very good at giving replies to the comments he gets and that is amazing! He is the first teacher this course to do so. I could tell that he actually read my comment and gave a genuine, heart-felt response which honestly really inspired me. His reply to my comment went as follows: 

"Great quote Daniel, thanks for sharing!
I recently told a friend of a great lesson my sponsor teacher gave me on a lesson during my teaching practicum. I was absolutely bombing a lesson during which she was observing me and taking notes. I looked at her at one point of the lesson, she looked back at me, showed me the observation paper, then ripped it in half. Then she left the room. I had to recover from a very poor lesson I planned on my own.
That was such a powerful lesson that taught me more than her observation of poor lesson ever could. And her trust in me to leave the room was pretty powerful too. She didn’t need to be there watching me struggle, and I needed to learn how to recover. It was a powerful lesson and made for a great debrief when we next spoke."

Networked Chambers Do Not Echo
Comment #2

David Truss discusses how PLN (personal learning networks), and social media in general do not have an echoing effect but in fact are the complete opposite. Social networks allow educators to generate new ideas, challenge thinking, and get him excited about being an educator. He believes that being a "connected educator" is a great tool. My comment went as follows! 

"Mr. Truss,

"South Alabama EDM310 student here. Great post, and I could not agree more, due to the fact that It took me a while to see all of the many professional benefits to social media. From an education standpoint the possibilities of new ideas, challenged thinking, and motivation to be an educator are endless, and as you said they certainly do not 'echo.' By this we have the privilege to be 'connected educators' with people all over the world at the click of a button! It truly is exciting. Thanks for sharing!"

Monday, November 18, 2013

Blog Post #13

Nakenya Ntaiya: A Girl Who Demanded School
By: Daniel LoVette - Braque Group

I am sure to not be speaking for myself when I say that this video has the potential to make every American citizen feel like the size of an ant. Hearing Nakenya Ntaiya’s story makes me feel very privileged to live in this country. Ms. Ntaiya is from the Masai tribe in Kenya, and if just being in the tribe isn’t hard enough, being a Masai female is unimaginable. Masai members are tall, jump high, wear red, and hunt lions. As impressive as this sounds, their customs of oppression towards the female race are a tragedy that is happening all over the continent of Africa at this moment. Males are raised to be warriors, and women are raised to be mothers. Girls are engaged by the age of five, and are expected to be a perfect woman by the age of twelve. They have no say in political issues, family issues, career choices, or are even able to own land. By the eighth grade the average Masai female endures a circumcision ceremony by which any outsider would consider mutilation. The practice is unsanitary, and is the cause of many annual deaths of young female tribe members.

Nakenya Ntaiya has experienced this life and has overcome adversity to chase after her dream of being an educator and an activist against said practices. After almost not making it through the circumcision ceremony alive, Nakenya had an ultimatum to either become a wife and mother or to start high school which was very uncommon. After finishing high school, she was accepted to a women’s college in Virginia and had to get the tribe’s approval and support to attend, which was not an easy task. After getting the approval of sixteen male tribe members, she hits American higher education by storm and ultimately earns a masters degree in education. Nakenya has since started a girls school in the village and is making a positive impact in many student lives.  

The biggest obstacle an American student has to face to attend college is finances, and most find a solution. Not attending high school isn’t even an option, and even then we take it for granted. More students, including myself, have to realize that the education we receive is a privilege beyond measure. As a future educator, I hope to instil a sense of urgency to my students so that they might not slip through the cracks like so many do. This testimony is a great one, and it’s top ten TED position is well deserved! 

Arvind Gupta: Turning trash into toys for learning

By: Morgan Rushlow - Braque Group

Arvind Gupta is a toy-maker and he is from India. He has been in the business of toy-making for more than 30 years and is making a revolution in the educational toy industry. Gupta has gone to schools and presented his learning toys; and needless to say they liked them. He began his career as an engineering major in college in the 1970’s and didn’t think about making toys in college but he went to schools and saw that children wanted to make and create things and was inspired to help them by seeing this. He started making toys for them to use to learn. He shows us in this video that you can turn anything into a learning tool. Gupta in this ted talks video takes simple things that seldom would be thought of as having but one use and makes them into something else that can be used as a teaching tool. Gupta made geometric shapes with a flexible material. He also showed how to make the shapes of a ship, a bird and a hat and other things using newspaper. He created many things with simple everyday objects that  wouldn’t thought of as having multiple uses. Gupta shows us that almost anything can be turned into something else and one thing can have many forms. Gupta makes the quote in this ted talks video that “The best thing a child can do with a toy is to break it.” Why would he say this? Because Gupta believes that you can use any resource you have to create what it is you need to use. That means when something is broken it is still useful because you can make something else. An item that is broken can be recycled and can still be put to good use and in this case, it is used for learning.This would teach children to be resourceful and to use what they know to create what they need. These are very useful skills for students they will need. Why does Gupta’s toys teach these things? Because they are simple toys made out of simple things that are familiar to children and when demonstrated by a teacher the students will be able to think of all the uses of the items the teacher used. These toys Gupta created came from his idea that to teach we should love others, use what they know, and what they have, to build on. He believes that when given the chance to actually have the experience with a concept they get excited about learning because they are able to see why and how the concepts they are learning
about works.

Shaned Koyczahis To This Day… For the Bullied and Beautiful 
By: Samantha West

“We are not the only ones who live like this.” This one sentence he repeated, and it is stuck in my mind. It is something to think about. Let us go back. Go back to when you were in upper elementary or middle school. Who was those kids that were picked on, bullied, and disliked? Were they you? Was you the Bully? These are the questions that went through my mind when I was watching this video. It is sad to know that our children will have to go through this. When I was younger I was never the popular kid because my parents were not rich, and I was not the prettiest girl. I did not have many friends, and it really hurt my feelings when I could not figure out why. When I got into High School, I lost a lot of weight, and was actually liked. I became the person who I had hated the most, a bully. I was so mean to some people, and later I realized what I had done. I have now apologized to every single person I was ever mean to. I thought this topic was just right for me, because I will stand up to bullying from now on. Shane spoke about being being adopted, and feeling unloved. He said he went from being sad, depressed, to wanting to kill a kid. It should not be like this. Children should not have to feel like this. Bullying is a subject that we will have to deal with for the rest of our lives. For some people dealing with it is different from others, but we are in some way affected by this terrible act. We are all beautiful in our own little way!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Blog Post #12

Changing Education's Paradigms By: Sir Ken Robinson
Summary By: Samantha West - Braque Group

Sir Ken Robinson had many key points in his video. He pointed out a very important key point to me, and that is ADHD. When my brother was little, he was sent to two specialists and one doctor diagnosed him with ADHD. The other said he was just a normal little boy, and he was. There was nothing wrong with him besides he didn’t want to sit in a classroom all day. They wanted to put him on medication that he did not even need. Doctors all over America are doing this now. It’s like we go straight to medication without even looking at what could be causing the problem. I find it interesting that my special education class was just speaking on this same topic Tuesday night. Do I believe our children should be drugged at such a young age? Of course I don’t. Do I think we should try every other thing in the book first? You better believe it! If nothing works,resorting to medication should be the parent's decision. Sir Ken Robinson and my point is how can we expect for every student to pay attention to, and I quote, “boring stuff,” when they could be watching TV, playing on their phones, ect. School is going to be boring at times, and teachers have to understand just because a child finds a subject boring does not mean they have an attention disorder. Which leads me to another key point I would like to point out from the video. Sir Ken Robinson states, “We shouldn’t be putting our kids asleep, we should be waking them up.” This is a wake up call to all of us soon-to-be teachers. He is speaking directly to us in this statement. My educational teacher always talks about how every teacher wants to teach to that perfect circle of students. Not the students that learn to fast, and not the students who learn to slow. Teachers want a class full of students that come in and understand everything on the day it is taught, and it can not be like that. We have to find a way to interest all the students, such as group learning. Group learning can keep all students busy and entertained. If you have not watch Changing Education Paradigms, watch it. Sir Ken Robinson can teach everyone a thing or two about what should change in our educational programs.

How to Escape Education’s Death Valley By: Sir Ken Robinson
Summary By: Daniel LoVette - Braque Group

In this particular lecture, Sir Ken Robinson discusses the problems with No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and the supposedly Attention Deficiate Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) epidemic. In addition he summarizes what the role of the teacher should be in order to counteract these problems.

Being from Great Britain, Sir Robinson begins his lecture with a joke: “Before I moved to the United States, people told me that Americans didn’t get irony.” He then explains that Americans in fact do get irony and that it is visible through the education program NCLB. He says that NCLB should instead be called, “millions of children left behind.” The American classroom is changing for the worse because our dropout rate continues to rise, and students are disengaged in the classroom. Sir Robinson attributes this to the the natural personality of humans, in that we are naturally diverse and NCLB instead promotes conformity and the two cannot co-exist. I agree with this because NCLB implements standardized testing. Standardized testing should not be the main focus in education and Robinson states that they should instead be used to “support learning and diagnose.”

Sir Ken Robinson also believes that ADHD is not an epidemic. To him, children are not disengaged in the classroom because they are suffering from ADHD, they are “suffering from childhood.” This is a great point because children are not meant to sit and listen for hours at a time. They should be creating, and working through projects that are educationally fun. However, for this to happen, teachers have to change. Robinson says: “Teachers are the lifeblood of society.” Teaching should be a creative profession in which they mentor, stimulate, and engage students to promote life-long learners. Instead of feeding facts to students, teachers should facilitate and let learning happen naturally.  

The Importance of Creativity By: Sir Ken Robinson
Summary By: Morgan Rushlow - Braque Group

In this video, Ken Robinson made a wonderful point about creativity. He said that "we need creativity in order to discover ourselves and to figure out who we are as a person." Creativity is the key to being successful, but as Ken states in this video, creativity is not being encouraged in schools today. Instead students are taking a path toward where the most money is made and what society believes is important to the economy. Ken believes students are not allowed to be creative in schools, and that schools kill creativity because society wants this cookie-cutter image of people. So instead of individualizing learning to each student as we should be doing, education has been designed to produce graduates in this cookie-cutter design in which all students are taught the same way and what is believed to be the “most useful subjects” prioritized in school while creative subjects are not being prioritized. Ken believes in this video that education is teaching students to not be creative because of the idea that creativity isn’t needed in the workforce. Ken believes that students are taught today that it isn’t okay to be wrong and that it’s not ok to be their creative selves in which they have their individual talents and skills which are unique to each person. Ken believes that the education system caters to industry demands but it should be catering to individual student needs and passions/desires. Ken believes that allowing creativity is important to each students’ success and fulfillment in their lives.  Ken believes that by not allowing creativity in school, many students are being left out in the system because some students’ talents are not being recognized because their talents do not lie within the frame of this cookie cutter image that is seen as desirable and important. But instead, in the areas of study that are seen as less important and less desirable.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blog Post #11

Ms. Cassidy's Approach to Technology In the Classroom

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 

In the series of interviews above, Ms. Cassidy discusses her approach to using technology in her first grade classroom. From these interviews I have come up with some techniques that I will implement in my classroom, impediments I might encounter, and benefits I might anticipate by using Ms. Cassidy's approaches.

One of the things I noticed about Ms. Cassidy, is that she is a pioneer. The interviews were conducted in 2010 and she recalls getting her first set of computers in her classroom ten years ago. The five computers she had were unable to download programs, so all she had was the internet and basic computer functions and she took what she had at-hand and used it. When technology progressed, she progressed with it and now her first graders are making webpages, videos, and blogs. Her approach was just to dive in and make a modern classroom. Ms. Cassidy said: "It is cool because students don't have to 'power down' when they get to school." Which means students are using the same technology inside the classroom that they are using outside but they are using it to learn.

As a future secondary geography and history teacher I will implement blogging into my classroom with an emphasis on writing. I do not think high school students today are writing enough to prepare them for higher education or the professional world. Through blogging, they will have an alternative to pencil and paper and improve typing skills. Ms. Cassidy brought up one aspect about blogging that I had not thought of and that is parents being able to monitor their child's progress and work in class. Communicating with parents this way will cut down on face to face meetings, letters, etc.

The impediments of using this approach to education are the "old school" teacher and technological glitches. Many teachers out there see lecturing and using busy work as the only way to educate and some teachers have a lot of say in board meetings. Not to mention any administrators who might not want to fund such a program. My solution to this would be to make a case in important meetings. Also, when using technology, there are many things that could go wrong such as programs not working, student's not saving work, a glitch in a computer, or wifi being down. To counteract these mishaps, I will always have a back up plan or activity.

Using Ms. Cassidy's approaches will not only benefit me but it will benefit my students. They will benefit by genuinely learning content. Through technology they will explore, create, and write more effectively. These are qualities of a quality education in which everyone benefits from.