Ashley Waldrop

Instructional Technologies Blog

NETS-T Standard 2

Standard: Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments

Summary: The teacher must create, design, and assess by incorporating technology to develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills laid out by NETS-S.

Self-Evaluation:

A)    I attempt to use technology through learning experiences within my classroom.  For example, my class participates in multiple virtual field trips throughout the year.

B)    I have very limited access to computers in my classroom.  I have 2 student desktops and 1 teacher computer.  I hope to have more soon. I think having more computers would allow me to let my students have more access.  I do think my students monitor their own progress throughout the year with MAP testing.

C)    I allow students to have their individual time on the computer.  During this time students are allowed to choose for multiple websites to practice their computer skills and practice various learning standards.

D)    I do not do much to assess my student’s knowledge of technology.  I would like to find some programs or websites that I could use to teach my kids about the various types of technology when I take my kids to computer lab.

Strengths/Weaknesses: I think my greatest weakness in developing and designing digital age experiences for my students is the lack of time and resources.  Having only 2 student computers within my classroom makes it very difficult for each student to have a “fair” amount of time.  My other weakness in implementing Standard 2 into my classroom is my own lack of knowledge.  I really struggle in knowing and deciding what is appropriate for my students to use, given their age.

I think that my students leave my classroom knowing that there are many different types of “digital age” technology out there, even though they may not use it themselves in my classroom.  My students know that I enjoy using technology within my classroom, and I can hope that my own love for technology will inspire them to use and enjoy technology too.

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I Heard Them Say, Love Is The Way

Title: I Heard Them Say, Love Is The Way

Author: Miss Night

Website: http://missnightmutters.com/2011/03/i-heard-them-say-love-is-the-way.html

Summary:  This blog post is about a kindergarten class in Canada that has partnered with another class in Indonesia.  Each class created an “imaginary friend” that goes to school in other country.  The two classes have partnered together in order to compare how each “imaginary friend” has very different experiences.  The two classes use Twitter to communicate and “research” back and forth.  During this research experiment tsunamis were threatening the Indonesian coast.  The Canadian “kinders” became very worried about their Indonesia “kinder” friends and wanted them to come to Canada to stay safe.

Reflection: All I have to say is WOW!  When I read articles like this it A) reminds me how much I have to learn and how much more I could do, and B) technology, when used properly in the classroom is AWESOME!  While reading this article three major “ideas” popped into my head and I will elaborate on those below.

1. Twitter – I never in a million years would have thought to use Twitter as a research tool.  It had crossed my mind the educators could use Twitter as a professional discussion board, but never as a research tool.  I am sure that Twitter is probably blocked at my school, but I’m interested to see if I could have something like this approved?  Twitter is a great tool to use, especially in a younger-aged classroom.  The questions can be simple and cannot be long in length…perfect for our younger students!

2. Standards – This is PERFECT for first grade standards!!! Almost every single one of our social studies standards are based on families around the world.  This would be a MUCH better way to study families around the world vs. watching a “United Streaming” video made in the 80s about families around the world.  I left a comment for Miss Night to let me know how she started this.  My main question is how she found the school/children to tweet back and forth with.  Hopefully she will comment back to me!

3. Meaningful Learning – This inquiry based project brings a whole new meaning to meaningful, real-life learning.  These students were learning about children half-way around the world but felt like they truly knew these other kindergarten students.  I guarantee you this project will be remembered forever by those students.

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NETS-T Standard 1

Standard: Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

Summary: It is the teacher’s responsibility to use his or her content knowledge, pedagogy knowledge, and technology to encourage creativity and innovation in various learning environments.

Self-Evaluation: I believe that I meet this standard within my classroom.  I am not one of those teachers who use the Promethean Board as a space to tape up chart paper; however, I feel that I could definitely learn more as well.  I try to use the available technology to inspire and to motivate my students.  For example, in my class last year my students were not at all motivated about writing.  In an effort to influence them to do their best work and enjoy writing, I let them publish their work on the “TV.”  After they had completed their writing to my standards (edited, revised, etc.), I let them read their text while I recorded them using my document camera.  After they were recorded, we let the whole class and other visitors (other first grade classes) watch their performance.  It was a very simple task, but the results were awesome.  My students worked harder and their writing products showed it.

I also try to teach my content using technology resources such as Promethean interactive flipcharts, virtual field trips, etc.

 Strengths/Weaknesses: I would say my biggest weaknesses are: 1) inability to keep up with the latest options and innovations, 2) lack of available time to prepare and deliver these activities, and 3) inadequate knowledge about the ways and means for teaching my young learners the correct way to use technology themselves.  I have found that I enjoy using technology within my classroom to teach, but often I just don’t know where and how to get it started.  I struggle in the planning and preparation step for using technology within my classroom because I don’t know how to correctly model and allow my young (age 6/7) students to use the technology independently.

I think my greatest strengths in teaching with technology are: 1) I want to learn more, 2) I enjoy using technology, and 3) I am convinced that it can be a very effective tool when used properly.  I think that it is to my advantage that I enjoy using technology.  I know of several teacher peers who just don’t care to learn about technology or want to make the effort to learn.  This is not me.  I know that there are awesome technology tools out there for teaching content, and I want to learn more about them and how I can use them in my classroom.

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Through My Students’ Eyes

Title: Through My Students’ Eyes

Author: Cheryl Oakes

Website: http://www.speedofcreativity.org/2009/07/10/through-my-students-eyes/

Summary:  This blog post is about one student’s journey from Kindergarten to 12th Grade.  The writer takes on the point of view of the student and how he perceives his education with an emphasis on the technology used.  The article begins with the student in Kindergarten telling the reader about how his teacher used a flip camera to record the student’s learning.  The article continues by highlighting the various technologies used through Grade 8.  When the student enters high school, the teachers no longer teach with technology due to the need to teach content, but the student still finds ways to use technology.  The student is frustrated in high school that learning is no longer fun like it was in the lower grades, and he wants to go back.

Reflection: I thought this article was very well written.  I enjoyed being able to read the articles from the student’s perspective and not from the teacher’s.  I have to admit though, that after reading the article, I realize that I can and should be letting my students use more of the technology that I have in my classroom.  I think I am guilty of knowing how to “teach” with technology, but not how to let my students “explore and inquire” using the appropriate technology.

I was surprised by the part at the end of the article where the student discusses using proxies to get around the school’s internet blocks.  That students know how to do this is intimidating to me, even as a lower grade teacher.  I think if I were a high school teacher this would be even more intimidating.  On the other hand, I think as teachers we need to embrace and foster the knowledge that students have of technology, but make every effort to channel the use of their knowledge in a positive way, not to try to “cheat the system.”  This wasn’t part of the blog, but was in some of the attached links about using technology in the classroom, using the grade bands.  I discovered several neat blogs that I want to continue to watch, hopeful that I may use some of the same information and resources in my classroom.

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my first blog post

This is my first blog post. WOO HOO!!!!!

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