Sunday, April 26, 2015

Technology and Teaching: My Philosophy

Technology and Teaching: My Philosophy

Before I took EDM 310, I was unaware of just how useful technology can be in a classroom. I knew of different types of technology and thought I had a good technology literacy foundation to build upon. However just a few weeks into this course I realized I had not even scratch the surface. While using technology in the classroom can have some issues, the positives greatly out weigh them. As a future teacher I want to use all the resources I can to be the best teacher because every students deserves the best teacher. Incorporating technology into how you teach a class opens up new opportunists for both students and the teacher. It allows students to gain knowledge and develop skills that they can use beyond school. It allows teachers to enrich their lessons, individualize lessons/projects for students to ensure everyone learns somethings, and make learning more exciting. Technology is something that is deeply in bedded into our world today, so not using it with students is irresponsible in my opinion. I believe every teacher should be technology literate and keep up with new upcoming technology. I plan on using Blogger, Google Doc, IMovie, Prezi, and Skype in my future classroom. I am sure I will expand that list as time goes on..

C4T #4 Summary

Summary of Pernille Ripp's Blog Post

This is a picture of a stack of "post-it"notes with a pencil about to write on the top one. Above the stack of "post-it" notes it reads "Commenting counts..."
Pernille Ripp wrote a very interesting post about her views and hesitations about using the popular app "Class Dojo". She looked at this from the angle of both a teacher and a parent. She elaborated on three main hesitations she has about the app and explains why she doesn't use it. The first hesitation is because of the "public ranking system" this app uses. She goes on to explains that she believes it is not beneficial to students for their class to see where they 'rank" among other classmates. Second, the time factor. To utilize all the features the app offers requires a lot of time that teacher could instead spend with their students. She also points out that "praise should be given immediately and be sincere, not entered into a computer." Third is the concern of parents knowing everything that happens everyday while their child is at school. The ranking system used by this app may not clearly communicate with parents possibly causing students to receive harsh punishments at home. Students should be able to have breaks from school and a little more independence than their parents checking the Class Dojo every few minutes. She closes her post by noting that there are positives about this app and invites other teachers to give her feedback on how they feel about it. 

My comment:

My name is Paige Inman and I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I am currently studying to be an elementary education teacher. In my EDM 310 class we are assigned educators blogs that we have to comment on in order to connect with more people in our desired field. I will be posting a summary of your blog post to my class blog no later than April 26th. I invite you to come take a look!

Class Dojo is something I actually just heard about a few weeks ago. A fellow classmate of mine introduced our class to it and highlighted the some of the main features. I am glad I read your post and see another perspective of this app. I find that I agree with some of your hesitations with Class Dojo, mainly with the public ranking system. I believe a ranking system that all students can see could cause more harm to students than good. All students should feel comfortable in their classroom, they should not have to always worry what other will think of their "rank" in the class. Also the time factor would cause some concerns. Teachers may get so caught up with entering information into the app that they lose valuable time with their students. Class Dojo is something I want to revisit in the future when I am a teacher to see if this is something that could be beneficial in my classroom.

<a href""> Paige Inman's Class Blog</a>
<a herf""> EDM310 Class Blog</a>
<a herf"> @inman_paige</a>

Blog Post #14

Joel Klien's article, Self-discipline and high standards can secure the future of public schools identifies some problems in our public school system along with proposed solutions for these problems.

This is a picture of a black words with the words "problem", "think", and "solution" written on it, as well as a light bulb between problem and solution.

 1. Problem- Teachers do not have adequate academic training.
    Proposed Solution-  "National teacher examination" that test mastery of pedagogy and         content knowledge. Also, developing a demanding "knowledge base" along with a           "formal set of … peer relationships."

 2. Problem-Anyone with a degree can be a teacher.
    Proposed solution- New approach to recruiting for future teachers, recruit from the top       third of the graduates, and a 1-3 year supervised internship to evaluate the performance     of prospective teachers.

3. Problem- Teacher reward system is not working.
   Proposed solution- Do not let seniority equal job security. Establish own board to police     the profession, establishing standards, and providing mechanisms for removing               incompetent teachers

First, the problem of teachers not having adequate academic training. I do agree that this is a problem that needs to be addressed. In my opinion being a teacher is an incredibly important job. Teachers are helping mold and shape our future generations and that is not a job that should be taken lightly. I think that the proposed solution would be a step in the right direction. If teachers were required to pass a National teacher examination as well as required to have a demanding knowledge base, then they would have to further their own education and training to be able to qualify to teach.

Second, the problem of anyone with a degree can become a teacher. This problem ties in some with the first problem, but I felt it has some distinctions so I chose to identify it as its own problem. I also agree that this a problem and I agree with the proposed solutions. By changing the recruitment process to be more selective, prospective teachers would have to really work hard to even be considered to be hired. This process would help weed out individuals who may not be best suited to teach. I believe that the suggested one to three year supervised internship is a great was to see how someone would be as a teachers. However, if it is an unpaid internship some well qualified prospective teachers may not be able to financially afford it.

Third, the problem of the flawed teacher reward system. I could not agree more that this is a problem! As discussed in the article seniority should not equal job security, this allows incompetent teachers to maintain jobs while more competent, new hired teachers are the first to be let go. I 100% agree with the proposed solutions of establishing a board to police the profession, establishing standards, and providing mechanisms for removing incompetent teachers. When someone gets comfortable in a position they stop growing. They become stagnate in doing what they've always done, because there is no threat if they do not continue to improve their skills and methods. However, if every teacher was subject to an examination or formal review of their competences and the result could be the loss of their job, they would be motivated to do their best. If they were not motivated to be the best they can, then they do not deserve to be a teacher and should be removed.

Overall, I agree that all three of these problems are in fact problems and each of their proposed solutions could help fix our public education system. I have based my opinions on both facts from this article and from my own personal experience with teachers. Students should not have to suffer because incompetent teachers remain in school, teachers are not being trained well enough, and anyone with a education degree can be a teacher. I believe we need to look at the top education systems in the world, see what they are doing different than us, and make changes to model after them. For example, Finland requires teachers to have a masters degree before they can teach and they have one of the best school systems in the world. Reforming our education system in not something that can be done overnight, even with radical changes like the ones suggested in their article we still have a long way to go. However, I do believe we can make changes for be better by all of us being the best teachers we can be.

Project #16 Part A Group Blog Post

Using technology in the classroom.

This is a picture of an Ipad, a graphing calculator, and a laptop stacked on top of each other. The words "technology in the classroom" are in front of all the technologies listed.
Technology is an important aspect to incorporate into any lesson. Students need to be taught how to effectively use technology. The modern day world has so many uses for technology. As teachers, it is important that we use technology in a way where students will learn how to use it as well. The SMART Board is an important tool to use because this allows the whole class to get information through technology. The SMART Board allows students to either get information from something, like a powerpoint, or through many of the interactive lesson templates. Computers are also important to the students’ technology growth. Computers allow students to independently gather information. This allows students to learn the importance of being independent when working on classwork. Students need to learn how to use all of the latest and newest technology. When using technology, in the classroom, it is important to model safe behavior, so the students will pick up on it and model it themselves. Technology is important to the knowledge development of students. The best thing to do is teach children how to use technology early, so each student is fully prepared for life outside of formal school.

Using a project-based approach to learning in a classroom.

Using a project-based approach to learning in a classroom is a very effective way of engaging students so they learn on a deeper level. While project-based learning is not a new concept, using it to replace traditional lectures may cause some teachers to hesitate. Think about this, if you had to tie a tie for the first time ever how would you learn how to do it? Would you research it, listen to someone explain step-by-step instructions, guess, would you pick up a tie and just go for it, or would you want to utilize all these resources to learn how to tie a tie? Using PBL in the classroom is very similar, you want your students to do the hands on work. Using a project-based approach allows students to be more creative with their work. Also, when they have an audience with whom to share their work, they will work harder and take pride is what they produce. Teachers can both create projects and find existing project-based lessons to cover the necessary state standards. By allowing the students to do the work for themselves, the teacher is free to work more on a one-to-one ratio.  By using a project-based approach teachers can better prepare their students for life beyond school by helping them develop important skills researching, collaboration, problem solving, and creativity.

Blog Post # 5 Part 2

Final Summary of my PLN

this is a picture of the teitter iconBefore I started EDM 310 I had never heard about a PLN, let alone known how useful they are. I had a Twitter account that I never used because I never saw much use for it. Now that I am at the end of EDM 310 boy have my eyes been opened! As I began to explore personal learning networks and how to build my own I was a bit overwhelmed by all the resources available. Now I am very proud of my PLN and I will continue to grow it. I even got my husband to start his own for his career interest. I now use Twitter regularly, I may not "tweet" a lot, but I am constantly looking for more people to add to my PLN. However, I have found I am very selective of who I choose to follow, because I want get the most out of my PLN. Quality over quantity has really been my mindset while expanding my PLN. It is very exciting when a "big shot" twitter person favorites my tweets or follows me.

This is a picture of the Pinterest icon which is a white "P" inside of a red square.
I also created a Pinterest account specifically for teaching resources. I have had personal Pinterest account for a few years so it is significant in size, I decided to start with a blank slate for my teaching one.  I have found so many different blogs, teachers, lesson plan, activities, and projects on Pinterest that it is hard no to Pin them all.  The resources on Pinterest seem to be endless. I would highly recommend including Pinterest as part of your PLN. I look forward to expanding my PLN in the years to come.