Friday, January 31, 2014

Journal Post #3, Chapter 3: Transforming Learning with Unique, Powerful Technology

What are the NETS-S and the 21st Century Student Outcomes?

NETS-S are the standards for student learning with technology developed by the International Society for Technology in Education. It is used to help know how students should use technology and how it should be used in teaching to further the learning process and use it to explore in even more detail the things they are taught. Due to the increasing amount of technology being used every day, it is essential that students learn how to use it to locate and process information they learn in the classroom and analyze it. If these standards are used properly, the students will enter the work force ready and able to use the technology tools available to succeed.

21 Century Student Outcomes of Learning are standard for student learning with technology developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. This works in correlation with the NETS-S and NETS-T to help students achieve higher with critical thinking, problem solving, digital literacies and other important technology based thinking and analysis.

Tech Tools 3.5:  Web Resources and Apps for Digital Citizenship

This section of Chapter 3 discusses websites and Apps that can be good resources for all types of information, but mainly what is true and what isn’t and how to act while online an on social networking sites. 

I plan to look at these Apps and try some with my kids (as they vary in age).  However, I would like to touch on the site.  It does claim to be factual and unbiased, but there have been a few cases where I have doubted this, and the Annenberg Public Policy Center has a background that wouldn’t necessarily make them unbiased, which is a whole other issue.  Some have claimed that the site definitely leans more to the side of Democrats than anything else.  According to an article in Columbia Journalism Review by Greg Marx (Jan 2012) has made some statements that aren’t exactly true.  Marx writes in particular about one of their year-end lists and comments regarding claims that House Republicans had voted to “end Medicare”  in 2011.  Marx writes that some of these statements were “..was more plausibly unfair and, in some contexts, potentially deceptive.”  That doesn’t sound very “unbiased” to me.  There are other issues, but this is a small example.  What this mean is that even if a “reliable” site or source says something is true, the next logical step is to research it even further.  Student and teachers alike need to have more than one source for a fact to make it more reliable.

Summary Chapter 3: Transforming Learning with Unique, Powerful Technology

Chapter 3 discusses several items including all the ways that technology can be used to teach any grade in more student-engaged ways and how important it is in today’s society to understand why and most importantly, HOW. This chapter also discusses the responsibilities of teacher sto show their students how to use technology in effective and responsible ways. Teachers are expected to not only teach their students how to use the technology, but also how to weed out irrelevant or false information and not to use it to harm others. After some of the things I have seen on FaceBook and the like, I know a lot of adults that need to learn this important lesson.
In my classroom, I plan to show my students about digital responsibility by using age appropriate stories and situations on how people can get hurt or get information that is totally inaccurate from technology, and I plan to teach them about how they would feel if someone claimed their work as their own so they didn’t get credit for it themselves. I also plan on teaching by example. I think some teachers forget that they are often looked up to and are some kids only symbol of what is proper behavior in society. Some children do not have parents to reflect on either. As teachers, they have a responsibility to students to not be perfect, but to show as much of an up-standing citizen” image as possible. Just as parents, teachers will lead children by example.


Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
Marx, Greg. “What the Fact-Checkers Get Wrong.” Columbia Journalism Review, Web.  Jan. 2012
Common Sense Media, “Facebook, YouTube, Texting: Rules of the Road for Kids." March 2010.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Journal Post #2 Chapter 2: Understanding Educational Technology Issues and Trends

Focus Question: How can teachers more closely connect learning to the experiences of the digital natives who are heir students?

When deciding what technology and how much in a classroom, it is important to understand the ages and needs of the students.  As I have learned in some of my other classes, and through my own personal experiences in school, students learn differently.  Some will be more visual from day one of Kindergarten.  Some students will learn best from reading and some are listeners.  I don't think there is any right or wrong amount of technology (as long as you are not taking yourself out & ONLY using technology).  I believe it's more about being perceptive of your current students needs, as this may change from year to year, and adapting accordingly.  Small groups also allow for students to be grouped together who learn in similar manners so they can relate better to the material being taught.  personally, I like using some technology and it helps with time management so more can be allocated to the students for learning. 

Tech Tool 2.1: What roles does technology play in the lives of students and teachers?
As a mother of three children I have learned to adapt to new technology and, since I am so busy with them, school and full-time employment, I also realize the benefits of all the Apps available.  I currently have a iPhone and have a lot of Apps that make my life easier.  With limited time, Apps that allow me to do my banking, check weather, places near-by to eat, newspapers and maps along with myriads of others makes my busy life actually doable!  There are lots for entertainment and fun too.  Sports fans can check scores or even play their Fantasy sports teams from anywhere.  I actually play Fantasy Football and love my App on my phone to access it anytime.

I grew up without cell phones and barely used a computer in my last 2 years of high school, so I know that all this stuff was done before all the technology, but the new technology has allowed us to do it quicker and more efficient.  I believe that with technology being at the front of most of kids lives today, it is imperative that all the adults around them know how to use it too.

I can't wait to show my oldest son The Elements and 3D Sun Apps because he really loves Science....and Technology.  It will be a great way for him to interact with the information he is learning.

My favorite App is iHeart Radio because I use it all the time and can listen to any type of music at the touch of my finger. Whatever mood I am in...80's, Country, Rock or some good Oldies, I can access it in seconds.

What's your favorite App?

Summary of Chapter 2

Chapter 2 discussed several different issues including the difference in some school in the amount of technology they use, resistance teachers may come across in wanting to use it more and deciding what type of teacher we may want to be.

I am new to learning about the teaching profession.  I have several friends who are teachers and they are all very different.  Some are in different states and some even teach at private schools.  The differences in what the schools allow and expects is astounding, as is the attitudes in the teachers themselves.  Some of them have just given up totally because they feel that fighting an administration that will not seem to change with the times is just not worth it anymore.  Some are so scared of technology they will not utilize all the wonderful opportunities and tools the school offers them.  Other teachers have fought (some wins and some losses) for years to make the schools move forward with the increasing technology usage.

I plan to be one of those teachers who will utilize all that is available to me to benefit my students the most.  I will take every class and seminar I can to sharpen every skill.  I want to pay attention and fight (in a respectful and appropriate way) for what my STUDENTS need.  Isn't that why we should become teachers?  The students we are teaching are depending on on, but here is another important reason....Those students will be running our country, finding new cures and deciding our fates in many other areas.  I don't know about others, but I want the students I teach to be as prepared as possible to handle anything that may come for their benefit, for ours and for many generations to come.

Why become a teacher?  Everyone needs to really think about this before deciding to make it a career. 



Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

YouTube, Published on May 10, 2013, Top Ten Reasons I've Decided To Become a Teacher" as presented by ten new teachers from "Teach For America.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Journal Post #1 Chapter 1 Becoming a 21st Century Teacher

Focus Question: What roles does technology play in the lives of students and teachers?

In the 21st century most people are using some form of technology.  I see two year old children using iPods and iPads and items like it.  My own five year old knows how to use my phone better than I do.  My 12 year old has to be pried away from PlayStation online.  My 18 year old can text like the wind.  Due to a seven year gap in my children's ages, the youngest has learned much quicker and used technology a lot earlier than the other two.   Today there are Apps for everything you can think of.  Restaurants and department/grocery stores and the like are all getting on the technology train too.  Just this week alone I ordered a gift, a pizza and refilled my prescription all from my cell phone!  Since all the students are using technology as a second skin, today's teachers not only should, but MUST utilize technology in many forms to teach their students.  It is the only way to keep their attention at this point in time.  If they can't be pried away from their iPods and cell phones, then USE them to get to the student and find what ways will reach them.

This technology age does not just benefit the students however.  Information in many forms are now at a teacher's fingertips....literally, and seconds away to be delivered to the students.  If looked at in the right light and embraced, technology can be a great tool for students and teachers for everything from grades to research. Teachers can communicate quickly with both parents and students.  How about sending out a reminder to the students AND the parents at the same time about an upcoming test?  The possibilities of how technology can be used are really limitless.

Tech Tool 1.1

This section talks about items for technology that teachers may need to be functional in the 21st century classroom and their uses.  The three items were a smart phone, laptop and tablets.  As a student and a full time employee in Administration, I already use them all.  I have truly found the benefits of all three at times.  I once did an assignment and thought I sent the email and then left home. Thankfully my professor had emailed everyone a reminder so I checked my email on my phone, just to make sure I had sent my assignment.  Apparently I had only put it as a draft and had NOT emailed it!  I was able to retrieve it on my cell and email it to my professor right then. In general though, if you have a laptop and a smart phone, you don't need the tablet.  The tablet I have mostly used to share information I find with others and to read.

Summary & Connection

After reading this chapter, I am very grateful that I have embraced technology since high school. I could not imagine coming into this profession (or even college) without the prior knowledge that I have.  This is the second week of class and I've already learned new things.  Although not hard to follow, I had not used Google for school assignments or posted blogs before.  Since I am not afraid, and am actually eager to learn these new things, I am not overwhelmed at all the information, but am excited to learn more and how I can later use these in a classroom!  There are so many different tools out there.  I know I may not like them all, but I at least need to experience them so I can learn what works for me, but more importantly, what may work for my future students.


Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.