Oh my goodness! Let me just say that I am really scared right now. I attended my first Research class last night and it was pretty intimidating. My professors are really nice, which is a relief. But, when I learned that I was going to have to do math, I freaked out a tad. I think I will be ok though. There are so many people in this program to help me, so I am confident that I will survive.
I am now finished with all of my technology requirements *sigh.* I created a wikispace with a Voki and Dipity timeline embedded. It was really fun and something I want to use in the future. I enjoyed watching everyone’s iMovies, Blabberize photos, Voicethreads, and reading their blogs.
In my Instructional Strategies class, I only have my Proposition 3 presentation and Instructional Frameworks remaining. I have learned SO many strategies that I can use in my class. I’m excited about what I learned and ways to integrate the strategies into my curriculum.
My goals for the remainder of the summer include:
1. No freaking out about math
2. Ask for help if I struggle (Sometimes I’m too proud)
3. Take my kids to the zoo and the pool more. I can’t forget that my primary objective is my family.
4. Ride my bike
5. Be optimistic
Another article review…
In this article, Scott Aronowitz discusses the organization One Laptop Per Child (OLPD) program and its efforts to provide laptops to children in third world countries. Aronowitz specifically talks about the durability of these new laptops produced by Marvell and how they are more suited and affordable for “global regions underserved by technology.” $100 laptops. That’s really amazing. Just a few thoughts though…
Currently I am reading a book by Greg Mortenson titled “Stones into Schools.” In this book, Mortenson shares his journey through the farthest removed societies in Pakistan and Afghanistan and his quest to build schools in what he calls, “the last best place.” These are villages that are beyond the end of the road. Literacy rates are almost non-existent, especially among women. These are areas that are developing (Pakistan) and severely under-developed (Afghanistan) in terms of education, life expectancy, and standard of living. These are definitely third world countries. Mortenson states that it is difficult to get desks, pencils, and teachers into these areas so that these people can learn… how are the lap tops going to get there? And, if they do make it there… who is going to use them? Who will teach them how to use them? How will they use them if they cannot even read?
I understand that laptops are a huge technological advancement for some students in some areas, but this is really only addressing a small number of the world’s population. What can be done with these fancy, durable, and affordable laptops to ensure that all students have the same access to technology, not just some (or a chosen few). And, when these students do get a laptop, who is going to teach them how to use it? I think that this author should address this issue. Technology is only useful to those who can get it and use it.
I have posted this VoiceThread link here for three reasons: 1. VoiceThread is an amazing tool that allows all members of the community (if you choose) to post and comment on many different topics, 2. This is a topic I feel very strongly about, however, I am confused about who should be teaching it and when and want to discuss this with other people, and 3. I wanted to paste my audio commentary for you visual learners, so you can follow along or refer back.
Here is what I said in my VoiceThread (more or less):
Human Trafficking is a growing global epidemic, and it is something I feel passionately about. The statistics are shocking, however, what I find the most terrifying is that a large proportion of people, especially in the United States, are unaware that human trafficking is the number one fastest growing international crime in the world…. And it has been documented in at least, every major city in the country. So why is this epidemic going un-noticed? According to this article, many people are not learning about human trafficking until they reach college, and then in only certain fields of study. The reason I am discussing this topic here is because I feel that there is a major disconnect between the huge majority of young people who are affected by this and by those who are learning about it. How do we bridge this gap?
I find the quote at the end of the article outrageous. The professor quoted says, “Most students here have international experience, so there’s a presumption that the topic would be quite firmly established,” she said. “But it isn’t. Students gasp when they hear what happens, and I get a twisted sense of joy that I’m the first to tell them about something.” Well… I think it’s twisted that these students are only now learning about human trafficking and that she find a twisted sense of joy in that.
So tell me in your comments, When should students be learning about human trafficking and who should be teaching it?
Follow the following link, http://thejournal.com/Articles/2010/06/02/Technology-Teaching-Tomorrows-Thinkers.aspx?Page=1, to access the article for the following review.
I found this article particularly interesting because of its take on how students think and how teachers teach based on how students think. In the article, “Technology & Teaching Tomorrow’s Thinkers,” Ruth Reynard addresses how there is a different thought process for each type of content area and how not everyone knows how to think scientifically, historically, mathematically, etc. Students need to be taught to think like a scientist or historian. For each discipline there are specific methods for teaching how to think within that discipline and technology is a tool to aid in that teaching, rather than a replacement for the thinking. Reynard also addresses how technology provides students global platforms to share and collaborate their thoughts and ideas while learning new perceptions, which is also a tool to help change how students think about a specific discipline.
Reynard’s approach to this topic is interesting to me, because she challenged me to think about technology and student’s thought processes differently. I always assumed that if you are not a math person, then you will probably never grasp it. She really made me think about how to “teach” thinking within my own content area. This is a concept I have never visited, because I thought that how people think could not be changed. In addition, Reynard gave some great information on how to use technology to encourage students to stretch their thinking and challenge themselves to learn new things.
I believe that it is crucial for students and teachers to challenge themselves to think in new ways, especially if they have always believed that they couldn’t before. This is a fascinating topic and one I will be investigating further. I want to know how I can encourage my students to stretch their thinking. I also want to know how to approach teaching the thinking process within my content area, because it is hard for me to think about it when I already know how to think about it (clear as mud?). As an educator, I believe that this article and how I’m processing this article relate to the five core propositions as proposed by the NBPTS.
Follow this link, http://thejournal.com/Articles/2010/06/17/Embracing-Classroom-Technology.aspx?Page=1, to access the article for this review.
In the article, “Embracing Classroom Technology,” by Bridget McCrea, the author explores the path of one teacher as she integrated technology into a classroom with few technological resources. Valerie Gresser, who teaches 1st grade, had a classroom with only one computer to be shared among twenty plus students. Ms. Gresser had a vision that included integrating technology into her existing curriculum so that her first graders could be more prepared for a future that was becoming more and more infused with technology. This forward thinking teacher applied for a $20,000 grant, and won, in order to make sure that she could teach 21st Century skills to her students. She took the initiative and looked for resources and then learned how to use them effectively.
Ms. Gresser did not just think about the easier, softer way in which to teach her students. She thought about how her students learn and made sure that she taught them the skills they needed in order to succeed. In order for her to do this, she had to place herself into the shoes of her students and analyze how they learn and/or how they may best learn in today’s society. She was active in seeking out new knowledge and was dedicated in learning the new technology she received.
I believe that in my own classroom, I will need to stay abreast of how technology is evolving and how my students learn in order to ensure they are learning the skills they need for the future. I believe that I will have to continue reading articles about my profession and its many facets, as well as pay close attention to how learning in students is changing based on the new technologies. Students today are able to multi-task many different forms of media better than ever before. Now, does that make them better learners? Not necessarily. But I do think that they are different learners from those ten or twenty years ago (maybe even last month). It is my responsibility to make sure that I am constantly looking for avenues in which to make learning more effective for my students.