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Reflection for understinding the impact of tecnology

April 25, 2010

The class, Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society, has helped me to develop my technology skills in several different ways.  First, I was unaware of the different types of media that were available for instructional use.  Wikis, podcasting and blogging were the three main tools discussed during this class.  Each one has their own unique qualities to deliver content based knowledge to each student.  Second, each tool brings the development of 21st century skills mention by Thornburg so often in the video clips throughout the semester.  This class increased my understanding and knowledge of technology because I had to actually use each one of these “artifact building” tools.  The most important development I have received from this class is the fact that—I was simply unaware of these tools before this class.  I was blind and simply naïve to the amount of technology available.  This class has opened my eyes and made me mindful to be open and unafraid of technology.

I can continue to expand my knowledge of technology integration by doing what I am doing.  I can continue with my technology courses at Walden University which will allow me to practice and refine my skills in technology.  I can also take advantage of the professional development opportunities offered by my county about technology.  Griffin Resa is offering five classes this summer that I could take to help me in increase student achievement.  The “Second Annual Assistive Technology Fair” is an upcoming event offered through my system I am really excited about.  Another way I can continue to expand my knowledge is simply using it and also discussing it with like-minded professionals.  Kathy Schrock has created a site with a wide list of educational blogs.  Her site gives me instant access to like-minded people.  I can discuss current technology uses and also get ideas from other professionals. 

I have many long-term goals for my classroom about technology.  One of my goals is to create a blog for the classroom that will be used weekly.  I am in the process of creating a webpage for my classroom.  From this site, I will base my classroom.  I plan on working fervently this summer to set-up the page along with activities.  Blogs, wikis, and podcast will all be used.  I will use my website as my “HOME.”  Wit a click of a button, the students (or parents) will be able to pull up a calendar telling them of upcoming assignments, due dates and such.  There will be links directing you to study guides, practice test, rubrics, etc…  A second goal will be to have weekly computer time fusing content and 21st century skills together.  In a survey I gave my students I found out that they spend less than one hour a week using technology in the classroom.  I will post a question or prompt for the students discuss via blogging on Sunday nights.  On Friday, we will pull up the blogs and discuss what was written.  For example, “Is a virus an abiotic or biotic factor in an environment?”  This is a writing prompt that will generate an engaging conversation.  On Friday’s, while discussing I will ask for more comments that could have been added.  From here, I hope or plan to show some tools available (Creating hyperlinks for example).  This summer I plan on looking at my new content and creating webquest and also setting up the ability for wikis.  I will find the content most conducive for wiki use and teach the students how to use, create and write using wikis.  I know I have to increase my knowledge immensely before I carry out the many different types of media now available.  My webpage on schoolwires now is pretty bare.  I have a lot of trial and error ahead of me, but I am looking forward to the challenge.

March 26, 2010

My course, Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society, at Walden University encouraged us to visit and explore the website of The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (PC21).  This website is dedicated to advancing”21st century” skills within our classrooms of the United States.  The web site states it’s The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is, “to serve as a catalyst to place 21st century readiness at the center of US K12 education by building collaborative partnerships among education, business, community and government leaders.”(P21, 2010)

PC21’s mission is to ensure that today’s students receive the skills and knowledge of the 21st century and maintain that this can be achieved by what they call the three R’s and four C’s.  The three Rs include: English, reading or language arts; mathematics; science; foreign languages; civics; government; economics; arts; history; and geography.  The four Cs include: critical thinking and problem solving; communication, collaboration; and creativity and innovation (PC21’s).   I agree with the sites assertion that these skills our vital for the success of our students. 

The website is not just an avocation mouthpiece…It is a user-friendly website with many tools and resources.  From my Master’s class, I have been made acutely aware of our shortcomings in the classroom in preparing are students for what they need to “not only survive, but thrive in the workforce. (Laureate2008)”  This website give tutorials and shows examples of how the four C’s and three R’s can be implemented into the class and how to implement new technology.  My favorite piece was the “Mile Guide” which is used by schools or districts to assess where they are about skills PC21 has deemed necessary.  With each class I take, I become an advocate for it’s purpose.  My last class was “Linguistic diversity” and because of it, I was motivated and inspired.  I got a student a set of books for school in their native language to assist with their transitioning.  From this technology class, I plan on using the Route 21 info and bringing it to our school to grade our school and see if I can get some things implemented.

One thing that I am shocked about about this website was when I looked on the “state initiatives” tab…  Only 14 states are currently collaborating with PC21.  My state is not one of them unfortunately.  PC21 is willing towork with states, but the states have to  prove commitment from the governor and chief state school officer, and submits an application to P21 that describes the state’s plan to fuse the three Rs and four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation) within standards, assessments and professional development programs. (PC21, 2010)  Are only 14 states trying to do this now?  Is the need for changing our views toward education to better suit our future only being done in 14 states?  What are your views?

The place where students should have the greatest oppurtunity to use technology is unfortunately the most restricted place for usage.  After reviewing this website and a similar e-article, Americans Need to Know More About Technology, it is apparent that we must adapt our educational philosophy to not only include, but to strongly implement technology into our methodologies.    America is falling behind.  One reason is because of the neglect or false unerstanding…  Many schools are under the assumtion that since they have a computer class they are teaching technology (New Horizons 2002).  This is simply untrue.  The Partnership for 21st Century Skills site offers a comprehensive guide to implementing technology in schools, districts, and states.  For America to remain competitive in today’s global workforce, action has to be taken.    

References:

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2010). Our Mission. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=188&Itemid=110.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2008). Technology and Society[Motion Picture] In Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society. Baltimore: Publisher.

 New Horizons.org  january 2002 http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/technology/nae.htm

Where’s Neo?

March 17, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mmz5qYbKsvM

The movie Terminator or Matrix d0esn’t seem so sci-fi anymore!!!

Blogging around the classroom

March 11, 2010

Being a novice blogger.  I decided to ask my students if they knew what it is????  What it was about and such?  The majority of my students (about 95%) had no idea what I was talking about.  The other 5% had heard the word before, but no idea what it meant…  With this in mind, trying to implement “blogging” into my classroom would be at the ground level. 

I teach seventh grade life science.  The students are still developing verbal and written expression.  This is where I believe blogging would serve the best.  Weblogs are not built on static chunks of content.  Instead, they are comprised of reflections and conversations (Richardson 2009 p.17).  This is where I would use blogging in the classroom.  

Posting a question that is conducive to discussion.  For instance…  How can parents with blood types A and B end up with a child with Blood type O?  Is this even possible?  Please give more than just a yes or no….  Be sure to support your answer. 

The idea is to get them to discuss Punnet Squares, Hetero and Homozygous, dominant and recessive genes.  It is possible if both parents carry the recessive O allele.  There would be a 1 in 4 chance of having a child blood type O. 

We are currently discussing Darwin and evolution right now and being in the bible belt, it is very easy to get side tracked on this discussion.  A blog could be set up for the students to debate creation vs. evolution.  This may be difficult for seventh graders to do, but it would foster skills they may need in high school and definitely in college.  You need to come with supporting information!!!!  Richardson writes, blogs can promote critical and analytical thinking (Richardson, 2009 p. 20). 

Another possible way to use blogs in the classroom would be to use it as an introduction to units.  “We are going into body systems next week.  Post some questions that you have about the body or something you want answered by the end of the unit.  If you read a classmates post and you know the answer, please share with them your knowledge.” The intention is to get their brain moving toward the next content strand.  It also promotes collaboration and communication amongst peers.  Dr Thornburg mentions this being another benefit of new technologies in the video, “Technology and Society.”

These are some methods of using blogs in the classroom.  I know it is not using them to the fullest extent by any means.  There is little collaboration.  Blogging would be new to my current students and I feel I would have to keep it pretty basic at the beginning.  We could add or expand the dimensions of the blog as we progressed. 

Richardson, W. (2009). Blogs, wiks, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Hello world!

March 4, 2010

Hello world!!!!  I am feeling like a fish out of water, but am incredibly excited about the prospects of this new adventure.  I am pursuing my Master’s degree in Integrating Technology into the Classroom.  I will be adding, replacing, modifying pieces of this blog as I become more comfortable with “blogging.”  I want to share ideas with individuals regarding education and how we can make it better.  Esatblishing dialogue within our profession can open up many doors for each and every one of us.  I look forawrd to the many conversations.