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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Internet-Based Technology for Teaching

Today, I finished planning your online class. It's not the first time I have planned for this class.  It's likely not the last!  Everytime, it's hard!  It's hard on students too. Frankly, it's more work than going to class.  I am not sold on the idea that teachers will be totally replaced anytime soon BECAUSE this online learning requires SO much planning and SO much work.  I really admire teachers who do a whole undergraduate or graduate class without watching their students' faces and engaging in small group discussion, fishbowls, and last word protocols (wait for that one next week!)
HOWEVER, I am also pretty sure that we can not be effective teachers in the 21st Century without technology.

 I dream of having iPads for my students to use for individual reinformecemnt and reading. 



Wikis, webquests and Teacher Tube vidoes are the way we can engage our diverse learners. 

As one of my fellow SOLbloggers observed, we write so we can be better teachers of writing.  I am willing to risk making my ideas public JUST like I ask my students to do!
Frankly, without Google images, my ELLs would not know what we are talking and reading about.  Just the other day, we got to a section in Freckle Juice about the freckles all over the back of Nicky Lane's neck.  I have a few freckles, but not the kind that would evoke a neck full of freckles!  All it took was a quick Google search in images and we were all talking about the same thing! 
 


What role do you think technology will have in your classroom? Did you read, learn, or do anything this week that helped clarify your thinking? Let me know!

13 comments:

Kaitlyn Whipple said...

Technology will be integrated in all my lessons as long as it enhances and increases student motivation and interest. The advances in technology have allowed teachers the ability to meet the needs of all our diverse learners. I also wish, that all my students could have ipads as an interactive way to reinforce reading. Having at least one ipad can improve instruction in the classroom. In my classroom we used the ipad during a writing lesson on sentence expansion. On the ipad there is an app with a dice that has question words. In order to expand our writing students came up one at and time and shook the ipad to figure out what question word they needed to use to expand their sentences. This one app made such a difference and actively engaged all students during this lesson. I enjoyed this online class, because I was able to identify how easy it is to create a wiki. Yes, new technology can be scary but as teachers we need to try it because it can make such a world of a difference to our learners.

Victoria Serricchio said...

I have found technology to be one of the greatest resources that us as teachers can use. In an instant we can make the classroom real. It is engaging for all students and extremely beneficial for our ELL and special needs students. Websites like brainpop and Foss have amazing resources to help students understand the curriculum. Websites that promote literacy such as RAZ kids and starfall are great tools that students can independently use also. In addition to what our students can use, technology resources are great to also help teachers not "reinvent the wheel." There are numerous websites that have so many resources, lessons and even units that can help teachers in the planning process. It's amazing how far technology has come in the classroom and I simply cannot even imagine how much further it is going to expand throughout my teaching years to come.

Erinn said...

Technology is an absolutely integral component to 21st century education. As teachers in this time, we literally have to FIGHT for our student's attention and interest. We are competing against video games, television, electronic games and much more. The old "skill and drill" is certainly not going to work with our students. I hear many of the teachers who have been "teaching longer than I've been alive" saying "kids are more difficult these days! You can never keep their attention" but in my opinion, it's not the kids that are more difficult, it's just that the interests of children in today's society has changed. As teachers, we need to not only ACCEPT technology, but EMBRACE it. Our kids are not going to be engaged any other way....

As for the IPad debate....as if it is a debate at all! This little machine is the most incredible motivator I have ever seen or used. It would be FANTASTIC if all our kids could have an Ipad....the amount of Apps that can be downloaded to get kids reading, adding, multiplying and more is more than any teacher could even imagine. Since I don't anticipate getting a class set of 28 Ipads anytime soon, I'll stick with hooking mine to my Smartboard....they are just as amazed and motivated as if they had their very own right in front of them!

scalle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
scalle said...

Technology will have an extremely important role in my classroom. I was in a fifth grade placement last semester where they had 3 computers and a Smartboard that never worked. Now I am in a first grade classroom in the same school and the computers and Smartboard work! The students are always so excited to be able to use the computer, even when its to do math problems. They love when we show videos on the Smartboard where they can interact with it and learn in a more exciting way. I will definitely be using various types of technology in my classroom. It's a great tool to hook students by showing videos, as well as encourage students to make more connections and visualize by showing pictures or videos of content they are learning about. Reading the articles "March of the Penguins: Building Knowledge in a Kindergarten Classroom" and "The Atoms Family: Using Podcasts to Enhance the Development of Science Vocabulary" both really stood out to me because the use of technology in this classroom seemed to be so beneficial and exciting to the students. Reading them showed me that teachers not only should use technology but need to learn ways to use them effectively.

I don't think I learned as much having this class online. Personally, I learn better by being in a classroom setting where I can listen and participate in active discussions. Even though I can read and respond to my classmates posts on blackboard, I am much more likely to listen and respond to someone if we are in a classroom. I do think online discussions are beneficial, but I don't think they take the place of a classroom learning experience.

Anita Ferreri said...

I totally agree that we do not get the same kind of interaction online. I MISS YOU ALL BIG TIME after only one week away! It is really really hard for me to figure out the balance of online and in real time classes as universities and perhaps all higher education moves to MORE and MORE online time....it's important we atleast experience it!

Michele Chirico said...

Technology will certainly play an essential role in my classroom because its functions have proved to increase student motivation, engagement, participation, and collaboration. Every time I incorporate any form of technology into one of my lessons, such as a video clip from Teacher Tube, an interactive Venn diagram on the SMARTboard, or a story that is read to on the computer, students are always much more attentive and seem so much more excited than when technology is not used. I also agree that teacher will not be completely replaced by technology, especially in elementary school, because schools provide children with social development and skills that are necessary for growth. These skills should not be thrown away altogether just because there is so much technology out there. I think students still need to eat lunch together, have recess, participate in Art, Music, Physical Education, and other extra-curricular activities because these all foster social skills. However, schools must adapt to the students that belong to them. If today's elementary students are consumed by technology, then teachers must make use of technology in their classrooms to better educate their students. Teachers should use technology to present content to students in a much more meaningful, engaging, and motivating ways rather than relying on students to simply read textbooks which cover the content.

I definitely feel that I have worked harder in the online class because it required a lot of work, thoughtful responses, and figuring out the way to express myself through written words rather than spoken words. However, I also felt very engaged while working on this online course and enjoyed flipping back and forth to the PowerPoint, blogs, and wiki pages. Nevertheless, I still found myself printing out a hard copy of this class's readings because I still cannot get myself to read long articles on the computer screen. I have to read a hard copy and highlight key points.

Kim Smallhorne said...

Technology is a great investment in today's classroom. Not only does it provides an advance way to learning it most importantly captures the audiences’ attention (the student), and engages them in the process of their learning. The great thing about technology is that it can be used in all content areas. It allows students to participate in activities or assignments that they readily wouldn't be so quick to attempt such as reading a text to respond to questions, or even raising their hands to participate in class or group discussion. By implementing technology in the classrooms, students become a part of these things without even given thought to it as the same old class routine. I use technology in my classroom every chance I get with my students. I love the joy that it brings to their faces when they get to see the visual aspects to any content that I share with them. They are quick to ask questions and or even point out any new or reinforced information they had learned prior to the use of technology. Technology also helps to aid our instruction with our ELL’s and Special Needs learner. Not only does it allow them to participate in class, it also provides the necessary modification and or accommodation to their learning without singling out any individual learner.

Carmen Velazquez said...

What role do you think technology will have in your classroom? Did you read, learn, or do anything this week that helped clarify your thinking?
Technology if it hasn't already will play a pivatol role in educating or keepimg students engaged but those skills would of never been learned if the student weren't taught basic reading comprehension skills. Technoogy is about using critical thinking skills to navigate from one page to the other. To blog, or post a comment.
In other words if I were not taught how to think critically about a subject or book and process the information by knowing the beginning, middle and ending. Would I be able to read, understand and navigate through this website?
I agree with Dr. Ferreri, when she says that "teachers will not be replaced anytime soon. This is work, but it is also learning, and we are all engaged. You can take any subject, search on line for a game or interactive tool that relates to that lesson and the students are not restless, in fact they are more eager to learn.

Gina S. said...

Did you work harder? Did you learn as much? Pros and Cons?

To be completely honest, I am a bit bitter about online classes. Not because I don't love technology and the wonderful world of internet, but because they are simply stressful and I would much rather sit in class for 2 hours than drive myself crazy with online posts, readings, wikis and blogs (no offense Dr. Ferreri :) ). Honestly, I just feel like I learn so much more in the classroom, where I am engaged and present. I look forward to those 2 jam packed hours of learning each week, knowing that that is the only place I need to be and I am actually going to leave with new information and ideas. I think what stresses me out most about online classes is that I have to cram this extra "homework" onto my already piled high list of work to do. And as Dr. Ferreri has said herself, the online classes are a lot of work and take a lot of planning as they are meant to make up for 2 hours of missed class. Because of this, the work load is usually time consuming and involves a lot of different websites and technologies that I am not used to using everyday. It is also really important that everything is really clearly explained and the objectives and instructions are explicitly stated. When they are not, it can be overwhelming to the students who are not sure where to post or what to write. Right now I have about 15 windows open and Im flipping back and forth between them like a crazy person not sure which one I'm currently supposed to be looking at! I had a professor last semester who made about half of the classes online and I would just dread the online classes, wishing for the in person classes, because the workload was so intense and time consuming and in the end, I didn't feel like I was learning or enjoying as much as I did in person. While I do appreciate the beauty of internet interaction and its importance in teaching and providing resources to students, I also understand that online classes require a GREAT deal of planning, clarity, and organization.

KBrunetti said...

I have to agree with Gina here on this one, I am not a huge fan of "online classes". I prefer to be in person for those two jam packed hours of real face-to-face, interactive learning. Although I do think that incorporating technology into the classroom is an extremely important aspect of today's electronic world, I also think that we should physically be in the classroom. I find that with these online classes the discussion is not as in depth nor do I find myself as engaged as I would be if we were all together. Even though I do work hard in class, I find myself working a lot harder on assignments such as these because there are different assignments due on different websites. I do think that being exposed to new technologies such as the Wiki and Dr. Ferreri's blog is beneficial for us though. I am relatively new to the Wiki world nor have I ever used a blog before so I think that getting experience in these new areas is definitely a plus!

Anita Ferreri said...

I agree with part of what each of you has said. It is important to realize that ALL of you will likely take LOTS of online classes and workshops over the years. It is honestly now my comfort zone...but it is getting easier the more I do...thanks for trying to stretch your comfort zone. Next week, I will keep you awake in class!

EBrophy said...

To be honest, when I took my first on-line class, it was a bit stressful for me. However, the teacher was available my phone, email and aim in case anyone had a problem. This was somewhat comforting. It goes to show that learning something new can be stressful and confusing. However, with the appropriate support, students can practice and be more comfortable with technology as I have.
I think technology should be part of a classroom environment. It’s inevitable that students today are entering a more technologically advanced world now than ever before. To prepare them for this, I would certainly incorporate the use of computers, podcasts, and smartboards for example. This would not be to eliminate traditional methods but to enhance them as well as provide a muli-sensory approach.