Blog/Reflection Week 11 What specific policies will help your district prepare students for current and emerging technology use? How can you help lead your district in creating these policies?

Considering, that I am a small private school and have recently added grades 4-6 to my enrollment, I really wouldn’t think I needed to create more policy about technology, however to my surprise with the older kids brought their own phones and I-pads.

Specific problems that I found was our band width slows down dramatically when students can have them in the classroom.  I was allowing use in the morning before class-time started but I found the students not visiting amongst one another but entranced by their phones along with my assistant wondering why her computer was so slow.  I feel that I need to create policy that phones are to be checked in to the office before class-time and then when I want to teach them something specific that has to do with school such as looking up vocabulary or research, I need to be website specific in where I want them to go.  I want them to have some freedom so I provide 3 or 4 web sites to check out.  The policy would also include no social media unless approved or they lose the privilege for the day.  I do know their are some really good stories and teaching tools on both You-Tube and Facebook however, I think if the rules aren’t specific enough there ends up being too much wasted time, goodness knows adults do it.

Cyber bullying scares me a lot too for our students.  I have seen some pretty scary bullying on Twitter and Snapchat.  Students now can screenshot anything and share it to their friends ending up in some very scary scenarios including suicide.  So not sure I agree with the article (tech decisions) about opening up social media unless the teacher found something educational to share.  The article suggested that most of the bullying is hidden and that by opening it up it would provide opportunities for supervision and questions for a more healthy social media experience.  Possibly, but I still feel there would be too much wasted time.

Bottom line, I think technology needs to be in our classrooms without a doubt but there has to be policies in place and for sure careful monitoring.

Works Cited

American Enterprise Institute. (2013). E-Rate, education technology, and school reform. Retrieved from: https://www.aei.org/publication/e-rate-education-technology-and-school-reform/

Winske, C. (2014). Tips for Creating Technology Policies for K-12. Retrieved from: https://techdecisions.co/compliance/creating-an-acceptable-use-policy-for-mobile-learning-initiatives/

 

Advertisements

Week Ten/Blog/Reflection What How are electronics viable additions to “crafting” for today’s young person?

In reading the article about “Ten Fabulous and Fashionable Wearable Projects from Becky Stern” I thought what a great idea for an elective class.  I have so many students that have taken my fashion and cosmetology course in the Fall for credit, why not peak some extra interest in introducing fashionable things you can add to your wardrobe, purse, etc. to the learning.  I feel really passionate about students that may have something they are passionate about and actually really excel at but may not want to go to a four year college but may want to practice  some sort of trade.  The trade may look like the creation of this type of electronic.  I loved the idea of the practicality of a devise that would light up a person’s purse and the option of creating edgy other items such as the punk items (reference)in the article.  The other piece that was practical was the creation of a GPS for you or even better you pet.  My mind got racing wondering if there were directions for these types of electronics and could we as educators use them for a beginning Makers Space…then as students began to explore create their own instructions for a devise of their own making. I thought it would be exciting and possibly a building  could building block for furthering their experience with technology.

Works Cited

Adafruit. (n.d.) FLORA – Wearable electronic platform: Arduino-compatible – V3. Retrieved from: https://www.adafruit.com/product/659

Terranova, A. (2014). 10 Fabulous and Fashionable Wearable Projects from Becky Stern. Retrieved from: http://makezine.com/2014/07/15/10-fabulous-and-fashionable-wearable-projects-from-becky-stern/

Week Nine: Does Every School Need a “BYOD” Policy?

BYOD, With the addition of grades fourth through sixth in my school, we have definitely had to address the elephant in the room.  Generally, my policy has been to leave student phones in the office until after school.  However, my school is private and does not have enough computers or tablets for everyone.  In subjects such as English, I have my student look up vocabulary words, define them and then work in groups to create sentences that they will present to the class.  This is a perfect opportunity for them to utilize their phones by directing them to a site to help them with the task.  Another way I let the kids use their phones is to do research.  Generally, I monitor this by giving them three or four sites to do their research.  If they misuse their devices by straying away of the site and getting on social media, they have to put their phone away and wait for a computer.  So far, my students have been pretty responsible.  We have had troubles with viruses on the computers, therefore these must be monitored more frequently when the students are working.

Another issue is the bandwidth.  I know that students haven’t; turned in their phones when my assistant lets me know that her computer is slow.  The thing about our school is that it also houses music lessons and private tutoring as well so there are parents waiting for their students and are on our wifi.

My personal feeling with this issue or this opportunity is that it is our responsibility to teach responsible technology practices and frankly these devices will be with them throughout college and their career, we all have to admit we use our devices on a regular basis, to look up things, emails, correspond with parents.  Further, we know technology helps students be engaged.  I really think this could be a mini-class. (20 minutes/two times per week) where we as educators foster our students awareness in how they should be used in school.

Works Cited

Teach Thought. (2013). 4 Challenges That Can Cripple Your School’s BYOD Program. Retrieved from: http://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/technology/4-challenges-can-cripple-schools-byod-program/

Heick, T. (2012). The Brutal Authenticity of BYOD. Retrieved from: http://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/byod-is-shortest-path-to-student-centered-learning/

Holeywell, R. (2013). BYOD Policies, Growing More Popular, Create Challenges for Schools. Retrieved from: http://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/byod-is-shortest-path-to-student-centered-learning/

Week 8 Blog and Reflection. What game have you seen that could helpstudents learn, and how might it be used?

In the blog provided I felt it was very important that she defined her goals.  (see reference)  I feel that it is more difficult for teachers that are still very young:) meaning I am 49 and have never played mind craft, to understand the inter-generational gap with certain technology.  Personally, I was very excited to sit with a young learner and discuss why Mind-Craft was important to their learning.  I also liked that her blog she discussed differentiation and creativity, which sometimes I get into my stereotyped mind that their is no creativity in gaming programs.  Then she also goes into collaboration and communication which is a key component in learning,.. with staff and students.  Further, she discusses  student achievement and engagement.  I felt that her platform of having graduate students play a part in the design of the experience was key, because if you just play and don’t understand the behind the scenes happenings, you may not have a deepened understanding of the program.

Her concluding facts were exciting as she stated that 100% of the students were found to be highly engaged.  Isn’t that our goal.  It seems to foster creativity, immersive work and classroom collaboration.  Boom!

Works Cited

Lowry, L. (2015). Simply engaging and utterly consuming: #Givercraft 2014. Retrieved from: https://mvlri.org/blog/simply-engaging-and-utterly-consuming-givercraft-2014/

Minecraftopia. (n.d.) How to play minecraft. Retrieved from: http://www.minecraftopia.com/how_to_play_minecraft

Week 7 Blog/Reflection How can 3D printing change the way we think about education?? 6/23/17

In reading the first article entitled, “How 3-D printing will radically change the world.” the whole concept seemed a little scary.  Generating food, body parts, buildings…I can’t even really get my head around it.  Then the article mentioned ethical things or law-breaking ideas such as generating guns then could get pass security.  With all that being said, the benefits in education seem a little more feasible for me to wrap my head around.

Benefits to education include being able to capture the interest of your students.  I feel that any time information is more visually appealing student interest is heightened and engagement happens for a longer period of time.

Secondly students can become more interactive with hands on generated classroom material.  For example printing muscle groups, skeletons, frogs to dissect etc.  and then having the students see this in 3 dimensional form instead of just the text has got to intrigue students.  I think in biology it would be amazing.  The article also mentioned the potential in art classes.  With that being said, concepts that would normally be written on the board can now be explained through models that the student can actually touch and investigate.

I think that it is truly remarkable, the very concept of 3-D printing, I do think that the possibilities in education could be endless.  I think that Districts will have to be careful of safety risks for students that may use them without enough guidance.  I also get fearful of the cost of the machine, training of teachers etc. with this being more of a new technology, I may hold onto my hat before jumping in full force.  (Well, if I could afford it:)

Works Cited

Federico-O’Murchu, L. (2014). How 3-D printing will radically change the world. Retrieved from: http://www.cnbc.com/2014/05/09/will-3-d-technology-radically-change-the-world.html

Leapfrog. (2017). 3D Printing for Schools, Universities, and Education. Retrieved from: https://www.lpfrg.com/en/professionals/education/

 

Reflection/Blog Week 6 What are the compelling arguments both for and against computer coding in schools.?

I think that when students are able to create, their ability to participate with higher level thinking is increased.   Coding allows students to not only simply interact with devices but it allows them to learn how to control them.  When I talk about higher level thinking, I have to include problem solving  and logical thinking, huge qualities companies now are seeking.  With that being said, that is one of the big arguments for learning to code.  Studies say that it gives students the opportunity to acquire vocational skills that are immediately relevant to today’s jobs.  Another argument for is that it gives students new avenues for creativity and it increases student engagement.

One argument against coding is that maybe before making it a mandatory subject we should take a closer look at what we are giving our students with the regular subject such as reading, writing and math.  How are our students performing there.  The  balance could be having it not be mandatory but an extra elective course.

Another argument that contradicts the opening paragraph is that although some argue coding’s ability to promote higher order thinking and problem solving others argue that coding courses do not have a monopoly on theses skills and in fact such skills should be embedded throughout an entire curriculum, not the focus of a single school subject.

Personally, I like the idea of giving students the opportunity to try coding at a young age, and then later in middle school and high school offer elective classes for those with a passion for it. After all, we want our student to pursue their personal curiosities.

Works Cited

Davis, V. (2016). 15+ ways of teaching every student to code (even without a computer). Retrieved from: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/15-ways-teaching-students-coding-vicki-davis

Sehringer, G. (n/a). Should we really try to teach everyone to code? Retrieved from: https://www.wired.com/insights/2015/02/should-we-really-try-to-teach-everyone-to-code/

Trucano, M. (2014). Should all students learn how to code? Pros and cons. Retrieved from: http://www.wise-qatar.org/coding-cognitive-abilities-michael-trucano

 

Week 5 Blog/Reflection Essential Question: Design an object that could be classified as belonging to “The Internet of Things” and describe how it could contribute to your classroom.

Hmm, I would really love to create a Lego Program that had the manipulatives  and a computer piece that helped with problem solving.  The problem could be a clue and directions, a riddle of sort that the student had to solve before they began creating their project.  It would also be really cool if the student had to take a short survey of interest and then the computer program would generate a project that the student would have higher engagement with because it was of their interest.  I am so drawn to a Constructivist/Inquiry learning approach, where students learning is based off their interests.  Another possible approach under the Constructivist Theory would be to have the students work in groups to solve the problem, I wonder if the students all took to student interest survey mentioned above, if the computer could generate a surprise project that they all would like.

The other thing I would love to create, would be a solar computer charger.  I know they have them for I-Pads but I get so sick of having enough plug ins or students taking chargers into other classrooms.  Plus, I think students would be curious and might want to dig into exactly how it could possibly get the energy it takes to charge the computers.  Again, Inquiry learning.  Love it.

Works Cited

Kobie, N. (2015). What is the internet of things? Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/06/what-is-the-internet-of-things-google

Lagorio-Chafkin, C. (2015). The internet of things is coming for your baby. Retrieved from: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/03/12/Internet-Things-Coming-Your-Baby

N/A. (2017). The top 22 tech gadgets teachers really want for their classroom. Retrieved from: https://www.teacherlists.com/blog/the-top-22-tech-gadgets-teachers-really-want-for-their-classrooms/

Poh, M. (2017). 8 technologies that will shape future classrooms. Retrieved from: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/future-classroom-technologies/

Week One: 5/22/17 Blog and Reflection. How do we define Emerging Technologies?

Emerging technologies is defined the the Veletsianos article as tools, innovations,and advancements utilized in diverse educational settings (including distance, face-to-face, and hybrid forms of education)to serve varied education-releated purposes (e.g., instructional, social, and organizational goals).

I feel that as teaching models evolve around more student-centric learning ET will continue to evolve.   Teaching models are starting to focus more on placing the learner at the center, focus on interaction, group work, and developing solutions to real problems.  These models have shown to improve student engagement and achievement.  Furthermore, models want students to excel in critical thinking, and self-directed learning.   Focus is also on student creation and not just a consumer of content placed in front of them.  All of the above ideas promote a classroom that utilizes emerging technology.   I have to tell the truth sometimes it seems to be moving to fast for me to catch up.  Classrooms are equipped with Chrome-books and students don’t even have to learn cursive.  Yes, this dates me, at the ripe ole age of 49, frankly I need training and money being the owner of a for-profit private school.  With only forty students, I have managed to equip our school with ten computers, a smart board and eight tablets.  I encourage my students to do research on the resources our school has, but along with that I like to train them to use their own devices and encourage BYOD (bring your own device) when I allow them to get them out to be used for the current purpose in our classroom.

With this push, I know as educators we are to act as guides and mentors for students to direct their own learning.  As mentioned in past blogs, this is a practice for me that may take a while, I find the tough part about emerging tech and student-led learning is the accountability and safe monitoring the content.

Works Cited

Veletsianos, G. (2016) A definition of emerging technologies for education. Retrieved from: http://www.veletsianos.com/2008/11/18/a-definition-of-emerging-technologies-for-education/

 

Week 4 (6/2/17) : Blog/Reflection What is the pedagogy behind a Maker Space? What are the benefits of this pedagogy to students?

The definition of Makerspace is a physical location where people gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build.  In the Makers world there is focus on the student being in the center of the invention, ingenuity and creativity.  This program promotes conditions for invention and not ready made knowledge.  I felt that a great point was made in the Scholastic article about reminding the parents or adults to not just celebrate the technology but to really think about what the student’s overall project could be and become.  I also felt that the mind set of school is boring and school is destroying my child may be a bit extreme.  I always go back to the balance of direct instruction with the creative problem solving and pioneering spirit.  I have seen the pendulum swing far right and far left and feel comfortable in my own pedagogy being somewhere in the middle.  I need to know my kids can multiply, spell, write and read successfully.  The article did mention that educators should honor and nurture many forms of expression.  I fully agree, I love the idea of not one size fits all teaching.  After teaching a unit of study having students create a paper, a video, a dance, even a robot to show their learning in their way.

I do feel that this pedagogy can enhances a vocational path of a student.  I would like to hear more about how the cost of all the supplies is provided….micro-controllers, conductive ink pens, and more.  The article does assure that you can use re-used items and the materials do not have to be expensive, just so the kids have materials to create and make.    The suggestion from Piaget in the Scholastic article stated that it is not the role of the teacher to correct a child from the outside but to create conditions in which the student corrects himself.  Whenever we as educators are about to intervene on behalf of a teachable moment, pause and ask yourself, “Is there a way I can shift more agency to the learner?”  This concept is something I am continuously working on…I have a hard time letting them muck around in their learning for a while.  I have to ask myself regularly, “How will they learn if you keep holding their hand and give them the answer?”

Finally, I thought it was enlightening that colleges are recognizing the value of Makers.  University of Mary Washington gives options such as ThinkLab and and at Stanford there is the FabLab.  This pedagogy lends itself to future inventive thinking and I am sure that is valuable for colleges.

Works Cited

N/A. (2013). 7 Things You Should Know About Makerspaces. Retrieved from: https://library.educause.edu/resources/2013/4/7-things-you-should-know-about-makerspaces

Stager, G. (2014). What’s the Maker Movement and Why Should I Care?  Retrieved from: http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3758336

 

Week 3 Which Emerging pedagogy appeals most to you, what might be most useful for your classroom and students? Why?

I love the idea of the flipped classroom for a couple of reasons.  When I first opened my business, I did it with the idea of not being a classic Brick Mortar School but to offer tutoring services to home-school, public school and college students, then we started music and accredited courses.  This was five years ago, so there was still the opportunity to service schools that fell beneath where they needed to be and were called title one schools.  These schools qualified for Supplemental Ed monies and students that attended if they were in town could attend tutoring sessions here at The Study through Federal Monies, however there were so many schools that were in the bush that qualified but obviously couldn’t be here physically.  That is when I started looking into providing courses for those that couldn’t attend but could watch and participate through the use of technology.

The definition of the Flipped Classroom is when direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.

I love that there are so many options with this type of learning opportunity.  It really focuses on what type of learner the student is. Some students will be more engaged watching a lecture, reading a chapter or writing about what he/or she is learning.  Here learning can be completely customized contrasted to the one size fits all model.  Now, I know with differentiated instruction, classrooms are really working on creating this type of learning in the traditional setting and a lot of good stuff is happening so I see benefits of both.  I also like that it is less teacher talk, which creates time for student engagement.  Furthermore, I feel if there is consistent  accountability with all learning models students will succeed.

The school I have now in Soldotna is a one room school house.  It houses grade pre-k through six.  Like the flipped classroom, students can move fluidly within the grades.  If they are not ready to move on to fourth grade material, we monitor for some degree of mastery and then when they are ready move them on, likewise if they are in third and have mastered the content they are free to move onto the next grade’s content.  Finally, I love how students can move at their own pace, can get more personalized instruction from the teacher and I like the fact that I could use this model in my own classroom freeing up time for me to be more of a facilitator of learning.

Works Cited

Bock, M. & O’Dea, V. (2013). Virtual educators critique value of MOOCs for k-12. Retrieved from: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/02/06/20moocs.h32.html

N/A. (2017). The Teacher’s Guide to Flipped Classrooms. Retrieved from: http://www.edudemic.com/guides/flipped-classrooms-guide/