Thursday, July 10, 2014

Reflection


I choose to make a classroom website for my final project. I choose to do this for two reasons. First because I had never done this before and secondly because I feel it would be very useful for the families of the students within my classroom. Rather than make a website for the children of my classroom I choose to direct it toward their parents and families. The children within my classroom are only first graders, so I am not sure working independently at home on computers in something appropriate for their age level. So I tried to think of the best ways in which technology could be used as a resource for my classroom. I came across a lot of families feeling left out of their children`s learning due to language barriers. Whenever they have questions or conferences they usually bring a friend or family member with them to translate. This led me to think of creating this website. Allowing parents the opportunity to use other friends and family members as translators and resources more than just when they are face to face with myself or other educators working with their child. Whenever they are with someone that can help translate to them they can go on the website and have them read to them what is going on in their child`s classroom. Also if they have questions, concerns or comments they can have someone help them in getting their ideas across to me. I also think of the embarrassment some parents and families feel when face to face and struggling with their English, and I feel this website is a way to get rid of that uncomfortableness for some. In which they may talk about or ask some questions they may not have otherwise. Which is great because it will expand family involvement, and I am a big fan of collaboration between parents and teachers. I believe it plays a huge role on child success.

I think digital technology plays a huge role in academics today. Once again for me it was family use, but also getting parents engaged in computers they can also use this as a resource to help their children. There are lots of positive websites their children can use to help their language and mathematical skills. Children love to play games, and it is a so called way to “trick” them into practicing the skills they learned in school without necessarily knowing it. I definitely want to add these websites to my website so parents are aware of them, and they correlate to subjects we are teaching in class. Parents may even work alongside of their child and learn the language and tools together so in the long run they can assist children with their work.

I know working with ELLS in a title one area school limits the accessibility of my children and families. As discussed in my presentation I am not sure that computers, IPad etc. are accessible to my population, which sometimes places them at a disadvantage. Also I feel that technology can assist parents and families who struggle with the English Language. It provides an opportunity for a third party in which they trust to play a role in assisting. Which will positively impact parent engagement and child success. But on the other hand if that third party is not available, once again they are at a disadvantage. I think income and resources definitely plays a role in the success of a child within their academics. We have heard this a great deal within this class. Having had worked in both sides of my city in which are complete opposite as far as high and low income areas I believe I have got to see the unfairness first hand. I think we definitely need to keep working on closing the advantage gap between income level and resources. I know it is merely impossible but it is also so frustrating to see as a teacher.

Being one hundred percent honest I do not think I would have been able to do any of what we have discussed in class without having had presentations and learned about it. Most of the things talked about and discussed I didn’t even know existed. So I definitely at least got exposed to a lot of great ideas. Now knowing they exist I can see myself going in and further exploring these methods when I feel I will need them. I kept a list of all the great methods and websites presented for me to have as tools within the future of my career. Another thing I enjoyed was the fact that when it was demonstrated to me it wasn’t as scary as I often approach technology. I had an “ah ha” moment like hey I can do that. So this makes me very excited moving forward. Especially my website. I never thought I would be the teacher that had her own website, and I am eager to start my school year and present my website to my parents. Also to see what else I can do with it, and how well parents interact with it.

Rubric: Grade Ourselves

 
Score
Includes a narrative context about where this project came from, what you did and why it is important to you.
Excellent (9.5-10)
Explains how the use of digital technology enhances or changes this content/context
Great (8.75-9.25)
Draws from at least three of our courses themes, texts or issues.
Great (8.75-9.25)
Demonstrates something that you could not have done or conceptualized before this course.
Excellent (9.5-10)
Includes hyperlinks to at least five external resources.
Excellent (9.5-10)
Writing Style
Great (8.75-9.25)
Writing Skills
Great (8.75-9.25)

Final Project Links

My Weebly

My Powerpoint

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 8th

Wesch and Turkle

Both Turkle and Wesch believe that technology plays a huge role in todays society. However, some points in which they make made me believe that they do have some different views on the impact. Turkle feels very strongly in the fact that people are not having as much personal face to face communications anymore. People are more preoccupied being on their phones or other types of media devices than interacting with human connection. There have been so many times I am out to dinner and I see young kids holding Ipads or gaming systems, teenagers on their phones and their is no communication between the family. Have we really come to a world where we would rather interact with these types systems than each other. It is funny that this actually was a topic. As both my boyfriend and I used to look at our phones a lot, and then realized it and now as a result we leave our phones in the car when we go out to dinner. I think it become second nature, and this is why we might not even realize the role it plays. But have those conversations and interactions, and communicating with people outside of technology I feel is an important skill that need to be acquired.
Wesch however thinks technology plays a positive role in our society, and embraces the change. Explaining to us that technology provides us with so many forms of communication, and that this is a good thing. I can see this side as their are certain things technology offers in which can be beneficial. I always think of soldiers that are over sea and their families having the opportunity to see their face and talk to them even for a minute. This is something that without the development of technology would not be able to happen. So there are definitely both positives and negatives, and I can some both sides from Turkle and Wesch. I don't think I could decide definitely one way or the other who I agree with more, I am torn on this topic. I think technology and the way it is evolving can help us in many ways and be beneficial. However, some abuse it and when it becomes the only source of communication for some it takes a way social habits that are important in order to be able to communicate with others face to face. So I believe their is a time and a place for technology, and it should be used when not having the option to have people in front of you to discuss such situations as a whole.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pinterest

www.pinterest.com

Pinterest: is a visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests.

There are many different types of information you can look up on Pinterest I focused my discussion on how it can benefit us as teachers.

1. You must register to become a user.
2. Then you can search areas in which pertain to you in the search bar at the top of the screen.
(For example classroom d├ęcor, grade with subjects, holiday ideas and worksheets etc.)
  • If you like something you see within this category in the top left corner of the image there will be a red rectangle that says pin it. Click pin it. It will then say pick a board. You can then go down to create a new board and type in a title, I have this board stored as teaching on my account. From this point on you can pin all things you find to that board category. This is accessible to you at all times, and places everything you liked and choose to pin in one area for you to easily access.
  • You can access this (your boards) by clicking on your name in the top right hand corner. Then click my profile and pins. It will bring up all the different category boards in which you created, and when you click on that board all the ideas you had pinned will show up. This provides easy access to anything you had liked and pinned since you joined Pinterest.
Samples from my Pinterest Account:
 
3. Some pins provide pictures and examples, and some provide you with a link to the website in which certain materials and ideas can be found on. Either way all the information is within your pin, and accessible to you once you choose to pin it to your board.

Ease of Use: This may be because I have been using it for a very long time, but I think Pinterest is extremely easy to use. I talked about it in front of my family and they wanted to know how they could use it. So I actually recently taught my Nana to use it for ideas for decorating her house and recipe ideas. It is actually quite funny because sometimes I go over and she will show me something she did from Pinterest. And she does not really know technology that well, and uses it with no problems. I think once you know the point of it, and how it works it is very easy. Once you start playing around with it, you figure it out very easily.

Affordance Educationally:
  • Classroom decoration ideas
  • Classroom unit ideas
  • Grade appropriate lessons and lesson plans
  • Teacher tips
  • Holiday ideas
  • Worksheets

Chapter Reading

Examining Media Violence
By: Bakari Chavanu

I choose to read this article within our book because it is something that interest me a lot. I am seeing more and more violence in the media today than ever before. And it is hard to believe that this is not playing a role on our students thoughts and ideas on society. Within this article the author has students in her class watch a music videos from MTV and BET that play into portraying women as the damsel in distress. Prior to having her students watch the video she asked them a few questions. She had them circle ways in which they thought men and women were portrayed in music videos using adjectives. She also asked them to circle the adjectives they wanted to associated with themselves. Next she showed the video first once with music, then once without music. Then one male and one female student were placed together to discuss the video they had just watched. This allowed both to hear the different views and see things differently from a different gender perspectives. Another lesson in which she had with her class was on media violence, and how the media never really displays situations in which things are worked out without violence. A student in her class even shared "that would be boring". This statement even further proved her point explaining that violence and provocative shows are what entertains our society. It definitely affects the ways in which students look at themselves and others, and gives them a false view on what is appropriate behavior within society. Critical media literacy states that people make different choice and engage in different behavior when provided with different information. I think this a constant struggle that seems to be only getting worse. I notice it even with my younger kids that they know way more than they should at their age. Especially when it comes to guns and violence.



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July 1st

I grew up watching Disney movies every chance I could get. I remember watching them with my grandmother who said they were classics. The classic Disney movies are the ones I relate to more than anything. I loved the princess movies the best. I loved the story line and the way they put it together with the animation. I went to Disney so many times as a child, and I loved everything about it. Being there with my family, seeing all the characters, parades and rides. These are still some of the best memories for me. I do think I felt a magically role where I wanted to be a princess. However, I am not sure I always wanted to have my prince come sweep me away. That part I really cant remember. I do however feel that many children think they have to look a certain way in order to be considered pretty, or get their prince charming. And a lot of this does step from the types of Media in which they are exposed to. Disney too portray the poor as ugly, and rich as pretty and other such stereotypes that can lead to children to have the wrong impression. These are some things Christensen`s points out. Most of these movies have characters playing racial and stereotypical roles which we are trying to teach our children to not have. Prior to this class I never would have looked at Disney movies this way - I love Disney! I do feel however that Disney movies have changed over the years. Some of the movies I see today have more depth and portray different meanings. I for one am a fan of the classics over the Disney movies coming out today. Maybe this is because this is the time I was brought up in. And maybe this is a sense is the direction in which we need to be moving. I watched Brave for the first time, and it is definitely a different type of princess movie. Merida is very independent, and doesn't need a prince charming to come save the day. She isn't necessarily the example of the typical "pretty" princess in which is seen in most other Disney movies. This movie relates to me because I have always done sports and karate growing up, and I always used to be embarrassed to tell people when I was younger. I wondered if people would not think I was girly or pretty because I did karate and that's a boy sport. This movie goes against the typical stereotypes we are used to seeing within most Disney movies. I would be curious to know if this movie is as like as others within this generation?

 
 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 30th

Boyd: Within this reading Boyd brings up the question if there is actually a such thing as a digital native? Just because someone is born in a specific generation does not necessarily mean they are a digital native. There are many different things that tie into this. Whether or not children can afford it is a big thing I see within the area I teach. Most of my students do not have computers and internet readily available to them. Also the ways in which they consider themselves to be digital natives is not necessarily the ways in which we want them to be able to use these resources. Such concepts like knowing where and how to research information, and how to write documents. Most of their knowledge may be in the social aspects of technology. I had computers and technology available to me growing up, however sometimes I need to be taught things about technology that I simply do not know.

Wesche: Within this short video he expresses how much technology is constantly changing. I could not agree more with this statement. There is always a new device available, and something quicker and faster. It makes it hard for society to catch up, especially those who are not necessarily considered digital natives. I can totally see myself when I have kids having to have them teach me things on the computer, or having devices I have never heard of or used before. Another question to ask yourself is what is the main purpose of these technological advances? Are people using it as a way to communicate with one another more so than a way to gather information. There are so many social media sites out there that a majority of people spend their time on.

Prensky: Prensky talks about the comparison of digital natives verses digital immigrants, Explaining that digital natives are much better at multitasking. There isn't necessarily a rhyme or reason, or a specific order in which they do things. They do not make list and can do many different things at one time. This group relies on technology and I am not sure would no necessarily know how to function without it. I am definitely not a digital native and have trouble trusting technology. I only really use it for school and work purposes and when I do I always am nervous something is not going to be saved or sent properly.