Thursday, May 12, 2011

Web 2.0

I have to admit, I was totally unaware as to the amount of technology that is readily available to society as a whole and classroom teachers, specifically. This assignment made me get out there and research things that could be of true use in my future classroom.

Honestly speaking, it kind of scares and energizes me at the same time. I'm not technically inclined at all so learning and implementing some of this new and foreign stuff is pretty intimidating to me. But I definitely see that that fact about myself needs to change. For that matter it needs to change now!

I know I will be dealing with students who are far more comfortable with today's technology than I am. I find comfort and dissatisfaction with that truth so I'm working on my skills. This assignment let me know that there are a lot of cool things out there waiting to be accessed. The only thing is, I have to put in the time and effort needed to actually do that.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

CyberSmart Curriculum Critiques (It really is smart)

In today's society with increasingly more emphasis being put on technology-- web interaction in particular-- it's important that we arm our students with the skills needed to navigate the internet. Along with those basic navigation skills though, we also need to teach our students proper internet ettiquette and security protocols. If we start teaching these things at a young age, we'll have less to worry about as these students get older.

CyberSmart ( is an excellent education resource for curriculum ideas and lesson plans complete with handouts on the main cyber issues that students need to be educated on. The lessons start at Kindergarten and go up to 12th grade. It's an excellent resource that any teacher who incorporates internet use into the school day should utilize.

While browsing through the CyberSmart site, I found two lessons that I really liked:

Go Places Safely
Whose Property Is This

The first lesson is geared toward k-1 grade students and the second is more for 2-3 grade students. It's great how well CyberSmart is able break down the basic issues that every internet user may encounter and make it understandable for even a kindergarten student. Both lessons are awesome with the first teaching students about safety and security and the second teaching about cyber ethics. The objectives are clear and concise and meet the NETS Standards. CyberSmart even goes further to include artifacts for the lessons they prepared. Each lesson plan is broken down by each teaching point, walking the teacher through the entire process and leaving no room for confusion. I will definitely be using CyberSmart lessons in my own future classroom and would recommend that any other teacher do the same.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wikis, Google Docs, and Social Networking, Oh My!!!!!

The focus in society is very much on staying connected with minimal effort. In EDUC5224, we explore this focus and how it will effect us as educators further than I really expected I would need to. I have to say, especially after this week's class, I am feeling a little overwhelmed with how many resources are out there and how connected I can be to my peers/colleagues and/or future students. I completely appreciate the usefullness of all this technology but I also find myself fighting with the Digital Imigrant inside of me. I'm pushing against my instincts to do things in the old way and I'm trying these new tools and techniques. Hopefully they'll soon begin to be instinctual to me as well. We'll see. Only time and continuous practice will tell.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Creativity...educated out of students?

The TED talk I looked at asked the question whether or not we’re killing creativity with how we educate our children today. This is something that I’ve always kind of been concerned about myself. As a person who was always moving and talking and doing something in my younger years to the point where my Grandmother constantly whispered “Whitney, SC (Self-control)” all day long, my Grandmother worked at my elementary school as a paraprofessional so she made sure I was in line literally all day long. She feared I was going to be labeled as ADD or ADHD)I feel for kids today. I sometimes wonder what I might have become if I was left to my own devices. Similarly, I do the same thing to my nephew and daughter today. I’m constantly trying to get them to conform to what is expected. Sit down here, stand there, etc. And they’re only 7 and 21 months old, respectively. It starts very young and then it continues in the school setting. It makes me want to set my classroom up differently from what I’ve experienced. But I’m thinking it’ll be tricky to keep the structure and still foster the creativity. But hopefully I’ll be able to learn some techniques to do that in this class and throughout my education at Roberts.