Final Reflection

How can I fit all that I have learned into one small blog post?  It seems an impossible task.

I have spent the past year learning so many new things.  I will try to use my higher level thinking and rank them from least to most important things that I have learnt over the past year.

5. How to use an ipad and be comfortable using one. Confidence is key.

4.Ipad are not just for games.  They are tools of learning and for learning.  It was great to use them as cameras, video cameras, and tools to strengthen lessons.

3.How to be connected.  There are many ways to talk and share over the internet.  I now have many resources to go to if I need to ask, share or talk with someone about my idea or one I am looking for. Twitter is no longer a word that I roll my eyes to when I hear someone mention it.  It is now a place where I can  quickly jump on, check and connet myself to a world wide web of teacher and educators.

2.Apps – They are so many great apps.  The possibilities are endless.  How creative would you like to be?  Well, apps are great ways to support a lesson and allow the students to it to the next level.  Apps for games, creating, tools, recording, etc, etc.

1. Being open and willing to try new technology.  I have bought in.  Have you?  What is stopping you from getting on board?  This year are made me a better teacher by allowing me to grow in many different forms of technology.  If it wasn’t for the learning leader group, I think I would missed the boat and been stuck in the past.

Ideas that I have done:

  • Pictures to find geometry shapes around the school
  • Recording radio plays on evernote
  • Recording high five routines in gym and watching them later
  • Creating a movie clip on imovie as a teaser for other classes of our upcoming play
  • Taking pictures of PD session presentations that needed to written down
  • Assessaiblity of having an ipad with me to check emails, go online, get connected
  • Use twitter to ask for ideas, help or find answers to my questions
  • Use evernote to easily record ideas and be able to asscess them from all different places
  • Allow my students to explore apps to get them interested
  • Use ipads as mirrors when reading and practice presenting
  • Recording instructions of a big project for students missing that class
  • Recording a conversation, with permission, when I was not able to be there
  • Art ideas through apps
  • Classical music to play in the background when working
  • Music to play off youtube in gym class
  • Record student’s reflections and ideas as a parent center at our heritage lunch so parents can hear their ideas.
  • Take a picture and use it for Art

Flipped Classrooms

“Flip your instruction so that students watch and listen to your lectures… for homework, and then use your precious class-time for what previously, often, was done in homework: tackling difficult problems, working in groups, researching, collaborating, crafting and creating. Classrooms become laboratories or studios, and yet content delivery is preserved.” (http://www.connectedprincipals.com/archives/3367).

This reminds me of university.  When professors handed out reading assignments with a timeline and would just move through the material whether you read it or not.  I was responsible, enough, to do my readings.  I have some students who struggle to bring enough food in their lunch, never mind listen to a 20 minute video on Capacity.  I work hard to keep everyone’s attention during discussions, using cues to listen, proximity to refocus and strategies to maintain good classroom management.

Questions I have:

  • Who will be making sure the students are actually paying attention and are engaged in the video?
  • What ages are kids expect to do this at home?  Is this a high school or Jr. High or even elementary?
  • How can we expect or what time expectation should each student be doing at night?
  • How can we plan a lesson if students do not do their homework? Do they just fall behind?
  • What if the technology fails, dial up is still in use, or some kids do not have access to the computer for a long time?
  • How do families with many children share the computer when everyone needs to do their homework before the next day?
  • What will parents think of this?
  • What roles do teacher play? Can the teacher then become replaced?  Couldn’t we just buy a video?
  • Would classroom size change?
  • Are teachers ok with being viewed by parents and anyone with access to that USB stick or website?

There is a lot to think about.   Perhaps we could have a flipped teacher?

Flip your teaching so that students watch and listen to your lectures……from the comfort of your own home?  Lol ok a little sarcastic but the technology isn’t really that far off.  With Ipads we can use Apple T.V. to watch and write on students Ipads from a remote location.  Would a flipped classroom end up being a threat to teacher jobs? Even with the technology we have,we are not there….. Yet.

Are They Able to ‘Buy In’?

Who are they?
Exactly, who am I talking about?
As teachers, we hope and want our students to ‘buy into’ our class. We want them to get excited about something, sometimes, anything! I find that the students that struggle are the ones that have nothing invested. They fight doing what they are asked to do, approach work with a bad attitude, think negatively towards the whole idea of school, moan and groan when getting started, give up very easily, avoid using strategies that are new and ‘hard’, are scared and do not care to understand it, and find other ways to get around not using things we teach them to make life easier….
Couldn’t the same be said about technology?
Who are they?
Exactly, who am I talking about?
As teachers, we are surrounded with technology. Cameras, ELMOS, Smart Board, Laptops, Desktops, Ipad, NEOS, printers, etc. Teachers have become the ones that need to ‘buy into’ technology. We are the ones that are supposed to get excited about something, sometimes, anything around it! I find, as my schools learning leader, that SOME teachers are struggling to use it because of familiar reasons. They fight doing what they are asked to do, approach work with a bad attitude, think negatively towards the whole idea of technology, moan and groan when getting started, give up very easily, avoid using strategies that are new and ‘hard’, are scared and do not care to understand it, and find other ways to get around not using things we teach them to make life easier…..
Now there are teacher that are approaching it, using it and some are doing wonders with it. They are the ones that have something invested. It is helping, adding and making their classrooms a modern place to learn. Of course, we all have experienced the moment when something doesn’t work and frantically fiddle with buttons or wires as we announce ‘We are experiencing technical difficulties.’ I am going to stick with a positive approach.
As we move into the future, there will be even more technology that finds its home in our learning communities. I can only image how lost or confused I would be if I didn’t update my knowledge on the latest technology on a regular bases. Or how frustrated I would be if I wasn’t open to the idea of using it around the classroom. I guess it leads me to this. Whose responsibility is it to teach or learn these new programs or devices? When is this learning supposed to take place?

Finding the balance in Technology

When I am looking for a new idea for my class, I turn on my laptop , now my I pad, type in the key words and let Google do the leg work.  People tell me this in not how it used to be. lol

I use my laptop and I pad a lot these days.  I have embraced technology in my classroom.  We use Elmo’s, Smart Boards, I pads, and computers.  It’s great when you find a ready-made resource on Smart Exchange, quite frankly, its easy.  I use technology to talk to my parents through emails and newsletters I post online.  I find great videos to watch, articles to read, and images to support our learning throughout the day.

But a conversation has had me thinking.  How often do you walk by a classroom and see the kids working and the teacher at their desk on their computer?

 

It reminds me of how things are going with eating food.  When I grew up, it was a treat or special event if we went out to eat.  Now, it’s a treat or special event when we get a home cooked meal.  Well, for my family it is.

I am finding a balance using technology in my classroom.  I do not want it to be a treat that I am sitting interacting with my students.  I do not want it to be a special event that I am coming around listening to groups discuss issues.  I do not want to be that teacher that is always working on her laptop while missing the chance to interact with the kids. I need to find a balance.  I need to find that balance where technology is supporting my lesson, not the lesson itself.

But that’s just me.

Things they do not teach you at University

As the teaching years go by,
I stop to think and sometimes sigh.
They never mentioned any of this in class,
Now I come across these mentions so fast.

For they taught us about inclusion,
Assessment, ethics and diversity.
but they left some things out in my university.
I write about moments that stopped me in my tracks,
making me think they never mentioned this to me.
So I share these moments at a cost to you that’s free…

1) How to work the photocopier
Now you may laugh at this one at first,
But to a student teacher, this thing is cursed!
Im sure we have all received emails on it being jammed,
And we all place bets on who was the one that crammed!
We also talk about who used the ink,
Who used it all, who was the Stink?
It never fails that it runs out of paper for me,
Making me ask the question, refill it or just flee?
But my favorite is when you try to get things unstuck,
Following the pictures slowly makes me feel like a schmuck.
Then there is scanning your documents in,
Then asking for help as your patience wears thin.
For the copy is sideways and keeps saying error,
Then comes our secretary to ends it’s rein of terror!

2)The Christmas Concert
Oh, hears to the magical time of year,
When everyone gets the schedule of cheer.
Practicing songs, actions and standing position,
As kids sing old, new and funny renditions.
They do not tell you what it all takes,
To make it flow nicely without any mistakes.
Then comes making the costumes and painting the set,
Getting it to match for the juggling reindeer duet.
I have also learned to be lined up and not to be late,
The minute they call you or you sit behind grade 8!
The concert is fun to watch and lovely to hear,
But I never get to for in always in the rear.
And one more Thing I forgot to mention,
It was my own fault, a lull in comprehension.
Little did I think about the school parking lot,
Until I’d parked and the school was a tiny dot.

I just wish at some point university would tell you these things,
So when thrown in the rapids, we would at least have water wings.

To be continued……..