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Student Standards Response : Fears, Excitements, and Outlook

Andrew Bowen

10-4-12

Technology (SWU)

NETS-S: Student Standards

            I will improve my use of technology to enhance learning in my classroom in several ways. I have learned so many ways to assess students’ knowledge, create teachable moments, and allow students to safely surf the web for educational related content. I have learned many professional things for me as a teacher to do as well. With keeping up with my twitter, I will be able to read many great articles that other education professionals have promoted or wrote. This way I will learn more and more exciting ways to incorporate technology inside of my classroom.

My fear from the beginning is the budgetary status of schools and how it affects the resources in each classroom. When we limit the technology in our schools, we limit learning. Not saying that learning doesn’t take place, but rather we are missing out on promising technology that has been proven to stretch a child’s mind and imagination and bring practicality inside and outside of the classroom. . When we limit our technology, not only do we limit learning, but also the teachers. We must abandon the idea of saving every penny in our schools and go all in for education in America. How many more un-satisfactory years of public education must we examine to understand the basis of our problems? Schools must provide resources and materials to create technology rich classrooms and extend learning through our students’ minds. Now is the time to rise up and make a difference, one school at a time.

My excitement is very promising in the field of technology. I have learned many new and promising things to incorporate into the classroom. I love the new websites and programs that I fell confident using and showing my kids how to use. The digital age is upon us and I must make sure my students know how to respect other’s intellectual work and use the Internet appropriately. I feel excited every week when I write lesson plans because I am trying to find digital resources and projects for my kids to explore rather than me teaching the content in a boring way, we are exploring together.

My outlook is optimistic for technology use inside of the classroom. I feel like technology is an important area in which many people overlook and underestimate. I look forward to what new technology will be created for education resources and cannot wait to try such resources in my classroom. I have seen the value of technology and the impact it can have in a classroom and I will never overlook technology ever again. I will properly use technology when the situation deems itself necessary and I will use it right, appropriately, and for the benefit of my students’ and their learning.

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NETS-T Standard 5

Andrew Bowen

9-27-12

Technology (SWU)

NETS-T Standard 5

NETS-T Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources

Teachers:

  1. Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning
  2. Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others
  3. Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning
  4. Contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community

Main Requirements

The main requirement of NETS-T Standard 5 is that teachers endorse the effective use of digital tools and resources. Teachers can do this by partaking in communities, exhibiting leadership, evaluating current research, and contributing to the profession of teaching. Teachers must show that learning is a life-long process especially when it comes to technology. Teachers need to explore different and creative ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. When they find new and creative ways, teachers should share with other teachers. The reason for sharing is because it is for their students and for student learning and success in the classroom. Teachers must always evaluate current technology that they are using or about to use inside the classroom to be sure the purpose is on task for the students. Teachers shouldn’t just use technology for the sake of saying they use technology, there must be a purpose for their students. Finally, teachers need to promote the use of technology by helping other teachers and promoting technological work they have found effective and allow others to reap such benefits as other teachers have.

Self-Evaluation

My self-evaluation of NETS-T Standard 5 revolves around me showing/modeling myself as a life-long learner. I believe everyone is a life-long learner whether they admit it or not. I always allow my students to teach me material for them to see that I like to learn as well. For my students to see that I enjoy learning, maybe they can incorporate this characteristic and use it for their benefit.  I also like to stay on top of different technological experiences when related to the classroom as well. Collaboration is very important to me as well. I like to share and listen to others share their success stories as well. The most important fact however when dealing with this standard, is for me to model learning as a life-long process and the benefits of it to unleash one’s capabilities for the present and the future.

Strengths:

My strengths include my knowledge on how to use digital tools and my knowledge of resourced to use. I love looking for new and creative ways so I believe that pursuit is a strength of which I will never settle. Another strength is that collaboration is very important to me. I love telling and listening to other teachers and hear their success stories and share my success stories of how effective technology is inside of the classroom and the ways my students benefit from it.

Weaknesses:   

My weakness in this standard is the quantitative outlook of technology in my classroom. I don’t have an abundance of technology, and because of it I sometimes feel like I am not incorporating it enough. That, however, is no excuse and I will continue to try my very best when incorporating effective technological uses inside of my classroom. Also, I wish I could talk/share my viewpoints on a global perspective with other teachers around the world and not just inside of the United States. I will try to move past this weakness and make it a strength in the upcoming weeks.

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Review of Elementary from Worms to Wall Street Video

Andrew Bowen

9-27-12

 

Review of: Elementary from Worms to Wall Street

http://www.bie.org/videos/video/elementary_projects_from_worms_to_wall_street

By: Ken Ellis

Summary

The video called, “ Elementary Projects from Worms to Wall Street”, was an awesome video. The video depicted students and teachers from Newsome Park Elementary School. The teachers in the video talked about how important project-based learning was to their school and students. During the video, the students were seen engaged in a project or real life experience. In the beginning, students were examining worms and the types and characteristics of them. They were experiencing them hands on which allowing students to physically make connections to what they though and what worms really are. The video also explained of real life activities/projects students have begun in the school. Students begin a real life business called, “Flower Power”, and sold flowers for some money. They even sold shares of their business because they were talking about the stock market. The video talked about how students had many questions and they knew the teacher always didn’t have the answers so they always asked for someone who did. These authentic experiences, like bringing an expert in or going on a field trip, are so important and will allow students to never forget what they learned/experienced.

Personal Reflection

This video was an awesome way to see project-based learning in a classroom and school. I loved all of the different activities/projects that the students did. I even saw first graders creating a PowerPoint about Cystic Fibrosis! Students must be allowed to experience Project-based learning in the classroom. This will only help them as a student experience content and actually live the content. I also saw many resources being used. My only caution to this is that some schools just don’t have the resources like this school did. It all comes down to the money is the answer to so many things when dealing with districts and schools. Until we move past this idea and allow the students to take priority over budgetary issues, true learning will never take place. It is sad but is the world we live in. My classroom doesn’t have multiple laptops and I just cannot go to the computer lab whenever I need to. I know this is no excuse, but it does hinder me.  However that being said, I will try to incorporate project-based learning activities as much as possible in my classroom. I will allow my students to live the content instead of just taking notes about the subject. Project-based learning is a tool which I will look to for future activities that will unleash my students’ full capabilities and allow them to use real world life skills.

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Review of Project Based Learning Video

Andrew Bowen

9-27-12

Review of: Project Based Learning Video

http://www.commoncraft.com/video/project-based-learning

By: Common Craft

Summary

The video called, “ Project Based Learning”, was a great refresher on the purpose of education. The purpose of education must not be to pass a test but to prepare the student for a career or college. I can do that through project-based learning. Instead of teaching students content by allowing them to take notes and listen to lectures, I should make learning more active and social by presenting a question and allowing my students to work a project and learn the content through the project. This way, my students will retain the knowledge based on them using it, while not forgetting it because I taught them it through lecture. Also, the students are collaborating with each other through the project based learning project. In a career, they are not just going to sit down and listen to their boss every second of every day. Therefore in school, we must adhere to that principle and allow students to be career oriented learn content through project based activities. This will allow the student to retain information and practice life skills which are important for them in the present as well as the future.

Personal Reflection

This video was a great way for me to revamp my teaching style. Sometimes I look at all I have to teach and feel overwhelmed by the content and making sure I get all of it in. I know to rethink my lessons and incorporating project-based activities. I will do this because I know that my students will benefit from this more than me just giving them content. I have already incorporated this in my classroom by giving my students the task of creating a weather chart depicting change of temperature and change of wind speed for the places of Barrow, Alaska and Campobello, Sc. This way, the students are experiencing it hands on rather than myself just telling it to them. Also, this is what meteorologists do when they analyze and predict weather for the future. I love the idea of project-based learning and will try to incorporate it into my classroom as much as I can throughout the year. The ramifications of project-based learning are meaningful and limitless. I must begin to allow my students to act as if school is their occupation instead of their necessity. As they begin to use life skills such as collaboration and critical thinking, my students will only help their future occupation step by step. It can start so early on, so why not take advantage of it and unleash our students’ full capabilities?

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Review of Teaching in the 21st Century Video

Andrew Bowen

9-20-12

Review of – Teaching In The 21st Century

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTIBDR4Dn2g&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_992282

By: Kevin Roberts for the ASB Unplugged Conference 2010

Summary

The video called “Teaching In The 21st Century” was an awesome video. It was filmed from an original prezi presentation. The video explained many strategies that teachers use when teaching in the 21st century. The beginning of the video described how teaching in the 21st century is not just giving facts because children and young adults can get facts from almost anywhere. If we are just giving facts, then we are obsolete as teachers. The video also points out that teachers should show their students how to use technology tools like Google to better help themselves for example like synthesizing information. It is the teacher’s role to be the filter and show students how to so the students can experience it themselves. Creation is a big part in which today’s teachers aren’t enforcing enough of. Creation is the final step of Bloom’s taxonomy and must be used in the classroom. It talks about how every lesson the teacher teaches must be relevant and engaging for the students. The video tells us that we should be engaging and not just provide entertainment for our students. Teaching in the 21st century must be for the benefit of the students and must leave an impact on the students on a daily basis to better prepare them for life and not just a test.

Personal Reflection

This video was a neat way to see some tips and ways to improve my teaching in the 21st century. Although tests are important, I need to make my lessons relevant and practical in a way that the student feels engaged and motivated. I need to provide meaningful content that enhances and maximizes student knowledge and extend it by allowing students to create something based on it. Students learn best when engaged on a topic and not stressing about a grade. Technology can be used, but it is the teacher’s responsibility to inform the students on proper ways to use it. The teacher must filter any information the child receives in a way that the student benefits the most. I liked the tips at the end when it said to start small and take a risk. I feel as a first year teacher, I play t too safe so I don’t raise any eyebrows. What if I enhanced learning in a way that could change my school to better benefit my students? I believe the attitude of the teacher plays a role in how the teacher plans and carries out lessons. I will do my best to create engaging lessons that ultimately benefit the student and not just prepare for a test but have lasting impact through practical situations. I believe not only high school kids can benefit from this philosophy, but also elementary kids. I believe I can incorporate many of the principles of this video into my philosophy and classroom to impact learning in a way that could help my students inside and outside of the classroom and leaves an impact that allows their destinies to be limitless and desirable.

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Review of 21st Century Education in New Brunswick, Canada Video

Andrew Bowen

9-20-12

Review of – 21st Century Education in New Brunswick, Canada

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjJg9NfTXos

By: The New Brunswick Department of Education

Summary

The video called “21st Century Education in New Brunswick” was a quick video that detailed many interesting education ideas. It told of many changes that have happened or will happen to education in New Brunswick and eventually the world of education. The video talked about what the future of education may hold for all students. Some changes like having all textbooks on a tablet. The video even presented the fact that instead of e-mail, social media is the next major thing in education for teachers and for students.  Technology is evolving at a rapid pace and teachers need to acknowledge these changed and prepare their students for them.  The video was very optimistic to the changes in upcoming education and the major impact it can have in each student’s life.

Personal Reflection

This video was an eye-opener for me to realize all of the major changes that are already happening in the field of education. I want my students to have meaningful experiences and not just learning because it’s on a test. True learning can take place and there are resources involving upcoming technology that can help with that. I understand technology is just going to get better and better, but until schools choose to change with it, how can you expect teachers too? I wish every school district would look at the student’s picture instead of their test scores. I believe a student needs to have real world experience in school and not just buried in a textbook all day. Through these changes up and coming, students will just keep benefiting more and more. The district of New Brunswick has already experienced great benefits for updating some of their foundations of educations. I cannot wait and see where education will be at in the next five years. I hope I will be in the center of technology and education in the next few years because the changes to education can be meaningful if they benefit the students into meaningful experiences upon which they can build upon.

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Article Review – Figuring It Out: Giving Up Control

Andrew Bowen

9-20-12

 

Review of Figuring It Out: Giving Up Control

By: Johnny Bevacqua

http://figuringitouted.blogspot.com/2011/06/giving-up-control.html

Summary

The article, “Figuring It Out: Giving Up Control”, was a great and informative article. The article told the story of a principal/teacher who decided to step away from the teaching and allow students to take control of an assignment. Mr. Bevacqua also gave full control of how the students would share the information with the class. Through this process, engaging and interesting topics were presented in which students seem motivated not because of the grade they would receive but because of the information they were learning. He said that he was able to spend more one on one time with his students. This article was a great way to remind teachers that in the long run grades do not matter, but rather the learning and how it affects the students in the classroom. Mr. Bevacqua sounds like a great teacher and presented a very interesting and informative article.

Personal Reflection

This article was a great way for me to realize that students need to learn not because of the grade but because learning can be fun and effective. Allowing students to discover information can lead them on an intrinsically motivated experience, which will motivate them for the right cause of education.  He said he had to give up control. I feel like sometimes teachers feel the need to always be in control of the class no matter what. From reading this article, I found out that students would benefit most if the teacher allows them to take control. Of course, this is not the case in every assignment, but the ones that the teacher deems that most benefit the students. I loved the article and will try to incorporate this tactic into my teaching arsenal as well. I would love to see what my students come up with. Although, since I teach elementary school I will have to monitor in a closer since than he would in his high school classroom. The main thing I have taken from this article is that when grades are not stressed, true learning for the sake of learning can be observed.