Chapters 5 + 6: Communication with Technology

In my Psychology class, my teacher allows us to use our smart phones as a “clicker” for polling or multiple choice questions in the classroom that count as attendance each day. It is about $14 application (app) for a semester long purchase, which is significantly cheaper than buying an actual clicker device. It was difficult to figure out how to get the Device ID and other information processed, but it has proved to be extremely convenient for me. I always have my cell phone (with exception of the occasional forgetting at home) so I know I will always have my “clicker” with me.

It is these teachers that can relate to students and help them to see they are trying to catch up with our generation of technologically advanced students. We are always wanting to find the new and most creative technology and it is advancing every single day. Why not use this new technology to our advantage? I barely use notebook paper anymore. I am usually (if allowed) typing my notes on my MacBook or printing off PowerPoint slides or notes the teacher has provided and write on them during lectures.

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Creativity

A few weekends ago, I visited my favorite city of Tampa, Florida. It was the most celebrated “holiday” of the new year- Gasparilla. Put simply, it is a pirate ship invasion into the city by a ship with drunken pirate “dads” labeling themselves as Ye Mystic Krew. My whole mom’s side of the family lives in South Tampa, so I feel like I grew up part Florida/part Georgia girl. I will go ahead and admit I also grew up a huge Gator fan, which will probably make whoever is reading this automatically dislike me. I have grown to deal with the hatred, but I am slowly becoming a Georgia football fan… slowly being the key word.

Anyways, there are definitely beads to be received during this weekend and we were able to grab an enormous amount. My aunt and uncle were seeing my cousin swim one of her last meets at Clemson, so one of the “pirate dad’s” left me a ton of beads in their back yard to get me started. I was already dressed (beads, sword, pirate hat, skull accessories & all) at 7am in Chick-Fil-A… obviously getting stared at by everyone. Well after the weekend ceased and we made our way back to the Classic City, I wanted to display my beads somehow. At first I tried to hang them from my mirror in my car, but they are the loudest noisemakers ever. I resorted to hanging them decoratively on my bathroom towel rack. Surprisingly they are still hanging the same way I first arranged them. I also hung some pictures of me and my sister and some family members above my bed along with the People magazine cover of Adele my mom sent me. She is by far the most respectable musical artist of our generation (in my opinion). I like to have constant reminders of admirable people in my room, which lead me to writing with a dry erase marker on my bedroom and bathroom mirrors a couple of my favorite Bible verses and favorite quote.

Here is one of the pictures from Gasparilla weekend:

& just to be clear, I earned these beads by the occasional “shouting and hollering”, not Mardi Gras style 🙂

 

My Speech Classroom

This classroom layout was created using a Web 2.0 tool Floor Plan. It is very beneficial to have an idea in mind before moving into a classroom, so every teacher can effectively use all of the floor space given for the most creative learning environment. 

    I have shadowed a family friend, Julie Wright, who is a speech language pathologist and an elementary and middle school in Gainesville, GA. Her classroom was quite small with the necessities but having some students with wheelchairs and other handicap accessories, I knew I wanted my future classroom to be more accessible to those students. I chose a single floor room plan because I want the space to feel cozy and for everyone to be able to access everything easily.
    There are two “fun” rugs in the opposite corners of the room because I will have younger children in a school setting and I want them to feel comfortable. The couch was a comfortable touch to the room and can allow for reading areas. The other rug can be used for play time with toys and relaxing on the bean bag chairs while working on homework or looking through a magazine. Two different tables allow for more learning space for me and the children. Mrs. Wright only had one table, which was a tight squeeze. There are two mobile white boards to help with visual learners along with a filing cabinet for storage of the students’ paperwork, schoolwork and any work I will need to keep private. In the top right learning area there are three computers which will be beneficial for hands on learning through technology. Computers have proved to be an extremely beneficial tool to help communicate with students who are unable convey their message through words. There is also a single computer off to the right side for any student needing to use headphones so they will not be distracted. My desk is located to the bottom left side with enough room for me to work. The two doors swing inwards with enough width for students with wheelchairs.
    The students and I will be able to have enough space to be comfortable, while still feeling like we are close enough in proximity to not have to speak too loudly to get someone’s attention. I have several windows placed in areas where it would be beneficial for creativity to look outside for inspiration. I like to feel like I am not claustrophobic while learning or teaching. I will want to display students’ work on the walls to inspire others and for them to feel pride in what they have accomplished and learned. 

Response to Chapter 7

  • What types of writing activities would make the best use of technology in your classrooms?

Throughout my adolescence, I always liked free-writes during the beginning of class. I was either able to express my feelings and release stress easily by talking about what was bothering me or I could be creative and write a fictional story. It was always an easy way to overcome everyone’s initial fear of what the first words should be on that intimidating white sheet of notebook paper. For technological writing, I really like the blogging idea. I love to write and talk, so the two combined is a perfect example of a person who should have a blog. I also love to post pictures and explore new things; with a blog, it is easy to achieve these things.

  • Students’ writing improves through multiple revisions and high-quality feedback. Recognizing that your teacher time is limited, how can you have students help each other during writing? How can you leverage this potential for motivation in your classroom?

I have been in a lot of writing classes especially throughout high school where we had to have peer revisions. It was difficult to accept peer feedback because most of these students were my friends and no one wanted to hurt each other’s feelings. I really think that the most effective way to use this tool would be to do it anonymously. If the person who wrote the paper needed more comments or had questions, they can just refer to the teacher who would know who was the editor. It really is a great idea to have someone else read over your paper with a fresh pair of eyes and who is not fully judging for tiny mechanical errors. To help motivate students when using peer revision, students can earn special passes or extra credit for the most in-depth revision, which can be rated on a scale by the person who wrote the paper and saw the comments.

Response to Chapter 1

      Chapter 1 focuses on the main goal of technology, which is meaningful learning for the person using it. The first topic discussed is that the nature of the tasks that many students mostly experience in schools is having to complete standardized tests; also, students are having to memorize information for tests made specifically by their teachers. In my opinion, non-standardized tests and tests that require more knowledge without guessing skills are the most beneficial. I was an all A and B grade student in high school, while taking the most challenging classes and when it came to the SAT and ACT, I realized how much anxiety I got from taking these types of tests. I felt like I was not fully prepared and that this was not the most accurate way to test my knowledge for my future college I would be attending. 

    I 100% agree that, “learning to take tests does not result in meaningful learning”. Also, I agree that “rather than testing inert knowledge, schools should help students to learn how to recognize and solve problems, comprehend new phenomena… set goals and regulate their own learning (learn how to learn)”. The most effective way for a student to gain complete understanding is not through multiple choice testing, but through actually caring that they comprehend the material through engaging them.

Digital Generation

I see myself as a digital native. This would be because I grew up in a time period (1990’s) that included the general introduction of technology. Through interacting with technology from an early age, I feel I have a greater understanding of its concepts versus my parents who were digital immigrants. Being a digital native would help impact my ability to meet the needs of my future students because I would be able to understand their thought process and how they might want to best learn through technology. 

    A key point about the digital native generation with which I agree would be that these people understand the value of digital technology and use this to seek out opportunities for implementing it with a view to make an impact. It is also practical to say that I could disagree with this statement because there are many people in my generation that have used technology to their benefit, but in a harmful way to others. For instance, people that hack into other computers or pirate music, television shows and music (which I am guilty of). There are also many people of the digital native generation that only use technology and their knowledge of it to their advantage and to help others. For example, as a hopeful speech language pathologist, we use technology to help some children with disorders to be able to speak and communicate with us. 
    In the article “Digital Nativism” by Jamie McKenzie, I agree with his thoughts. I think there is a division between the digital native and digital immigrants. I feel that although each generation is different in how they acquired their knowledge- through technology or without- but each is able to adapt to their new learning environment easily. 

    
October 2017
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