Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Digital Citizenship Inside Elementary School

Works Cited

"Glossary of Terms." The American School in London:. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2013.

Hertz, Mary B. "Teaching Digital Citizenship in the Elementary Classroom." Edutopia. N.p., 12 Oct. 2011. Web. 07 May 2013.

"Infinite Learning Lab." Infinite Learning Lab. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2013.

"Jigsaw: Assembly for 8 -10 Year Olds." YouTube. YouTube, 19 Nov. 2009. Web. 07 May 2013.

"STOP Cyberbullying: What Is Cyberbullying, Exactly?" STOP Cyberbullying: What Is Cyberbullying, Exactly? N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2013.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Interactive Whiteboards in Today's Classroom

I Am A Faiure

When it comes to interactive whiteboards, I have mixed feelings.  While I believe they were created with the best intentions to improve the classroom, they miss that mark.  If actually used correctly, they would be much more successful.  From my experience, and what seemed to be the case for many of my classmates, IWBs were only used by the teacher.  They would put the notes on the whiteboard, so that they could use them in every class without having to redo anything.  Other than that, there was no interaction with the boards.  Since they did cost so much money, the teachers did not ant to take their chances with having us anywhere near the boards. 

Besides that, they never seemed able to work properly.  Most times, they were left untouched because they either needed to be calibrated or there was something wrong with the board itself.  Because of this, it was used almost exclusively as a projection screen.  The large amount of money that was spent on it could have been put to better use.  This article argues that one of the major problems facing IWBs coming into classrooms is the resistance to change.  But, although that may be a small factor, I do not agree.  I think that the biggest problem it faces is that not many people can use them properly - or are even taught how to utilize it!  Technology can be very important, but if not used properly, then what is the point on wasting thousands of dollars?

Also, if it IS used properly, then it would be able to be differentiation-friendly, but as I've seen it been used, it is the opposite.  It is very teacher-based, and the notes and lessons are the same for every student in every class.  It is basically used as a fancy chalkboard!  I know that some people ill not agree with me, but this is the way that I see it.  It's not the best resource that we can use, and I think spending thousands of dollars on one is ridiculous.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013



Recently in class, we started to cover differentiation.  It  basically promotes teaching each and every student material the way that suits them best.  Not only that, but the teacher strives to meet the children's individual needs and give them their time if needed.  It sounds like a really great idea to me, but depending on the class size and what individual needs must be met, it would be challenging for just one person to handle.  But, if there were a support team there, consisting of parents and other professionals, it may make it easier to become possible.  Obviously, not every child has the same needs and excels at the same things.  There are so many different learning styles and every child's pace may vary.  The fact that differentiation sees each student individually and does not lump them together makes it better for the students, which should be our first priority.

When I had to use differentiation myself, the three students that I picked turned out to be all lower-level.  Because of this (and since there are other students in the class that would need my attention) it was a bit difficult to find a way to fit all their needs.  I figured it out in the end, but then I realized that it would be much more difficult in actual classes.  I was working with three students, but classrooms have around 25.  The concept of differentiation is fantastic, but I do worry that the execution won't be what everyone is hoping.

I think that technology would be a huge help  when it comes to differentiation.  Not only would you be able to reach each student easier, but it would help by being your support team, in a sense.  I think that technology is essential in any classroom, but in a differentiation classroom it is even more important.  You can teach your students in ways that suit them and make everyone's lives easier.  It would take some of the stress of the teacher, which is needed if they are to take on each student individually.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Twitter and Me

This has been my third twitter account.  I got the first one because I had heard such amazing things about it!  I decided to jump on the bandwagon and get one, quickly went up in flames.  For some reason, it didn't hold my interest.  I was shocked to see that so many people seemed to update their twitter SO often!  I could barely think of one thing to write per day, and others could spit out around six an hour.  I quickly lost interest and abandoned my account.  My first account!

The second time went exactly like the first.  This time, I made a whole new account, hoping that this time would work out better.  Guess what?  It didn't.  My second account...under a fake name! >.>  When we made the accounts for the class, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I didn't dislike it as much as I previously had.  It could actually keep my attention this time!

Before the test on Tuesday, I will admit, I was nervous.  The thought of having to keep up with what everyone was saying and translating it so quickly made me nervous.  I had never experienced something like that before.  After it as all said and done, though, I realized that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be- I had actually enjoyed it!  (Well, as much as one can enjoy a test...)

Although I'm still not the biggest fan of twitter, I'm learning to like it.  I still have a long way to go before I'm completely comfortable using it, but in time I'm sure that it will get better.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Final Frontier

So...we were told to make a presentation about an article we read!  The article was basically saying that technology is an essential thing in the classroom and we neeed today's teachers to start integrating it.  My group and I each worked on ifferent slides and it turned out pretty well!  (Well, I think)  Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

All About Me

My friend and I dressed as the Obamas for Halloween!
Well, hi there!  I know that maybe three people at the most will ever read this, but I'm going to do this anyway!  My name's Nicole, and I go to Edinboro University.  I'm originally from Pittsburgh, PA and fell in love with the small-town feeling surrounding the school.  Somehow, that love is strong enough to withstand the crappy weather and lack of anything to do.  (I'm under 21, so my options are limited).  Anyway, I'm dual-majoring in Early Childhood Education and Special Education.  My schedule is as full as can be, but somehow I'm able to manage!

<--- me in a nutshell.

Anyway, as much as technology and I tend to clash -it broke my heart once before and I haven't been able to forgive it since- I know that it is important.  It seems like not a week can pass without some new, groundbreaking device that people NEED to have coming out.  But, technology can really be helpful.  For example, it's now possible for this 19-year-old from a US city to talk to a 31-year-old from a remote village in Africa!  Well, as long as they have WiFi... The world is so immersed in technology, that it's silly not to incorporate it into learning.  If we have to work with it daily, why not learn more about what we are using?

Technology in teaching is just as important. For example, it would make no sense to teach an outdated curriculum that is no longer relevant to real life.  Although it isn't always easy, the world is changing quickly, and we need to prepare the younger generations for what is to come.  I have heard some people say that watching videos in class, for example, is just "lazy" teaching.  And while it may seem like that on the surface, videos can get deeper under the surface than just a standard lecture.  It can help express emotions and beliefs more efficiently than just a shallow rehashing of what the speaker was told beforehand.  

If I had to give my own philosophy on teaching, I would say this:

Although my experience in teaching is limited, my time as a student has helped me realize what does and what does not work in education.  I have found that a structured time for exploration, especially in Early Childhood, works best.  That way, the students have support but are not told how to think or that there is not only one possible way to accomplish something.  By working things out yourself, a much deeper level of understanding can be reached.