Teri Straley

Welcome to the word of technology in classrooms

Never Lesson Planned Before…

I always knew that at one point, or several, in my graduate program I would have to create lesson plans. Yet, until this moment I haven’t had to. I’ve come up with activities to do with certain grade levels or a certain type of reading activity. Thinking of a unit and the lessons that go with it was something that I wasn’t really prepared to do. Usually I just take something that I like and create something that fits the criteria for that assignment. But, this time I have to pick a unit that I might end up teaching my future students and plan lessons that go with it.

I really thought about what grade level I wanted to teach at and what unit I could cover that would be fun for the students but what also covers the Common Core Standards. I choose to do Multicultural Literature for High School (11th-12th grade), mainly because I feel that there is so much we can learn about other cultures from different forms of literature, as well as the language used. Coming up with tasks was the easy part but finding and figuring out which Common Core Standard fits with each task gave me a headache. The hard was seeing how you can defend the task to the Standard, but that’s what you have to do. The ISTE-S standards were easier to fit to the tasks.

In coming up with these tasks I really thought about what I did in High School and what I thought worked really well and just added the technology aspect of it. One activity I have, I seek some help with the instructional part of it and found that Bright Hub Education was really helpful. They have lessons planned out and they give you room to make changes and adapted it to your class. They have some for any subject, such as Shakespeare and making it modern. The site that was helpful and something I would use to show my students an example was the Poetry Foundation website. They have a section of podcasts where they talk about poems and I feel that it would be good to show students what exactly I want them to do.

Using the STAIRS template for lesson planning was really helpful, since I have no experiences in doing them. It really helped me focus on one section at a time and made sure that I fully understood all the different parts that were needed in end step. I’m sure for future classes I will use this, unless given a certain one to use.

Lessoning planning may not sound fun and at first it really isn’t but when you get down to the thinking of the tasks and the instruction you can’t help but feel that you want to do these tasks as well!



Using Multimedia

As the world changes and students become more involved with technology, we as teachers should bring that into our classrooms. We can go so much further than just showing videos and podcasts to our students, we can have them actually make them.

For me, I would want to have my students use a video making software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker or even an animation video, to create a video on the subject at hand then post it to the class YouTube channel. For an English class, have them create a movie about a poem that they choose but the movie has to show what the poem means as it’s said in the background of it. Even having to create blog for each student and have them create different sections within it, one poems, one for short stories and ones for anything else we use it for. I would like for my, future, students to be able to post the final drafts of their poems and short stories to and have their peers make comments about their thoughts. Podcasting, as I am new to podcasting and have only made one, I think that I would do a little more research and practice for myself but I can see using it. Having students in groups or even by themselves, same for the videos, and have them share the poem and talk about what it means. Each students will have a different reaction to a poem and having them share it together in a podcast and being able to bounce comments around on their thoughts.

According to the ISTE standards, having students use multimedia and technology allows them to take their existing knowledge about multimedia to create something new and original to identify trends and possibilities that can be found in what they are doing. They can communicate and collaborate in different forms of digital media, they can also communicate their own thoughts and ideas and develop understandings of different cultures and times. Working together gives students the chance to share their ideas with someone else and to create a product that shares both their ideas. In working together and creating something students will have to do research and inquire what they found. They have locate, organize, evaluate, process and report these findings as well as their own thoughts. In conducting research students may have to solve problems that occur and plan the project so it can be done well, so they have to use critical thinking, problem solving and make decisions.

I can’t wait to be a teacher and have a classroom to be able to use these ideas to help educate my students.


ED Tech Integration Philosophy

Web 2.0 Sites Review

As technology and Web 2.0 become more relent in our lives and those of our students (or future students), it’s our job as teachers to find helpful sites that we can use and our students. Here’s three websites that can be helpful and a review of them.

Pro Teacher Directory offers teachers with ideas for lessons for any subject, such as reading, writing, math and science. It also has a section where teachers can look up classrooms management help and ideas. All you need to know is what grade level you are teaching, they have ideas from elementary to high school, plus signing up is free and bias free. Teachers are able to use technology to help with planning and designing learning environments and improve productivity and professional practice in the digital world, according to the NETS-S. The only down side it that if want to chat with other teachers on the site and share your own ideas you do have to sign up, but like I said it’s free.

Another site is Teacher Blog It, it’s a student friendly blogging site that the teacher runs. The teacher creates a classroom blog and then has the students join the classroom. Once there student can write, collaborate and publish works. They can also help their fellow students grow by leaving comments that they can get notifications for every time someone leaves a comment. As teachers we will have to give our students knowledge about what blogging is and how it will be used in the classroom. Students will learn, from the NETS-S, basic operations and concepts, social, ethical and human issues, technology productivity tools and how they use it as a form of commination and problem solving tools. The great thing is that it’s free and simple to use for both students and teachers, set up a blog room for each class you use it in. Making sure that students have access to a computer and internet is the only thing that could become a problem. This can be used for seventh grade- college students.

Lastly there’s Diigo, it makes finding and saving sources. You are able to save, tag, annotate, organize and share online resources. If offers technology research tools, basic operations and productivity tools in NETS-S. It is free but with limitations, the free versions comes with Ads but you can’t really do anything else like bookmarking or highlighting. You should still be able to save but if you want any of the other additions you have to pay for it. This can be used from probably high school to college.

So, here’s some Web 2.0 sites that could be helpful for your current or future career in education.


What path should I take now?

When it comes to using Web 2.0 and Social Media in the classroom, I’m not really sure where I will go with. I see the benefits of using the internet and how students can access the information easily but sometimes I feel that having them use a book gives them that sense to having to really look for the information. But I can see how I can use Web 2.0 in my future classroom. I would love to create a YouTube channel for my classroom and show my students how to create videos and edit them then post them to the channel. Having students create videos on the topic of the class and post it gives them the chance to see their classmate’s videos and comment on them. Also it feeds their need of social interaction because people all the world will be able to watch their videos and leave comments. Students get the chance to create, edit and share their thoughts and let’s be able to do something that is truly their own, instead of having everyone make a brochure that would all look similar. By making a video, students can make it truly their own, all the teacher has to do is give a time limit, content, and make sure that none of the videos are inappropriate. I think this where my path is leading me to bring Web 2.0 into my future classroom.


What is Copyright?

Copyright is something that technology has made it harder than it used to be. By having access to loads of information and pictures, we can forget all about copyright and what it means. One way we can protect ourselves when it comes to copyright is that the facts and information that we gain from books and internet are not protected by copyright but how the author has phrased the information is. That’s why we always keep in mind that old saying, “put things into your own words”. Second note is that keeping in mind that there is not always a notice of copyright and we should just assume that anything created is protected by copyright. Thirdly, anything created in the United States before 1923 in considered public domain and is not protected by copyright but anything created after that year through the life of the author plus 70 years is still protected by copyright. Lastly is fair use in schools, as a teacher if you can defend that what you are using is for an educational purpose than it’s exempted from copyright. The same goes for a part or whole of the material is use.

There are four test that you can use to determine fair use. Most materials that are copyrighted have known guidelines that you follow but not everything. Test one is the purpose and character of the use, ask yourself: is the material going to be used in a nonprofit educational institution in a non-commercially way? The second test is thinking about if the works are publish or not and if they’re factual or creative. Unpublished and creative works have strong copyrights than those who are published or factual. Third is how much of the work are you going use? The less you use the more fair use it is. Lastly, if you are using the material for a way to raise money, even if for a good cause, you are using it for commercial intent and harm will assume.

Aside from understanding what copyright is and what we can do to protect ourselves from it, we make sure we understand that every form of material has different guidelines in how to use it. Such as print material, teachers can retain one copy of it for personal and teaching use, you can make copies to give to students but only once not year to year or term to term. Audio and videotapes must be owned by the school, teacher, parent, borrowed from a library, rented from a video store or taped off-air. There are many others, as teachers we need to be able to understand these guidelines and follow them and teach them to our students.


Summary: Net Geners

According to the article Teaching and Learning with the Net Generation, the Net Geners are very much about education and have certain goals set up to do school work on weekends rather than hang out with friends. The Net Geners learn differently than those in the past because they grow up in a digital age and with technology. They strive for an independent learning but also lots of meaningful feedback as to know if they are doing the assignment right. Teachers are forced to change teaching styles to include different forms of media to keep students interested as well as coming to an understanding that Net Geners have that thought that they are multitaskers. Sometimes all the teacher needs to do is to be a part of the social internet world with their students.

Teachers need to find a balance on their own teaching style with the fact that most students want to learn and do assignments independently with feedback coming from them. They also need to realize that when one students asks and question they are going to want the answer right away and the teacher needs to think about finding the answer or waiting until later. Most students want to interact with each and discuss a paper or topic brought up in class. The teacher can use the idea of blogs to have students share their thoughts and respond to each other through technology. Teachers also need to not be afraid to interact with their students through social media and create a page for the classroom where the students can get notifications and talk to each other that way.

I do think that we need to embrace technology and maybe it’s because I grew with it. I can see that students want to be independent with their learning and there’s a way to do that by letting them pick a subject to research for a project but I would never go as far as giving them the freedom to choose an assignment. I’m one of those people that if you told me to write a paper and gave me nothing but that, I would stress out and not know what you’d want from me. I had a class last term where that was the case, we had to do different writing assignments and she never gave us anything to on aside from one is a how-to. No rubric, not guidelines, nothing and I stressed for over it. But by giving students the freedom to pick a subject for, example, a pamphlet it gives them the ownership and independence they want.

Technology: A Distraction??

 In recent discussions of technology in classrooms, a controversial issue has been whether technology has become a distraction to students.  On the one hand, some argue that as technology has evolved to the point that students are always on the internet.  From this perspective, there’s worry that students are trying to multitask by doing school work and being on the internet. There’s also talk of students not being able to remember information because they can just look it up or read a summary of a story. This perspective did bring up good points on how kids can teach themselves new things through the use of technology and how gaming/virtual worlds can provide collaboration without having that fear of feeling stupid or anxiety. On the other hand, however, others argue that distractions can be dealt with in classrooms.  According to this view, we need to realize that multitasking isn’t real because our brains can’t focus on two different things without having one suffer from not being able to fully focus on what you are doing. They say that we need to change how we write because we read differently online than in a book, break it up for students with bullet points. Use the distraction as a way to teach them the subject, teach not to post everything online for everyone to see, if they want to protect their privacy then they need to learn what is okay to put up and what’s not. Try to make learning outside the internet fun and entertaining.  In sum then, the issues is whether there is a way to keep students from being distracted from the internet or not.

My own view is that distraction might be considered a bad thing, it can also be a good thing. I was take a break from homework, especially if I’m stuck and don’t know how to move on, and watch some TV or go through the internet. Sometimes having a break and distracting your brain can be helpful and you get with a spark of inspiration on what to do next or how to continue the paper. Though I concede that having a device that connects you to these distractions with you at all times can be bad, I still maintain that teachers can teach students when it is appropriate to pull them out and when it’s not.  For example, having a lecture on poets for 20 minutes can be just enough time for students to get bored, so give them a break and have them use their phones/laptops to search modern day poets or a poem and have them share what they found. Although some might object that it gives the student too much power to goof off and not look anything up, but I think that if you give them five minutes to do so you give them that ownership of their own learning for a while.

Technology in Classrooms

In recent discussions of the future of teaching, a controversial issue has been whether the use of technology in classrooms is a good idea. On the one hand, some argue that technology is a great tool for students to learn from. From this perspective, students would be able to discover the use of blogs and how to make videos about certain topics being talked about in classes. Also, they connect to the world and be able to talk with someone on the other side of the world and ask them questions about their culture. On the other hand, however, others argue that the best technology is a pencil and paper over computers or digital sources. According to this view, we should students using pencil and paper to work out problems or fill out diagrams before putting onto the screen so that they can make sure that it’s right before they can’t change it anymore. In sum then, the issue is whether to use technology or not don’t use it in classrooms when teaching students.

My own view is that students, nowadays, can get bored easily in school because so much of their lives revolve around technology and social media, it is still good to bring pencil and paper into this new age of technology. Though I concede that technology will continue to grow as the students do and they will know more about certain devices than me, I still maintain that there is always a way for both worlds to exist in the classroom. For example, technology should never be a way for teachers to keep students busy because they had nothing thing planed but to find ways to have students read their text book, or other books, about a certain event, even let them use the internet, and write a short film about the event in any form they want, a movie or documentary or PSA, have them video it and post it on YouTube, create a classroom channel, to share with the world. Although some might object that technology is only good for keeping students busy and they don’t learn anything from it, I would reply that outside of the classroom students are constantly learning new things through Facebook posts and feeding their own interests about how movies are made or how to cook a certain dish, therefore students are gaining new information and we should be able to let them do the same in classrooms and if that’s through technology then we should be able to adapt to the new world that they are growing up in.. The issue is important because it’s something that many teachers are facing today, such as my roommate teaches at a preschool level and loves that they have all this technology but sometimes she feels that when having pajama day at school shouldn’t be just having the students watch a movie or plays games on the computer because they just go home and do that, but she’d rather have them running around outside or taking a part on old radio to see how it works.

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