Saturday, June 20, 2009

Course Reflection

Thinking back to the beginning of this course, I can not believe how much I have learned about technology and effective ways to integrate technology in my classroom. I had used a blog before but had never done a wiki or podcast. Now I feel confident that I could use all three effectively in my classroom.

I was a little nervous about facilitating in the classroom and letting the students take more ownership in their learning. I have discovered that they are more engaged, use higher level thinking and enjoy the classroom more. I really enjoy watching the excitement when they discover something new and take it to a level that I may have not planned for if I was teaching in a more traditional way. Students learn differently today, because they are digital natives and they need to be taught and guided in a way that will help prepare them for the global workforce.

I will continue learning new ways to help my students by completing my master's degree in, Integrating Technology in the Classroom. I also just found out that I received a Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century Grant through Washington State, so I will receive new equipment and professional development over the next two years. I am very excited because this will help me use what I am learning in my master's program.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Podcast Interview

I interviewed three of my third grade students about their use of technology at home and school. I was surprised to find that they knew much more about technology than I thought. They all are digital natives, and technology is a part of their everyday life. My concern is that students today will not be prepared for the global workforce if today's educators don't change how we teach. We can't continue to teach the same things, in the same ways when the workforce has changed so drastically. The web 2.0 movement has changed how we work and live and many teachers continue to teach the same way as they did many, many years ago. To hear my interviews with Evan, Amanda and Stone, click on the link below.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

21st Century Skills

This week I was looking at the Partnership for 21st Century Skills web site. This is an advocacy organization that focuses on fusing 21st Century Skills in education, with the hope of driving change. The belief is that students need skills in core subjects, life and career, learning and innovation, and information, media and technology. The teachers role in their students learning is by teaching to the standards/assessments, curriculum and instruction, professional development and learning environment.

I thought that this was a very informative site and that the organization definitely has the right idea. Students today need to be prepared to work in a 21 Century Environment. They way we teach has not changed a great deal, we are doing some things differently (such as using document cameras instead of overheads) but we are not doing very many different things. Students today are different types of learners and we need to prepare them to work in a digital society. The way we do things in the work place has changed drastically in the last ten years. Can you imagine not using your email, cell phone, smart phone, or computer for a day? Today's students need to be taught how to succeed in the global workplace.

I am surprised that only ten states are 21 Century Skills states. This should be something that every state strives for. The implications that I see for a student or an educator is having the resources (funding, materials, and time) available to reach these standards.

Please visit the Partnership for 21 Century Skills Web Site for more information:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How Could I Use a Blog In My Classroom?

I teach third grade at Lowell Elementary School, in Everett, WA. I am currently getting my masters degree in Integrating Technology in the Classroom. I am intrigued with the idea of using a blog in my classroom. How would my students benefit, what would I use the blog for?

I think that at this point I would like to use the blog to showcase student work. I know that my students always work to produce higher quality work when they know that it is going to be shared or published. I feel at this point this would be a good first step to starting a classroom blog. Of course, I am open to suggestions, ideas and concerns too. Please feel free to share!