April 11th Lesson

In today’s class, we used the app PinUp to complete an activity for a religion class. We were each assigned a religion. I chose instead to research a religion outside of the assigned options- Scientology. We’ve read all semester about how it’s important to give students choice, and to let them research topics that interest them. Here is my pin up for today’s class:

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Technology is something that should be used cautiously and with careful consideration in classrooms. I am currently in the process of writing my research paper where I’m looking at the limitations and overuse of technology in classrooms. The main thing to consider is that “is this technology truly improving the educational experience for students?”. In this class, with everyone having access to technology and pinup, this allowed for a quick and simple way to display the information that we researched. Good strategy!

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Is Technology Used Correctly In the Classroom?

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In today’s class, Grandy Donglin and Savita (with special Guest Mike + Signum) hosted a debate about the usage of technology in the classroom. They asked questions to the class about if computers are over-adopted and under-utilized in classes today.

According to the textbook, we use outdated curriculums while trying to incorporate new technology. In order to fully maximize the effectiveness of technology, we need to overhaul the curriculums. This, unfortunately, takes time, as changing the curriculum is a slow process that requires plenty of research.

The group today used Skype to showcase how remote teaching can happen. Grandy went into another room, and conducted most of the teaching remotely. While I think this was an interesting idea, I thought the quality of the feed and audio was poor. This led to poor engagement within the classroom. While Skype conversations and teaching is ONE method you can utilize if you happen to be away for a class, I think there are more effective methods to keep students engaged. Lecturing in front of a classroom is bad enough when it’s done in person- it’s even worse when it’s done via Skype.

In the 2nd part of today’s class, Kendra Arianna Peter and Mackenzie gave a presentation on Google Forms. They designed a small quiz where you could get immediate feedback on right/wrong answers, and the teachers could get live¬†updates on the scores/progress of students. It seems like this is a very interactive and simple way to perform simple assessment with students. This could be done in class, before, or after lessons. There are also various ways to set up the quizzes with multiple choice, short answer, true/false, etc. The teacher can see point distributions, frequently missed questions and many other analytics. I really like this technology, and plan on using it in my classrooms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 31st- Guide on the Side

“It’s not about being the sage on the stage, it’s about being the guide on the side”- Dr. Christian Elia

In today’s class, Donglin, Shideh and Savita presented and summarized chapter 1 of the textbook. We took part in a group activity where we learned either Chinese or Farsi. I learned how to say “beer” in Chinese, and it was a pretty fun activity. Mike and I began by scanning through the vocabulary on the website, but quickly moved onto translating our own text on google translate. Learning a new language has always been a daunting task, but technology allows for access to so many quality resources that makes this learning easier.

The “Flipped classroom” design is a concept that I’d like to see used more often in childhood education. Students watch lectures, videos, read various sources, and mostly learn on their own time. Once they’re in class, they practice what they’ve learned by getting into small groups and partaking in different activities. The teacher is responsible for leading the discussions, prodding the students, asking questions that spur conversation, and generally shape the direction of the classroom. In this design, the classroom is very student-centered, and the teacher is considered more of that “guide-on-the-side” that Christian was talking about at the start of class.

Part two of the class was a presentation by Peter, Mackenzie, Arianna, and Kendra. They introduced us to the Seesaw app. It’s a learning portfolio for students where they can share their learning, thinking, and anything interesting that they find. They can record video, audio, and are able to share it with classmates. The teachers in the video we watched would highlight some of the creative work by the students, which makes them take pride in their work.

The app and the timeline really mimics some of the popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. In my opinion, this would help the adoption rate among students as it’s familiar to them. While the look of the app seems more directed towards the primary level, I think there’s still some practical applications for the secondary level. This would be a very fun way for a secondary school French class to share a presentation or written work. I will definitely keep this in mind as a strategy going forward.