Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Reading Teachers & Technology: English With an Edge really caught my attention. I love working hands on in an assignment whenever possible, and Mrs. Brown seemed to push her students to do that. Getting high school students, especially seniors to be intrigued and excited to do their work can be difficult, they are just ready to get out of there. But when they are faced with a challenge that is new and worthy, the results can be extraordinary.

In the case of Mrs. Brown's class, the assignment, incorporating technology and satire into one was the challenge. From the outside that seems like an unusual combination, however today's generation is using technology for almost everything they do, so to incorporate American society and satiric literature is actually perfect .

Brown stated, "Figuring out a way to take advantage of something like YouTube was my aha moment." I felt like this perfectly explained exactly what she was trying to get across. She wanted to keep those students who were possibly suffering from 'senioritis' enthused about learning, and by allowing them to do an assignment with something they already enjoyed, YouTube, it made them want to do the assignment.

I really appreciated this style of teaching because I am a hands-on learner. This assignment touched based for many learning styles, such as those who like to work in groups. Working in groups seems like a great idea for an end of the year assignment, because the students are worn out and ready to leave, their brains barely functioning on a school level, working in a group could help bring new ideas to the table from different points of view. Also, it is a good assignment because it gives an opportunity to those who normally wouldn't make a video assignment or use technology in the following way an opportunity to gain experience and knowledge. For me, even though I am not a technology savvy person and have never made a video assignment, I would much rather do something like that than write an essay on the topic, and I am sure this is true for others as well. By just opening a new teaching style, the students are much more likely to be enthusiastic, which held true in this case.

I had a high school teacher who like to teach outside the box. This was an honors English class and it is honestly the class that i learned the most in and felt prepared me for college the best. WE did have to read novels and write reports, but we would do these average assignments in unusual ways. For example, when reading The Scarlet Letter, a classic piece of literature, as a class we acted out the scenes instead of just reading it on our own. It really helped to hear it, see it, and be able to connect to something other than the pages of the book. In the same class, we also had a report to do on any American classic novel we wanted to read, and then she allowed us to present the report in any manner we wanted. Some student worked on a PowerPoint presentation while others made films about the books they had read. It was open to every student to do what they felt comfortable with and in a way that would present their abilities the best.

Although I enjoyed hearing about this learning style, the biggest question I had was how could i incorporate something like this into an elementary classroom, which is where I hope to one day teach. How could I get younger students interested in an assignment while incorporating technology? I realized that with the amount of computers in homes today, chances are many students will already have some technology use before they reach my classroom. However, there may also be some students who don't have access to a computer like others. Or be unable to drive themselves to a place where the technology is available like a high school student could. This made me think that if I could incorporate some forms of technology assignments in the elementary classroom, it would be necessary that I leave time for the students to work in class. There are many online sites for younger students that teach counting, math, spelling, etc. and maybe to just let the students and parents aware of these sites would be a great way to allow students to explore technology on their parents watch. Just informing the parents about what is out there could be a good place to start.