Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Born Digital

What in the book resonated with you? 
There are several things that resonated with me.To begin,  It is alarming that this generation of children are accumulating such a massive digital footprint.  I know that I have spoken to my students about being careful of what they post, but I didn't realize the impact that this footprint leaves behind. I think that there need to be more public service announcements made to the general public regarding this issue, not to alarm, but just simply to inform. I didn't realize how so much could be collected about me because of all the ways that I am connected. I rely on technology a good bit. This book really stressed the importance of teachers in guiding kids through to educate them of the ways to use technology appropriately. I thought it was interesting when the author stated that there hasn't been a generation to go through this yet so that we will know the impact that all of this has on them; basically we are all navigating it together. Another point that "stepped on my own toes" is when it discussed why people make some of the mistakes with technology regarding copyright and piracy. Some just really don't know, so they just do what they think or feel instead. I felt a bit uncomfortable in my knowledge regarding this. I feel that I only know the bare minimum. I obviously have lots more to learn so that I can convey these appropriate ways of using technology respectfully.

How does it change the perspective of the students you interact with?
I think it affirms for me that I need to continue to be open to learning from my students. They are the experts in the technology as far as how to use it. I can't approach this from the standpoint that I am the "giver of knowledge". I actually gave most of that idea up several years ago regarding technology. Students are so willing to teach us. However, it is going to be so important for me to really teach about Digital Citizenship. It is going to be a part of all that we do, not just a lesson here, and a lesson there. It may be the case also that we will need to teach our colleagues as well. I also think that I will incorporate using our media specialist a bit more; they seem to be really current on copyright and issues regarding appropriate use of technology.
I am excited to be a part of this. I think that at first, I felt as though technology was going to replace the need for a teacher; that's not true. We are still a very important component. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

6/7/12 Session 7: Demo Slam

This was neat. However, I was thoroughly saturated at this point. I am glad that the people presenting were on a time limit. I did find a few things to investigate that were of interest to me. I plan to investigate Study Blue since it is similar to Quizlet. I also want to try out classroom.booksource.com because it seems like a great way to keep up with my classroom library books. I think this was a great way to end the Technology Conference.

6/7/12 Session 6: Making Learning Magical with Google Tools (Becky Evans)

At first I was a little disappointed in this session because it seemed like it was only some sort of advertising for Google; however, I did hear about some interesting things to check out. I am interested in finding out more about the Google Lit Trips.  Born Digital really has me realizing the importance of teaching Digital Citizenship. I will surely check out the "Think B4U" lesson plans regarding Digital Citizenship. I thought the "a google a day" was a neat idea for a warm-up; however, I'd have to make sure that others in my unit were not using it already, or we could  divide up the days of the week so that we could all incorporate it. I also intend to search the education portal. There is so much more to Google than just a search engine!

6/7/12 Session 5: Creating Digital Stories in E-portfolios using web-based and mobile tools (Helen Barrett)

This session was exciting and overwhelming. I am a bit anxious over the technicalities of producing a digital story. I am really only familiar with Windows Movie Maker, Photo story, and Audacity. There are so many other programs to use out there. To make it further complicated, many of the ones I heard about were for IPads; I have an Android Tablet. I decided that there is nothing wrong with using what my students and I are comfortable with. I also have to remember that I do not have to be an expert at the technology; my students and I will learn the technologies together, like I already do anyway. I do feel like I learned the basics of what Helen had to say. I do have a starting point, even though it may take me awhile to get where she is. I am considering doing a digital story for each of the genres of writing that I teach.

6/7/12 Keynote Speaker: Helen Barrett

I found this speaker to be interesting. I have noticed that many of the things that I am currently reading in Born Digital were also brought up in her address. I was astounded to realize that online presence will replace your resume in 10 years. This will affect my own children!

I really connected with what she discussed regarding reflection using e-portfolios. It all makes sense; this is also the way that I learn. I am actually excited about starting e-portfolios with my students. E-portfolios were mentioned earlier in  the year at my school, but it sounded like a threat instead of something that we do to help students learn, find purpose, and find their passion. I am much more willing to "buy into" this now since it was presented in this fashion.

I am really interested in doing digital story telling with my students. I know that I can do this. This may just be the avenue to get them excited about writing again. I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Session 4: Midlands Summit 6/6/12

Classroom Management in a 1:1 Environment (Jeff Layman)
     I really liked this speaker; he is very positive and upbeat. I agree with many of his philosophies of teaching and learning. He really emphasized having procedures in place and practicing them. I will just need to look at what I already have in place and adapt those to the 1:1 setting.  He addressed many of the issues that those of us in a 1:1 environment have already struggled with ( students being off-task). He emphasizes giving students choice and trust, both of which I agree with and model in my classroom. He advises that we will be better off redirecting our students when off-task rather than fussing or removing the device. He encouraged us to make sure that behaviors and consequences match up so that students will be less likely to engage in the unwanted behavior. The design of your room is equally as important; many set ups were shown. I felt very affirmed in the ways that I handle situations, students, and design because of this presentation. I am surely going to get a presentation mouse so that I move about my room more freely.

Session 3: Midlands Summit 6/6/12

Use Docs and Forms Together: An Interactive Approach to Assignments, Learning, and Monitoring Student Progress (Carol LaRow)
     I enjoyed this speaker. Unfortunately, I had to leave her presentation before she was finished because the next one was starting. Much of what she shared was already familiar to me. However, it was helpful because of the timing. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed the first time these tools were introduced to me. Now I am at a point that I have dabbled with them and have been expected to use them on my own. I feel that I am now able to think about ways to implement these tools in my classroom with my students. I really want to use the forms and surveys more. They seem to really help to save time, which I never seem to have enough of.  I really want to use the collaboration and research features in Docs with my students for writing.
     One thing that I am going to have to rid myself of is the feeling of being tied to the computer. I have always liked to carry my papers to the ball field or wherever I have to be to grade them. Hopefully all of those places will have Wi-fi. I will also have to finally get my vision checked because of reading all of these screens all of the time (it has nothing to do with the fact that I just turned 41).

Session 2: Midlands Summit 6/6/12

The Many Uses of Blogger (Aaron Slutsky)
This presenter is very knowledgeable! He really knew the "ins and outs" of Blogger. I felt pretty overwhelmed because I was just introduced to Blogger this week. I am reminded that it's okay to be a beginner; the important thing is just to get started. I can envision using what I learned in this session. I may want to explore e-portfolios using Blogger. The presenter showed how Blogger can be used to "Flip" your class; video and audio can be embedded. Blogger can also be used with other tools such as Google Earth. I am looking forward to learning more about Blogger and using it.

Session 1: Midlands Summit 6/6/12

No More Red Ink: Using Digital Tools to Assess Students (Tami Lenker)
I enjoyed this session and found it very informative and useful. I do think that I will try some of the tools that were shared to find which ones would help me the most with assessment. Overall, I feel that the tools that I will choose to use will be the ones that are easiest to learn and the most reliable. There was one that required you to have a web-cam. I just really don't have that kind of time to spend at this point.  Some of the simpler ones mentioned that I will investigate and try are: mcscoring.com, yacapaca, essay grader, and grade rubric. I already knew about Socrative; I will give it another try in my classroom since this presenter really likes it.

SC Midlands Summit 6/6/12: Keynote Speaker

     I enjoyed today's keynote speaker, Jamie Casap. I felt really energized and inspired about what he shared. The content of his message affirms that we are heading in the right direction with the focus of emphasizing skills needed for the 21st century: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, analyzing information, and problem solving. This message really brought to light the ways that technology has changed all aspects of our lives and that our children really do learn differently than we do. I hadn't really stopped to realize how the use of the Internet has condensed our world; I really had only focused on the connectivity and availability.

    I made some personal connections as well. I really need to encourage both of my children to continue to excel in math and science since most future jobs will require these. Even though I am very excited about all of the technology, it feels very overwhelming to "keep up". I am thankful to be in a profession that keeps abreast of technology. I think that the digital divide will continue to grow with people that are resistant to technology and its constant changes. Will we get to a point that they will not be able to function in their world at all?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

All About Me

     I have been teaching for 18 years; all of those years except one have been at Blythewood Middle School. I teach Language Arts. I am one of the originators of ITEC.  My school is now involved with the "One Two One" initiative using Android tablets. I absolutely LOVE teaching. It is not a career for me; it is my calling.
    Personally, I have 2 children in the district. Janna, my daughter, is a rising third grader at Round Top Elementary. Tripp, my son, is a rising sixth grader at Blythewood Middle School. My children give life so much meaning. They keep me going in many ways. They are such a blessing!