NEERO

I’m attending my first New England Educational Research Organization conference in New Bedford, MA.  This is the first research conference I’ve attended.  The sessions have been very interesting so far.  It’s been a learning process for me to see how different people formulate studies and get ideas.  It was also great to listen to feedback and hear how presenters would have changed parts of their study.

Today was my turn at a roundtable discussion, thank goodness I felt relaxed, for the most part.  Although it is intimidating to be among all these wonderful researchers who are really here to help students learn.  I think I received some wonderful feedback on my questions which may help me as I try to look for a dissertation topic.  Its been hard to figure one out, but they did agree that what I am interested in is something that does not have much research so could be helpful to the field.  So that was encouraging to me.

I also learned so much from the other person who presented at my table.  He had done a study, so his discussion gave me a lot to consider for my future research.  I think this is one of the benefits of having attended this conference, hearing from some active research that is on-going gave my some new perspectives that I would have never considered on my own.

I can’t wait to attend next year!

Glogster

MetaPost

This was my first venture into the world of blogging.  I was a bit nervous about how I was going to be creative about presenting the class readings into some coherent groupings and finding some “cool” way of presenting them that could be an interesting title that might entice others to read my posts.  However, as I began to cluster the readings and think about how I could relate them to more common ideas, themes were able to come to mind.

I also enjoyed adding video clips that added some interest or more information to my blog.  I think it made it more fun for me and for others who might read it some day.  I was also able to add clips that added more impact to my thinking or add to it in some way.  I believe that the addition of a video reinforces my thinking and helps others to understand and really see what I was thinking about in relation to the articles.

I do plan on continuing the blog, I found it a great way to reflect on my learning.  And I do think it will be a tool that will help me be different from other candidates in a job, perhaps.  It’s also something I would like my students to be able to use in response to reading.  I know that students are quite proficient in computer use, while they are often reluctant to write on paper, they are never hesitant to write on the computer.  This is the perfect way to engage them in the critical thinking skills that we’ve been struggling to get them to do for a long time.  I even think I can use this next year with my Kindergarten class, but maybe as a whole class blog, just have them dictate since they would have difficulty with the fine motor skills, but there would be some that could.  But then again, who knows, they may surprise me!

I just have to say, I really do love blogging, I’ve even started a personal blog, but am too busy to post to it very often, but it’s there when I need it.

My First Glogster Presentation!

I’m so excited because I just finished my first glogster presntation, it was so much fun to put together!  I can’t wait to show it to some of my teacher friends.  What a great tool for kids to use to share their knowledge!  Now if I can figure out how to post it here…and how to print it, if that’s possible.

http://cindyhatok.edu.glogster.com/ltcy-648-class/

Mutlicultural Education and Gifted Children

Cool Tools

We had class presentations today about Cool Tools- Web 2.0 tools we can use in classrooms with kids to move from consumers to producers of technology.  It’s been an amazing transformation for many of us and me too.  I’m excited to share the tools with my friends, students and family.  What an exciting time it is to be a student.  We need to share this way of expressing learning with students instead of merely consuming it.  How engaged will kids be?  And what a way to help students who do not have much technology to learn how to use these tools so they can make use of tools for learning.

Fun with Words…

This is from tagxedo.com…thanks Rae Ann, very much fun, you can select all sorts of shapes for you words.  It is fun!

From Fear to Facebook

 

The general gist of the book was that schools need to consider all stakeholders when launching new technologies that will drastically change the face of education as it is known.  The case presented in the book, displays the pitfalls and success of a school district in California that learned from its mistakes, students and parents how to successfully implement an new plan for including a 1-1 laptop program for its upper grade students.  By including all stakeholder, the school found more success than merely prohibiting certain web sites.

TPCK

 

 

Again in education, we find ourselves with yet more abbreviations to decipher as we attempt to describe the work of the teacher.  To outsiders, it seems like unsubstantiated research, stuff that is just created before there is evidence, however, to those who have been in the field, we understand that this model is build on an older model of how teacher combine their knowledge to become effective teachers.  In reality, there really isn’t a Venn diagram that floats around the heads of teachers in each classroom, in each school; its is merely a method to show the interplay of the skills required in order to teach.

I was confronted with this while at my neurologists office when he scoffed at the “research” in his view, that in education, the theory comes before the data, however, he hadn’t read the entire article, nor did he read anything about the foundations of the work, from Schulman.  But I did consider what he had to say as I wondered about how people on the outside view educators, particularly those of us who work towards scholarly work.  Often, our work can be hard science and data, but often when dealing with people and attempting to describe their work, there may not be quantitative data.  Some schematic of the work helps to provide a way to understand what is actually occurring.

With that in mind, TPCK, present us with a model to understand how teachers need to integrate technological knowledge into their existing pedigogical content knowledge.  Depending on the strength of the teacher, this can be a daunting task, however, if proper supports are provided the work is important enough.  Schools are not providing children with enough technical knowledge to enable them to enter the 21st century, in that we are failing our children.

 

Woe, Woe, Pitiful, Us…

From the lines of the song, we educators seem to be woefully pitiful when it comes to truly embracing new ways of learning and teaching.  So, I suppose the title could be Woe, Woe, Poor, Pitiful, Kids….

In reading the article “Teachers’ Beliefs and Technology Practices: A Mixed-methods Approach”, I again read about the feeble attempts of teachers to “integrate” technology into their classroom.  Interestingly enough, these teachers hadn’t truly transformed their teaching, they merely added the technology in some way.  So, while their practice might have change, nothing really changed for children.

I believe this is what the state of technology is like in schools.  Children who have access to technology at home or in libraries are using technology in more meaningful ways than we ever imagine in school.  No matter the excuse we use, time, money, etc, what are we really afraid of??  All of the indicators show that we are doing a miserable job of educating most of our children.  Perhaps the manner in which we are working and teaching needs to respond to current society…

A novel idea, however, as we use technology, we withhold it from our students.  Sure, we let them use it for “skill building games” but what is the difference between that and practice books?  It is just more colorful and might be more engaging, but they do not require real thinking or creativity, there is no problem solving involved.  We are busy creating a generation of children who are bored with school and its no wonder why.

When I think of all the fun things I can do on the internet and even this blog, why would I want to merely use typical drill and kill games.  There are places for this, but I think we are spending so much money on providing equipment to schools that we teachers need to learn how to do a better job for our kids.


The Eyes of the Beholder

There are many considerations administrators and districts need to make when establishing technology plans, these were discussed in several article I read, 5 Concerns for Digital Age Leaders: What Principals and District Administrators Need to Know About Technology Integration, Principals Voice Enthusiasm for Social Networking, Though Concerns, and Developing a “Tech Bill of Rights”.

Schools bear the responsibility to provide instruction and integrating technology, but the technology changes swiftly, often by the time a district receives the technology it could be outdated.  For example, purchases of computer take time to approved, ship and get to a school but the time the equipment arrives, newer computers have been made that are better but the schools cannot afford to keep replacing equipment that rapidly.  So, as the Larson article points out, Technology teams must prioritize their goals and decide what trends they will follow.

Keeping up with Social Networking and other equipment , such as cell phones and lap tops is another issue that faces schools.  Most schools merely block their use out of fear of their misuse, but again how could these tools be used in schools in a useful way.  I think questions must be raised about banning them completely, because they are still (cell phones at least) making their way into schools, even elementary schools.  I think teachers fear students texting answers to tests to friends, but are there ways to  make these a part of education, or should they be banned completely.  This is one area I don’t know a lot about and am interested to learn more about.  So, once I get the ISTE book, I hope I can find some ways or answers to how social networking can be used educationally.  Kids are using it, I use it, so there must be a way to tap into it as a resource.

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