Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lincoln Elementary Visit

The visit to Lincoln Elementary was very eye opening to me.  I was astonished at how much technology was used in each classroom that we observed.  When I was in elementary school, each classroom had only a handful of computers and they were seldom used for instruction.  However, at Lincoln, technology was everywhere.  Smart boards were used for many lessons, and these boards were controlled by a tablet in some cases.  In other classrooms, ipods were used to watch educational videos.  This was crazy to me!  I have heard of this a little, but to see it in action, and to see it working well was an amazing sight.

http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&biw=1366&bih=587&gbv=2&tbm=isch&tbnid=AMJy9GueWgZCrM:&imgrefurl=http://technoscientists.pbworks.com/w/page/20303500/iPods%2520in%2520the%2520Kinder%2520Pandas%2520Classroom&docid=2-kIWPptqSiB9M&imgurl=http://technoscientists.pbworks.com/f/1237862465/iPods%252520001.jpg&w=3072&h=2304&ei=cNVpT7DHA66P0QHQ8Kj1CA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=169&vpy=280&dur=337&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=123&ty=108&sig=109352103746315158833&page=1&tbnh=118&tbnw=157&start=0&ndsp=21&ved=1t:429,r:14,s:0

However, going back to the stone age, I was glad to see that their library still had books on the shelves.  I think technology has its place and should be used in place of other methods, but I would not want to use technology for everything 100 percent of the time.  I think it is still important to instruct students in more basic ways so they have the knowledge of completing tasks without technology in case one day they find they are without it.

Overall though, I applaud Lincoln Elementary for reaching out to new things and methods and helping their students achieve at high levels through the use of technology.  This visit was a great learning experience for me, and I can't wait to try some of these things in my own classroom!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Creating Collaborative Research Project

During the first few weeks of this class, the group that I am lucky to be a part of, the Middle JAAR, worked on a collaborative research project.  I had done other group projects before, but this was much different.  For starters, our group was not allowed to talk to each other in person, or face to face; we were required to use technology for communicating.  Since our group members, along with everyone else in the world (hi grandma!) have Facebook, we decided that it would be the easiest communication device.  Another difference in this project from others I have worked on is the research aspect.  For this project, my group sent out forms to other students and had them complete them using the forms tool on Google.  This allowed for direct feedback, which our group presented to the class.

This type of project was very helpful because it was different than any I have ever done.  I felt that every member of the group was held more accountable than normal, and each person had their role to fill.  Once I have my own classroom, I am definitely going to incorporate collaborative research projects because they not only help students learn what is assigned to them, but they learn communication skills and responsibility, which will come in handy later on in their lives.

If you would like to see our presentation, just click right ------>  here!  :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Global Learning Experience

For me, I have always known about learning all over the globe.  Not necessarily how other countries learn, but that everything is connected.  Just last semester, my girlfriend taught English in Korea, and we would Skype everyday and she would tell me how everything was going and how education was different in South Korea.  So I have been familiar with differences.  My knowledge has enhanced because of Dr. Z's latest trip to Jordan, where he talked and learned about different education topics.  It was interesting to Skype with him while he was on his trip and learn about what was different in the Middle East.  There are so many techniques out there, it is hard to focus on just one.

Also, after viewing Thomas Friedman's "The World is Flat" presentation, my eyes were open even wider.  I now understand better just how connected everyone is to, essentially, everyone else, and how methods can be shared instantly.  Another point is how everything is changing.  Many things are being "in-sourced" as he put it, and things are being done easier, faster, and for cheaper. 

It is going to be very interesting to me once I have my own classroom to see what global experiences my students and I will encounter.  I am hoping to include a project that involves some other students from different countries, much like Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay has done.  Who knows, maybe my class and I could take a visit to experience other countries' educational techniques!