Week 3: How different is your current classroom from the one in which you learned when you were a student?

When I was in 7th grade I became a teacher aide for my language arts teacher.  I loved it, and from there I was inspired to become a teacher.  It wasn’t the way the teacher taught me, or the things I learned while I was there, it was the way I felt when I helped others.  I remember, that summer, I pulled aside my youngest brother and sister (who were both in elementary school) and would pretend to be their teacher.  I taught them math, reading and writing.  It was so much fun for me, probably not so much fun for my siblings but they were good sports.  I knew then that I was going to become a teacher.

Back when I was in school I remember technology was just on the cutting edge.  I had my first typing class in high school as a freshman, and the library was just starting to change over their card catalog to digital form.  We were just starting to type out our reports.  I, on the other hand, didn’t have a computer at home.  I went through my entire high school career hand writing my papers.  As I hit college access to computers was part of life.  The digital world had taken hold.  Now I look back and see how my younger siblings had more technology experience then I did, since they were getting the earlier exposure to it.

Today technology is a part of our daily lives.  Social media is a whole new world of opportunity for enlightenment, exploration, and discovery.  Thomas and Brown enlighten us with several stories which demonstrate how technology can be a tool used to educate anyone who is willing to use it.  Whether you are a professor at a university allowing students to explore and grow through gaming, or you are a diabetic just asking questions on Diabetics Daily to inform yourself on the disease you have just been diagnosed with you are using your resources and learning what you need to know.  I loved their finishing quote, “…in the new culture of learning the point is to embrace what we don’t know, come up with better questions about it, and continue asking those questions in order to learn more and more…” (pg. 38).  When we embrace the unknown we become curious and go in search of the answers to our never ending questions.

I am currently a PE teacher, but half of my day I am working with small groups focused on reading.  This year I have the privilege of having my own room with a Promethean board.  I have been researching the different things I can do with this technology.  I am so excited to try it out on Monday morning, when my first group walks through the door.  For the last four years I have been bouncing from one space to another so I have needed to use dry erase boards and just copies.  I now have the technology available to me, so I am going to take advantage of it.  I have included a YouTube video that was a nice introduction on how to use the Promethean board.  Cindy said she would send me other videos that can help me out.  After watching this video I am ready to practice with the board tomorrow afternoon, to prepare for my classes next week.

Now that I have the capability, I started to research other types of technology I can incorporate into my daily lessons.  I found a great site through Edutopia that lists several examples of sites that could be helpful.  It goes into how to get started by using technology in the classroom, how to use it for data collection (like using Socrative) or how to use it to present your ideas in a creative way (Screen-Cast-O-Matic).  There is so much on this site, I just can’t list them all.  I am so enthusiastic now to dive into a 21st century classroom.  I appreciate having the resources to do it, when I know there are many places that are limited.

Edutopia. (2007, November 5). How to Integrate technology. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-implementation

Teq. (2013, January 31). Intro to Promethean ActivBoard. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5thuV41tMuQ

Thomas, D, & Brown, J. S., (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

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12 thoughts on “Week 3: How different is your current classroom from the one in which you learned when you were a student?

  1. Sunshine-That is too funny! I remember playing teacher as well. I was in the same boat. I didn’t use technology until high school and I remember the card catalogs for looking up books. I have a dell projector in my room that they just put in last year. I guess I can use it to write on the board as well. I haven’t figures that part out yet. Yes, I am going to have to look this up on YouTube as well. There is so many sites that we can use. So much out there that it is a little overwhelming at times. Not sure what to use. ☺

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  2. This is a response to week 3: I love you enthusiasm! I’ve tried screen-cast-o-matic before, it’s great! I think you’ll love it. My 3 year old niece knows a lot about iPads, iPhones, and kindles. She’s probably never seen a desktop. We have one at home, but never use it. I’m happy that you finally have your own room and can start planning accordingly.

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      • Yes – it’s just so easy and inexpensive! (Those are two of my criteria :-))…and it’s reliable…I love it! I did live a note in Livetext for you Sunshine – maybe Virgil can help with the pens? Also – is there a driver for the pens that maybe you have to install?

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  3. I agree with the youth having an upper hand on us with technology. They accept and understand quicker. I didn’t use a computer until my third job. It was a monster-ious size, it took a table to hold it. My educational experience was in college; I had to go to the lab and share with others. Tough life. Now, I enjoy my laptop at home on the couch.

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    • I did the same, using the shared computers in the computer lab. But you have to start somewhere. Just think where we will be in 10-20 years. It’s going to be amazing to watch the transformation.

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  4. I think it’s great you are researching ideas to use the Promethean board, many teachers would use the excuse of not knowing how to use it, so they wouldn’t use it. I worked at a school where every classroom had a SMART board, but over half the staff didn’t use it for the SMART board capabilities as a learning tool.

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    • I have been hitting a brick wall with it. I can get it to do what I want, I can project the information on the board, but I haven’t been able to use the pen yet. So some reason it doesn’t recognize the pen. I am still working on that. I’m sure I will let the world know when I have finally figured it out from my already hours of research online.

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  5. Your blog post really illustrates how technology and the learning environments have changed, not just for students but for teachers as well. Your ability to access resources, tutorials, and other tools inside and outside of the classroom has changed your teaching practice and will most certainly impact the learning experience of your students! Reading that Edutopia article from 2007 further highlights this point, it’s interesting to “go back” and see how technology was being integrated at the time. More importantly, teachers who are just starting out in their tech integration have a wealth of information to draw upon and are not just limited to what is currently being used today.

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