Blog #5

Digital Wake-Up Call

Summary: There are new results of students performing better on the NAEP writing portion of the test. Students who did this portion on the computer out performed students that did not. These results are not a surprise because students are required to type most of their papers and it has become the norm. Some schools are struggling to afford this new technology. Sue Gendron, member of Smarter Balanced Assessments Consortium thinks that schools need to get computers and digital devices into student’s hands. This can be done to assess their capabilities. Many jobs are now using technology in the every day workplace. Making computers apart of testing will require schools to have the technology. This will help the struggling districts because the government must provide the funds to take the test on computers.

Q1: What is your opinion of the issue in the article? Agree or disagree? Why?

I disagree with this article. I believe that students should take tests using a paper and pencil. Growing up in the age of little access to computer until high school was a good thing. This reduced my dependency on the internet and the easy access of it. Students will lose sight of the concept of a paper and pencil essay. Our world is always changing and advancing but I have learned many things without the use of technology. Standardized testing should remain a paper and pencil test without the usage of technology.

Q2: How does the news, issues, and trends relate to other issues or theories you’ve learned in this class or other classes?

The news pushes the use of technology in classrooms in an excessive way. Technology is a great way for students to learn but it isn’t the only way. As a future teacher I am taught different ways and strategies to use technology in the classroom and lessons daily. Testing has become a major dependency for our country and many teachers “teach to the test.” Adding the aspect of technology could become a struggle for teachers.

Q3: What limitations or criticisms of the idea are important to consider?

When considering this idea, people must consider the consequences of this as well. We as a society are becoming too dependent on computers and technology. Students should learn how to write in class essays and how to edit them. Computers allow students the ease of erasing things easily and editing with simplicity. This can become an issue for students because students need to learn the concept of brainstorming before writing. Brainstorming is a great way to get thoughts organized which can be applied in many areas of life.

Blog #4

How ‘Big Three’ Publishers Are Approaching iPad Textbooks

Summary: Schools are now incorporating more technology in classrooms in many aspects of students learning. By doing this iPads are becoming a large part of the classroom routine. Three large publishers are approaching iPads textbooks to have their books available to students using iPads. These three publishers are McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. These publishers publish many textbooks in the subjects social studies, math and science for high school students. There are some questions that come about with these new books. The biggest concern was having enough storage space on the iPads. One teacher has only experienced one instance when there wasn’t enough storage and the student had 6,000 songs taking up the space.

Q1: What is your opinion of the issue in the article? Agree or disagree? Why?

I believe that this would be a great idea for schools and students. Schools would benefit this by buying cheaper copies of the text for many students to use. Students would benefit by watching videos, hearing audio chips and working with interactive charts. I also believe that this would be a great way to reduce paper use with the hundreds of pages that books need. This would also reduce the need to buy books frequently to save schools money.

Q2: How will the issue help or hinder your teaching practice? Why?

This could hinder my teaching practice because the students would not be able to take home textbook homework problems. Teaching math may become hard when assigning problems from the book for homework. The essential point of a math book is the problems that are provided to do as homework. This would require the teacher to create worksheets on the topic being covered because of the inability for students to take the iPads home. This is something that could hinder a teachers ability to teach. Also convenient access to internet and games on the app store could become an issue.

Q3: How does the news, issues, and trends relate to other issues or theories you’ve learned in this class or other classes?

The trend of technology has played a major role in the development of these virtual books. These publishers were probably feeling the pressure to update and innovate to fit in with this technology era. This can become hard for teachers to teach because some students may become distracted by other apps or features on the iPads. Students could go on internet and play games whenever they please with the convenient access.

Blog #3

Physical Activity and Digital Learning: Two Peas in a Pod

Summary: Physical activity has become an issue in a new digital society. A school called Carpe Diem Collegiate Middle and High School have blended learning with no physical education class. The students in this school can get physical activity at any point throughout the day. At another school Silicon Valey Flex Academy the school is across the street from a Crossfit gym that offers students a Crossfit for Kids program. The author believes that this is a far superior way to health education.

Q1: What is your opinion of the issue in the article? Agree or disagree? Why?

I feel that this is a great way for students to increase learning in the classroom. Students are able to renew their minds after a long class that wore them out. When going to their next class the student can be disconnected and many studies show that students work well after a workout. The part that I did not understand was if these students were dismissed from work in other classes to work on their fitness. Also, the student could not just get up and leave class. This would be hard to maintain the security of knowing where the student is and being responsible for them.

Q2: What limitations or criticisms of the idea are important to consider?

A limitation to this idea is that most schools are low income and can’t afford the equipment for numerous students to work out at the same time. Also bigger schools would need to offer more people to supervise students so that they are uninjured by themselves or equipment. There should be a class on proper ways to workout and stretch for the first week. Then students could still workout at any point throughout the day.

Q3: What examples of issues have you observed in your own experience?

I have experienced a terrible physical education class. The teacher that taught did not personalize workouts or help us strive to eat right as well as pursuing physical activity. The class was very awkward as a young female and the physical activity was mandatory. I would have preferred a culinary class to learn to cook and eat healthier. I feel that it became very complicated to sit through six hours of classes to have gym last period. My mind was able to work at the end of the day, not during the day.

Blog #2

The Flip: End of a Love Affair

Summary: Flipped classrooms are a student focused classroom where students watch lectures at home and do homework in the classroom. This helps students to collaborate with ideas. The teachers role is to teach the students how to learn. Learning for the student became meaningful. The author introduced a flipped classroom and gradually this type of classroom disappeared over time. Now students learn in the classroom and collaborate with limited lecture. The author stated that they don’t like giving homework, a lecture by video is still a lecture, and she wants the students to own their learning. Students collaborate and discuss different ideas with students that are on the same learning level.

Q1: What is your opinion of the issue in the article? Agree or disagree? Why?

I believe that a flipped classroom is not ideal for most schools and students. The author of this article stated she did not like giving the students homework, but the students were watching videos outside of the classroom for homework. A flipped classroom helped her create a different classroom environment but I do believe that a flipped classroom is not idea for most students.

Q2: What examples of issues have you observed in your own experience?

The author stated that the school does not have a 1:1 for computers. This can make the video watching complicated. I came from a small school that had limited computers and computer access. A flipped classroom at my high school would be very difficult to accomplish due lack of computers. Also the author stated that students pick their groups to collaborate with and if it doesn’t work they find a new group the next day. From experience many students are not verbal and need direction from the teacher. I am a student that learns through visual objects or ideas. Personally, I learn best from PowerPoint presentations and rewriting notes. I have also experienced that different subjects call for different classroom techniques to learn. For example an anatomy class is hard to do without a content lectures before doing any other work. Many classes are different along with different students learning styles.

Q3: What are possible ways to use the ideas in your own teaching or self-directed learning?

The author found an ideal classroom setting for her students and the subject matter. The idea of a student centered classroom is a great concept to bring into my classroom someday.

Blog #1

Flipped classrooms’ in North Texas turn traditional teaching on its head

Summary:

Two high school teachers are changing the classroom for the better. Two teachers at Forestwood Middle School are introducing flipped classrooms. This is done by students watching videos or recorded lectures outside of classroom time. Students can watch these on their smartphones or computers. The students always have access to videos to watch again, rewind, and ask questions. Instead of lecturing for the class time the students are doing their homework in class. By doing this, the students can collaborate their ideas and work together. The students are expanding their learning and understanding conflicts in depth. There has been an increase in test scores and many students enjoy this way of learning. Also, attendance for many students has increased due to student interest.

Q1: How will the issue help or hinder student learning?

The idea of a flipped classroom will hinder students learning because of the complexities that come about with technology and learning styles. Some students may be hands-on or visual students. These videos may become an issue for these students to understand the complexities of the topics. Also the question can arise, What if the student forgets to watch the video?

Q2: What is your opinion of the issue in the article? Agree or disagree? Why?

I believe the flipped classroom is a bad idea because computers are not always accessible for many students. Some students do not have access to a computer or a smartphone. The article does state that there needs to be access to computers before or after school which some schools may not offer. Also with many extra curricular activities some students may not have enough outside of classroom time to watch these videos and accommodate for other homework from other classes.

Q3: How does the news, issues, and trends relate to other issues or theories you’ve learned in this class or other classes?

The idea of a flipped classroom can cause many criticisms with some parents. Many teachers are being criticized for many classroom techniques and teaching practices. I believe that this will hinder the view of a teacher. Many can state this is a way for teachers to do less during classroom time. Also, critics can state that some students can’t have time for these videos due to busy lives outside of the classroom. This can become an issue if the student doesn’t watch the video and can not participate in classroom activities.

Blog # Trial

It’s laptops for everyone in Baldwin County’s seven high schools

Summary:

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Q1. What is your opinion of the issue in the article? Agree or disagree? Why?

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Q2. How will the issue help or hinder your teaching practice? Why?