This blog post is a reflection on my learning this semester in EDU 305 “Web 2.0 Technologies for Public Schools.” After reviewing the ISTE Standards-T again, I choose three concepts that I feel strongly about. In this blog, I will describe how I want to use technology in my future classroom in accordance with the three standards I chose.
Standard 2c: Customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources
I am a big proponent of diversity. I believe that diversity makes the world beautiful and interesting. I believe that diversity in a classroom can either be challenging or used as a great learning tool if used correctly. Students have the ability to learn so much more than content in a diverse classroom. They can learn awareness of others, respect for different cultures and languages and different learning styles. A teacher of a diverse classroom must be able to personalize lessons and learning activities to address students diverse learning styles, working strategies and abilities using digital tools and resources. Using technology in the classroom allows room for diversity in assignments. For example, storyjumper is a website that I have mentioned previously in Blog 1. Storymaking websites are a great tool for students to be able to show diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using a digital tool. In my future classroom, after teaching a lesson, I would storyjumper or another digital storybook website as a formal assessment tool. I would allow students to decide if they would like to work in a group or by themselves. Then I would have students look at a storyjumper book I made. I would give my students a blank rubric and help them fill out expectations for their product. I would allow them to decide what their book should contain, how long it should be and how the information should be presented. Once the student/s and I agree on their individual or group rubrics, I would allow them to start working on their digital storybook using either storybird, storybook, or storyjumper websites. This assignment may take them several class periods to complete. As the teacher, my job would be to facilitate my students learning. I would identify individual needs and assist in any way I could. The goal of this assignment is to allow the students to have differentiation in their digital learning. I would want my students to feel like they are in charge of their learning and they are able to make a product that accurately represents how they learn and what they know. Once the stories are complete they would submit the assignment on our classroom twitter account by telling 1-2 sentences about their book and attaching the URL to their twitter post. Then I would use the rubrics they created to grade their assignments. I feel that using a digital story is a great way for students to be able to show their individuality in the classroom. Depending on what website they chose to use, students could upload pictures (with permission of the people in the pictures) and personalize their stories. This assignment allows students freedom to create digitally and allows the teacher to facilitate in that learning, but not take over and conform students to one product or way of thinking. Each product will be different and unique like the students in my class will be.
Standard 3c: Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats
Communication is extremely important in a classroom. Communication among parents, teachers, peers and administration are a few forms of communication that take place in an American school in the twenty-first century. An educator must be effective at communication. Teachers must keep parents, students and administrators up to date on the learning and activities that are taking place in the classroom. I plan on communicating in several different digital formats with parents, students and administrators.
Parents: I plan on communicating with parents through weekly or bi-weekly newsletters, whichever I feel is more necessary once I begin teaching. I will use a spreadsheets document of students information to personalize these newsletters with parents names and students names before emailing them to each parent. Using a spreadsheets document to personalize newsletters will save me time as a teacher and parents will appreciate the personalization of my note.
Students: I plan on communicating with my students in many ways. One way I look forward to communicating with my students is through social media. I can use twitter or Instagram to send homework or assignment reminders, give extra credit or update students about school events. I could post a picture of something or a question and tell my students that responding to the post will get them one point of extra credit for their next assessment. I can also have students post a link to their digital assignments on social media for the rest of the class to see. Social media would be a fun way for me to communicate and interact with students. If students do not have access to social media I can use other forms of communication such as newsletters or verbal communication.
Administrators: Professional communication is extremely important for administrators. I want the administrators at my school to trust that I will communicate effectively with them. I will use a spreadsheet of student information to record grades and compare the pre and post assessment progress of my students. I will share these numbers with my administrators so they know I am being an effective teacher. I will also have the spreadsheet set up and updated for when an administrator wants to know the progress of my students on a lesson or assignment. Keeping a spreadsheet of students scores and progress is a simple way to communicate with administrators that I care about my students and the progress that they make in my class.
Standard 4a: Advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources
I believe this standard is so important to teach to the twenty-first-century learner because technology is so prominent in their lives. If children do not learn about good digital citizenship in school then where will they learn it? To be a good teacher of digital citizenship, an educator must also be a good example of digital citizenship. As an educator, I plan to always cite my sources of information in proper MLA or APA formatting at the end of slides or presentations. I will use music in presentations that is either on public domain or that I have purchased legally. I will make my students aware of how artist make their money and how the illegal downloading of music is unethical and evokes bad digital citizenship. I have a video about how to be responsible while using social media that I made in my EDU 305 class. I plan on showing this video to my class and getting feedback on how the video made them feel or think. I will expect them to cite sources they use in their work and give proper credit to all parties involved. I will also be a good example by providing credit for any lessons I use from the internet or from another teacher in my school. Being a good example for my students is important to me as a perspective educator.