Laura Culpepper's Blog

Blogs and Technology in the Classroom

on January 26, 2016

Blogs are a great platform for educators to share research, information, and ideas with colleagues, parents, and students. Some of the educational blogs that I looked at were The Intersection: Culture and Race in Schools by Christina Torres, A Year of Reading by Mary Lee Hahn and Franki Sibberson, and Cathy Jo Nelson’s Professional Thoughts by Cathy Jo Nelson. These bloggers have a variety of credentials and qualifications that give their work authority and credibility because of their experience in the educational field. Torres teaches at the University Laboratory School in Honolulu, Hawaii; teaches both middle and high school drama and English, is a Hope Street Group fellow, is a member of the EduColor Collective, and participates in the Center for Teaching Qualitys Leadership Initiative. Hahn has been published in the Poetry Friday Anthology, the Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School, and the Poetry Anthology for Science. In addition, she is the author of Reconsidering Read-aloud and is a fifth grade teacher. Sibberson writes for Choice Literacy, teaches third grade, and is the author of several books, including of Beyond Leveled Books, Still Learning to Read, Day-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop and The Joy of Planning. Cathy Jo Nelson, a school library media specialist from South Carolina, has been 29 years of experience under her belt.

Reading these blogs gave me knew insight on the field of education and how technology can be used in educational settings. Torres’ (2016) article “Two Kinds: Teachers Focused on Compliance vs. Relationships” discussed why teachers who work on building positive relationships with their students rather than focusing on students’ adherence to the rules gain better results from their students. Hahn and Sibbersons’ (2016) article “The Conversation Around A Birthday Cake for George Washington” reminded me that diversity is important in children’s literature, and the subject is getting more attention from the media and society now more than ever. Nelson’s post “Books @ the Movies Book Club” showed me that teacher can excite kids to read using books that have been turned into movies.

I also viewed two videos-A Vision of K-12 Students Today and Rethinking Learning: The 21st century learner-to learn more about how technology can be integrated into and utilized by schools. I was disheartened to find out that students spend only 2 hours reading books per week while they watch around 16.5 hours of TV per week. I was shocked to find that 63% of teachers will not let students create in the classroom using technology. I did, however, enjoy one of the contributors’ theories about“digital natives,” expressing that students have to learn how to use technology, not that they are born with the knowledge. Teachers can positively influence how students use technology.

As a pre-service teacher the videos helped me to think about the uses of technology and why it is so important to integrate into the classroom. They reminded me that students are already using media all of the time, but that technology needs to be used effectively and engagingly the classroom. We need to know when to use technology and when to “unplug” based on the needs of our students and the objectives we are trying to teach.  It is critical that we connect our students prior experiences with technology and their use of it  outside the classroom to what we are teaching. Our students need to know how to use programs and mediums to create in addition to consuming.

Below is a Wordle that I created that shows some of the concepts in learned in my research and in the creation of this blog:

My wordle

Technology is such an important aspect of teaching and learning. I have been introduced to statistics on student use of technology, the prevalence of educational blogs that written by educators, and many why it is necessary to use technology in the classroom. Before this assignment I already knew how to blog since I have had my own for over 4 years, I had prior experience with Wordle, and I had some background with technology in the classroom, but this project helped me to gain specific ideas and concepts. Technology can be a revolutionary tool in the classroom. I could use story-creating programs for creative writing or formal projects, technology to let my students create songs about different topics, use interactive white boards for lessons and study games, utilize laptops for research and word processing, have my students create videos as options for summative assessment projects, and even Skype with subject experts and collaborate with other classrooms around the world using technology. It is very important that teachers are familiar with and are able to use technology effectively and creatively in the classroom. My journey with technology as an educator has only just begun.

References

Hahn, M F., & Sibberson, F. (2016, January 25). The Conversation Around A Birthday Cake for George Washington [Web log post]. Retrieved January 25, 2016, from http://readingyear.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-conversation-around-birthday-cake.html

Nelson, C. J. (2016, January 24). Books @ the Movies Book Club [Web log post]. Retrieved January 25, 2016, from http://blog.cathyjonelson.com/?p=3838

Torres, C. (2016, January 11). Two Kinds: Teachers Focused on Compliance vs. Relationships [Web log post]. Retrieved January 24, 2016, from http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/intersection-culture-and-race-in-education/2016/01/two-kinds-teachers-focused-on-compliance-vs-relationships.html

 

 

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