One of the areas I am sure we all need to improve upon is keeping up with technology!  Staying connected to literature, social media for education, professional development, and face2face conversations.  This week, please choose a post from the TeachThought blog and share what you know! There are tons of topics so each of you choose a different post.  First post, first dibs!

  1. Add the link to the post you chose
  2. Share your thoughts pro and con
  3. How will you keep up with technology emerging trends?
  4. Reply to 2 other peer posts as you would with BB Discussion Board
  5. Be sure to add your CR2 profile link and the CR2 link to this discussion to your web portfolio.

Good Luck!  Eyes Forward!

Diana

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http://www.teachthought.com/technology/6-ways-support-students-with...

I chose to read "6 Ways to Support Students Without Internet Access at Home" by Terry Heick.  The article included six practical ways to help these students that have no access or limited access to the internet at home.  I have many students that are proficient in their computer skills, but I also have students that clearly are not familiar with using computers for anything other than checking their Facebook profile. 

I liked most of the suggestions that the author offered.  Heick suggests pairing students together when using the internet at school to conduct research.  That way, students with limited experience can be paired with students that need extra help.  I also liked the idea to offer solutions to families that do not have the internet.  For example, teachers can locate areas that offer free WiFi access and nearby libraries that have computers available for public use. 

I did not like that the author suggested that teachers ""spin" intermittent access as a normal thing."  According the the article, only 56% of Mississippi homes have access.  The author thinks that sharing this type of statistics will keep students from feeling like outcasts.  While that may be true for some, I know that my students will not be fooled by this kind of statistic.  The majority of students at my school do have internet access at home.  I would be lying to my students if I tried to make them feel like it is normal to not have access at home.  Rather than focusing on what they do not have, I would focus on how to help them get access for school projects and research.

Technology is constantly changing, so it is important for us as educators to try our best to keep up with what is available!  I will do my best to keep up with trends by following technology gurus on Twitter, following technology blogs via RSS feed, and by consulting with the technology specialist at my school.  While I may not be able to purchase new hardware every year, I am able to update the software and websites that I use with my students!

Amy,

I almost chose the same article as you, but then I saw your reply!  I am glad you posted about this topic, because it relates to my topic of using flipped classrooms.  One major disadvantage to using a flipped classroom that I see is how to help students who do not have computer or Internet access at home.  I agree with you that most students do, but I like how you mentioned ideas for helping students and families that do not.  Offering ideas for spots with free Wi-Fi is a good idea.  I also know that my school recommends for students to visit the local library for computer access, if needed.  I think as teachers we also need to be ready to offer after school time for students to use computers and Internet to complete assignments that we give if they are technology-based.  Thinking about the article that I read, I think that if teachers are going to use a flipped classroom approach, then they need to give extended time to view and interact with digital lessons for students who cannot go home and get on the computer that same evening.

Thanks for sharing!

I have to say this would have been my first pick as well for an article. I am glad that someone chose it because it is a sore subject in many schools, especially my own. I teach kindergarten and our students are required to take a 52 question MAP assessment three times a year. This year the amount of time we have spent in the computer lab has decreased from previous years. I have students who come into school and who have never worked at a computer or picked up a mobile device before to navigate the apps or internet. This tends to be a problem when they have to take these assessments because not only are they unsure about how to use the program, but once they figure out how to “click out” of the assessment their scores are extremely low. I like the idea of finding free WiFi for these families, but there needs to be motivation on their part as well to take their children there. Even though we provide them with these resources does not mean we can make them use them.

I agree with you about technology changing and it being extremely important for educators to stay up-to-date with the changes so that they are able to teach their students. This was the reason I chose to take these courses so that I could become more knowledgeable about technology to help my students.

What a cool and interesting article. I have students with this issue even at the college level. Most of the time students without internet access at home or even without a home computer have plenty of resources that they can use to get around this.

First off at Del Tech we have several open labs were students can use computers and print out documents as long as they want and they are open from 8am-10pm Monday - Saturday, which gives students that have to work enough time to utilize the lab. Secondly, as the article suggests student are using libraries around town to use those computers for free (as long as your a member). It may be harder for younger students to travel to hotspot areas because they may not be able to get to the library due to transportation restrictions.  

At school I ask students in class that have lower level computer skills to work with students that have better computer skills to help the students and to also help me during class- this seems to work pretty well for us. 

Other than that, if you have a land-line at home than you have dial-up internet. Of course the performance is bad but at least they have something. Instead of buying cable internet - $50 a month, you should buy DSL for $15 a month because its not that much slower than cable and it is a heck of a lot faster than dial-up. Schools in Delaware are even buying Chromebooks for students and teachers to use in class and at home for FREE. Or you can buy one from $150-$250 to use for classes or at home. 

Technology should not stop student growth there is so much opportunity out there for students (maybe not in Mississippi - 53%!!!!) to gain access you just have to find it and work for it. 

Article Link: "10 Common Misconceptions About The Flipped Classroom"

I read “10 Common Misconceptions About The Flipped Classroom”.  This article was appealing to me because I know that the idea of a “flipped classroom” has been a major trend in incorporating technology into the classroom.  This article, by Kelly Walsh, discusses ten ideas about using a flipped classroom that people have come to believe – which aren’t necessarily true.  For anyone not familiar with a flipped classroom, it is the idea of using technology (videos, audio, web applications) to teach a concept instead of using direct instruction, having students interact with the technology-based instruction first (particularly at home), and using class time and teacher-student interaction time for remediation, review, and extension.  Flipping a classroom means having the majority of the new instruction take place via digital resources, having students view them outside of the classroom, and then using class time to answer questions, get help, and build on those concepts.

The first few misconceptions discussed are that flipping a classroom is just a new trend, or a new “buzzword” and that it can only be implemented in certain ways.  The author discusses how many people feel that using a flipped classroom model is an “all or nothing” approach.  I like how she addresses these misconceptions by explaining how the flipped classroom model is a teaching strategy that has been in education since the early 2000’s, and how it is just one approach that teachers can keep in their “toolbox”.  When trying to implement a flipped classroom, you can use it as you would any other instructional strategy.  It does not have to be all of the time, or for every subject area, or every unit.  It can be for particular lessons, subjects, or whatever concept lends itself to using the flipped classroom idea. 

The pros of a flipped classroom which are discussed in the article are that there are a wide variety of resources that a teacher can use to create flipped classroom content, the flipped classroom model frees up valuable instructional time in the classroom to work directly in assisting students, and that using a flipped classroom as way to deliver content increases student engagement and motivation.  Some of the resources that the author mentions for creating flipped classroom content are Khan Academy, Ted.com, screen casts, teacher-created audio and videos, Power Point presentations with voice-overs, and building a class website.  I cannot find many negatives about using a flipped classroom model, my only concern being students who are unable to access the digital content created by their teachers at home because they do not have a computer or Internet access outside of school.  Overall, I believe that using a flipped classroom is a wonderful teaching strategy for teachers to try, especially teachers who are new to implementing technology in the classroom.  Flipped classroom is also a great way to start exploring all of the Web 2.0 technologies that are available for teachers.

It can be difficult to keep up with Web 2.0 and all of the new technologies that are available to teachers and students as they come out, but I think that continuing to research emerging trends and testing them out in the classroom is what will help me to keep up with what is new in educational technology.  I have found that the resources I tend to use the most are the ones that I interact with on a daily basis.  The more I try and test out in my classroom, the more skilled I will become at working with technology.  Another way to keep up with emerging technological trends in education is to stay informed by collaborating with other teachers, and reading and interacting on sites like Classroom 2.0.

Hi Caitlin,

I like that you brought up the misconception that a flipped classroom needs to always use this method of teaching new concepts through video.  I have used this method as a tool, and I have found that it really works well for certain concepts.  Other concepts I think are best learned in person, a setting that allows students to receive immediate feedback on their perception of the concept and their performance of the task. 

I like how our articles are so related!  Students cannot be expected to view videos posted by a teacher if they do not have internet access at home.  The concept of a flipped classroom is a good one, but it may need to be tweaked depending on the demographic of students and the resources that they have available.  Perhaps they could be given several days to watch particular videos.  That way students would have the opportunity to go to a library, friend or relative's house, or use a school computer to watch the required videos.

Thanks for your post!

Caitlin, I agree that the flipped classroom can be very effective by allowing more in-class time for collaboration, discussion, and group activities, which are all very engaging for the students. However, my concern with the flipped classroom is that we put the responsibility in the students' hands for watching the videos on their own time. I have tried to implement a flipped classroom concept in one or two of my classes and each time I found that I had to spend class time reviewing the information presented in the video anyway because there were students who did not watch it. This did not save any class time at all, and instead wasted a lot of the other students' time who DID watch the video. In the future, I will have to come up with a mechanism to somehow prove that my students watched the video before coming to class.

Laura,

That's a great idea!  It is tough to be sure that every student is prepared for the lesson when you can't be sure if they even took the time to complete the assignment.  It's the same as assigning homework, I guess.  When I assign homework, there are always a few students who do not complete it - no matter if it is graded or not.  Those students are unprepared for class the next day, and usually end up just pairing up with a partner who did the homework do complete our homework review.  I think that if you had a few students who didn't view the flipped classroom materials, they could always be "filled in" by students who had.  However, if you have a majority of the class, then it could be a potential problem (and waste of time!)

-Caitlin

One thing that stuck out to my about the 10 misconceptions about the flipped classroom is, that it "frees up valuable instructional time in the classroom to work directly in assisting students." When I saw this, I was immediately intrigued! One of the things I hear day-in and day-out from teachers is "there is never enough time!" If a teacher could potentially be "two places at once", it could solve so many problems! I have used the flipped classroom idea for small groups! Not only was I able to assist a small group on much-needed skill development, but I was also "assisting" another group at the same time with a video I had pre-recorded to give instructions and practice about a concept. The students really enjoy seeing the videos I create of myself! It also makes my instruction on the particular concept consistent between groups. If the students are uncertain of what to do, they can easily watch the video again to help them further understand the concept. But if they are STILL unsure, then that means I must create a new video that does a better job with my explanations of the concept. I love the flipped classroom idea, I just don't see it working from an "at-home" setting with my students as many of them do not have access to much technology at home. In the classroom, however, I am like "superwoman" as I am in multiple places at once!

Link to the post: http://www.teachthought.com/teaching/10-assessments-you-can-perform...

I chose a blog post that discussed various assessments that can be performed in 90 seconds. I completely agree with this post that the more assessments offered to students, the better. These assessments help the instructor monitor students’ understanding of a lesson or concept. Based on the results of these assessments, the instructor can either spend more time on the concept or move on to the next one. Not all assessments are effective for every student, so it is best to provide a variety of assessment types to get a complete picture of student understanding. Also, by using quick, 90 second assessments, rather than hour-long tests, the instructor can administer more of them during a class to get a better gauge of student understanding.

The blog post provides many great examples of brief, simple assessments that can be performed in any classroom. I think many of these suggested assessments would be very effective because they incorporate different learning styles and would generate a very authentic measure of all students’ understanding. Several of these assessments involve students drawing or creating a diagram to demonstrate what they understand. Other assessments have students verbally explain a subject or ask important questions related to the topic. The fact that there is variety among these assessments makes them more effective.

A few of the assessment examples that are recommended would not be as effective in certain classrooms and for certain topics. For example, the assessment called “Three Questions” that involves asking the students to list three questions about a topic and then rank them in order of their importance would not be very useful in my classroom. I teach Anatomy & Physiology, which is a fact-based science. This particular assessment involves an individual’s opinion regarding which questions about a topic are the most important. In my mind, as long as the question is related to the topic we are studying in class, it would be equally as important as any other related question.

I plan to incorporate several of these brief assessments in my classroom in the future in order to get a quick gauge of my students’ understanding. In addition, I plan to incorporate the use of technology along with these assessments. For instance, I can use the Poll Everywhere app/website so that students can use their cellphones to text their responses anonymously. Their responses will appear on my Poll Everywhere webpage where I can evaluate them to determine what topics I need to explain further. I can also have students use Google Drive to complete surveys about the topics they are learning in class. By using Google Drive, all of the assessment data will be saved in one place and can be viewed by anyone given access from anywhere. I believe that by incorporating technology with these assessments, I will not only gain a better understanding of my students’ knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses, but will also give them the opportunity to become more tech-savvy.  

One of the loudest complaints from a teacher is "there is never enough time!" I know from my experience, I am constantly feeling a "time-crunch". I agree that it is essential that as instructors, we limit the time used for an assessment, and make many more meaningful short assessments. A 90 second assessment as you explained would be ideal! Many of these 90 second assessments explained in the blog encourage higher-order thinking. The students are not only required to understand the content, but they must also apply their knowledge when answering the 90 second assessment questions. For example, the "Do's and Dont's" could be used with my second graders to help them think about addition with regrouping. They must first understand the concept of how to perform this task, as well as how you SHOULD NOT perform this task. Very interesting ideas are in this blog! Thank you for sharing!

http://www.teachthought.com/technology/what-happens-students-use-te...

The blog I chose is “What happens when students use technology better than teachers”. This blog is painfully true! The youth of today has grown up with technology at the grasp. The blog refers to all of our tech-savvy students as “digital natives”.  They are so visually over-stimulated at all times that it almost doesn’t make sense to integrate it into the classroom. We know what interests children today – it is technology! Technology is constantly changing and improving. At this rate of improvement, it is difficult for someone that has not grown up with the technology to become accustomed to all of the new advances. I have learned over the past five years that I can easily learn from my students, just as well as they can learn from me.

A pro of the students being so “tech-savvy” can be that essentially you are learning from “the best”. Many students interact with the latest and greatest technology on a daily basis. Why not give them a chance to show what they know? Often times I will receive notes back from a substitute saying that my 2nd graders are very helpful with my SMARTBoard when the substitute teacher is having trouble. This also encourages the students to practice their problem solving skills. It is important that the students also see that every person is not perfect. There are times that I have technological difficulties during instruction and some of my students can help me.

Learning from your students can be a great way to build confidence and encourage problem solving skills; however it can become boring to the students. A lesson would be much more interesting to a student if it were visually stimulating. If the students have to continually show the teacher how to fix the technology, it is distracting from the lesson. The students may even lose interest in a lesson if they are focused on assisting the teacher with the technology as opposed to the content.

Keeping up with the latest and greatest emerging trends is essential if you want to stay ahead of your “tech-savvy” students. Workshops are usually available to help with understanding new technology. My most helpful resource is youtube.com. You would be surprised the amount of instructional videos that are posted to give the step-by-step process of how to use new technology. Most likely, many of these videos are created by the youth of today. This should not push you away from learning from them. Keep in mind; they are the “digital natives”.

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