Princesses in the City! A look into the life of three Marymount students

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Who Gives a Kahoot!

So, I admit it, I love technology and used to be “tech savvy,” but today there is so much out there it is hard to keep up! Especially since right now I am a stay at home Mom and no longer using a lot of tech during an average day (other than facebook). ¬†The technology I play with all day is made by Fisher Price and consists of the same three songs playing on REPEAT in my house ūüėČ

Since starting ED 554, I have learned several different programs and tools that I think would be great to use in a classroom setting.  Although I had a twitter account before, I did not use it much.  I now follow many educators and have gotten a lot of great ideas.  One of the coolest things I have come across recently is Kahoot!  What a cool tool.  This tool is awesome for pre assessments, identifying student knowledge about a particular topic, taking class surveys, and even playing games.  I see many many uses for this program and would love to have it in my future classroom.  It is fun and interactive and something I think students would love to engage with.  The school I worked at last year had a similar program and we used it for Math lessons.  It got the students engaged and allowed them to be active participants in the lessons.  So much cooler than a boring SMARTBoard!

Using Kahoot! with Learners of Any Age and Subject.

 

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high-tech vs. no tech

This article does a good job of highlighting the conflct in today’s society of when and how to incorporate technology into education. ¬†Of all the videos we have watched and articles we have read in class, I found this one to be the most interesting. ¬†I liked reading about actual schools that I am familiar with. ¬†I grew up not far from Flint Hill High so it was interesting to read about how tech savvy this school is.

There is a drastic difference between schools and how they use technology even within the same county. ¬†Why? ¬†To me, I think the answer is budget and whether or not the administrator of a particular school embraces the use of technology. ¬†Parents also have a big influence. ¬†As one parent stated within the article in regards to her daughter Nina, “She needs an environment that lets her figure out her own style of learning.” ¬†I agree with this statement. ¬†If using technology in the classroom helps students learn, then I think it is appropriate. ¬†This type of mentality helps students become independent and figure out how to use their critical thinking skills. ¬†I do think, however, that pushing technology without proper teacher knowledge of how to incorporate that technology can be a hinderance instead of an enhancement. ¬†The article states “we have to stop and think if we are embracing technology just because it is there and new or if it is the best tool for what we want to accomplish.” ¬†I couldn’t have said it better! ¬†It needs to make sense.

There is a section of the article that describes a classroom setting where students all have devices in the classroom and are allowed to email, tweet, etc during lecture. ¬†In a perfect world, all students would be mature enough to handle this type of freedom…but we all know that isn’t possible. ¬†Yes, let the students choose how they like to learn, but set guidelines and rules for using devices in a classroom. ¬†The goal is to teach and learn.

I think the important thing to remember when using technology as an education tool is to remember that every student learns in a different way. ¬†It is our responsibility to make sure that we adhere to each student in our classroom. ¬†Denying certain students of technology could greatly affect their ability to learn, while other students would prefer traditional teacher led instruction with paper and pencil. ¬†There is something to be said for hands on learning that has been occurring for centuries. ¬†At the same time, using the tools available to us today can only help enhance education (if used properly). ¬†To me, a happy medium is a best approach. ¬†Those students who prefer to use more technology should be given that opportunity and those that prefer to do it the “old school way” are welcome to do so. ¬†Neither extreme (no tech vs. high tech) is the answer, unless of course students are taking a technology class. ¬†That is pretty self explanatory ūüėČ

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Why Didn’t I Think of That?!

http://myfox8.com/2014/06/10/this-teachers-invention-could-save-your-childs-life/

 

 

 

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Extracurricular Empowerment

I had a flood of thoughts and emotions while watching this video! ¬†I felt conflicted. ¬†On the one hand, what Scott McLeod said makes perfect sense to me, on the other hand, the statement he made about “getting out of the way so they can be amazing” is a bit far fetched.

First, the positive. ¬†I thought the video did a great job of highlighting the need for students to have access to technology. ¬†We live in a digital world and the students of today are the future of tomorrow. ¬†Cheesy I know! ¬†But it’s true. ¬†If we do not allow our children to explore and discover technology and its capabilities, we diminish their creativity and may inhibit the process of a great new invention. ¬†Like Martha, our students should have the freedom to come up with ideas such as taking pictures of their school lunches and posting them on a blog. ¬†Who would have thought such an idea would result in thousands of followers and ultimately donations to feed the less fortunate? ¬†This would not have been possible unless Martha had a great idea and used the tools she had to advertise that idea. ¬†This is the power of technology.

In my eyes, as long as the use of technology is for good, it is beneficial. ¬†Use the example of the young lady in the video who takes pictures of young girls’ rooms to showcase their identity. ¬†A lot of people may think that this is weird and may even call her a “freak,” but in reality she could be helping other young women feel accepted and loved. ¬†She may have touched some other girls’ lives without even knowing it or waiting for a thank you. ¬†To me this is a win-win situation!

Now the negative. ¬†Actually, it’s not really negative, but more of a suggestion ūüôā ¬†Scott McLeod states that we live in fear and want to keep control. ¬†He points out that students use media at home but not at school. ¬†While I agree that media is great and has huge benefits and potential, I think that (like a lot of things) there is a time and a place to use it. ¬†In schools, it does need to be monitored and students should only have access to media as part of the curriculum. ¬†That being said, I do think it is the responsibility of teachers today to incorporate such technologies into their instruction. ¬†Whether that means allowing students to create their own video game, having them blog about a particular subject (such as an experiment being performed in class), or tweet with fellow classmates, it should be a part of daily activity. ¬†However, there should be guidelines and the teacher should be engaged. ¬†Even five minutes a day would allow students to get their creative juices flowing and use the tools that they are familiar with in a classroom setting. ¬†Making students feel comfortable and accepted is half the battle!

famouscauseitsgood

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Teach Your Children Well…Agree or Disagree?

Teach Your Children Well...Agree or Disagree?

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Mom brain

Ok…time for a Mom post! ¬†Any Moms out there experience “Mom Brain?” ¬†I have heard of this phenomenon from friends who have had babies but never imagined it would be like this! ¬†Ugh. ¬†It takes me an hour to get out of the house with my son because I forget about ten different things & have to walk back into the house (while carrying the diaper bag on one shoulder…my son on one hip…and juggling my keys and water bottle) grab what I need, drop a couple of things along the way, bend over to pick them up with child in tow…and then spend equal amount of time making sure everything and everyone is in the car. ¬†How do people with 3, 4, (can’t even think what life would be like with even more than that) kids manage?? ¬†Seriously…I can barely remember my car keys and everything needed for my son on whatever excursion we are going on that day! ¬†I have become a queen of lists. ¬†I make lists for everything! ¬†So take it from me…for whatever its worth…having a baby DOES make you forgetful and you DO have the right to use the excuse “I forgot.”

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Teacher wise

Teacher wise

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Pixlr Creation

Check out my masterpiece created on Pixlr! What a great tool to use in a classroom for kids to express themselves and share a part of who they are in such a creative way! An idea would be to allow each student to create an “icon” that represents them. This icon could be used throughout the year for other media projects.

boat

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“Generation Like”

“You are what you like.” ¬†This is a direct quote from the video Generation Like. ¬†Today, social media is such a huge part of our society that the word “like” has a completely different meaning than it once did. ¬†Today’s generation speaks a different language. ¬†A language fueled by social media. ¬†Although social media has become a powerful tool for people to communicate and reach out to anyone, anywhere, at any time, what impact does this have on our kids?¬†

Do our kids realize that marketing companies such as TVGLA are targeting them using social media? ¬†To what degree does this affect their choices and decisions? ¬†It is shocking to me how much profit companies are making by targeting young people to “like” them. ¬†At the same time, I think it is genuis. ¬†Why shouldn’t these companies use social media to promote their product? ¬†I think the goal is to educate our children to understand the magnitude of social media and become smart consumers. ¬†Just because it is on the computer does NOT mean it’s private. ¬†In fact, quite the opposite is true. ¬†Social media is all about sharing, and that means your information can be accessed by companies, as well as other individuals. ¬†Yes, even if you set your setting to private ūüôā ¬†“Private” is extremely relative in the social media world. ¬†

Likes online equal popularity. ¬†As one student stated in the video, “the more likes you have, the better you feel.” ¬†People, especially young people, spend hours choosing profile and cover photos. ¬†Why? ¬†They want to be liked! ¬†So instead of this type of social interaction occuring in person, today it is happening online. ¬†What does this tell our children? ¬†Image becomes critically important in social media. ¬†You are not speaking with or talking to your “friends” online, therefore, all they are looking at and judging you by is your profile pic and other photos on your page. ¬†On Twitter, it’s what you tweet that makes people want to follow you. ¬†So this makes me question, are kids being truthful? ¬†Are they really identifying their true selves? ¬†Does it matter? ¬†“A brand and your best friend are no different.” ¬† I have facebook myself, and while I stay true to who I am, I post photos that I like and think look good. ¬†My concern with this is that kids will pick on each other in a very silent way. ¬†Bullying online can be more damaging than in person. ¬†It is not heard or seen in public, and therefore can be harder to identify. ¬†Scary! ¬†

I think that social media is a powerful tool and allows kids to express themselves in ways that were not possible in past generations. ¬†It allows them to not only communicate with their friends, but also with the famous and otherwise unreachable people. ¬†Any ordinary “Joe Shmo” can now become an online celebrity with thousands of followers. ¬†How? ¬†It depends on how many LIKES that video, story, page has! ¬†It’s like a mass online vote. ¬†No wonder social media has become the most powerful tool of our generation.

As educators, it is our responsibility to teach our kids how to be smart when using social media. ¬†Making instruction relevant to our students’ needs is key. ¬†Social media is a part of their life and it is our job to integrate this into our lesson plans and to keep up with the times. ¬†Social media will only become stronger, and in order to be up to speed, becoming a Geneartion Like teacher is critical!

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