Communicating Visually

Our world is now communicating visually instead of strictly through text. This has its pro’s and con’s. Over time new technology has helped play a huge role in this discovery. The web has played one of the biggest parts in this new communication; it has allowed for more graphics to be shown rather than just text. A study has been shown that 1/3 of our brains is devoted to processing images where as less than that makes us processing text. So what’s the down fall you may ask? Traditional reading is on the decline. Students no longer feel that reading for entertainment is important when they have all these other things competing with it. We as educators are going to have to find new fun ways to bring the love back into reading again before it ceases to exist but we also must remember to teach our students visually.

A few good websites that relate to communicating visually can be found at:

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/realistic-ideas-get-teens-reading

(Is a great website I found that gives some awesome ideas for getting teens more interested in reading)

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top_teaching/2010/11/visualize-teaching-readers-to-create-pictures-in-their-minds-

(Another great site that helps teacher get ideas on how to help students visualize while reading.)

Cell Phones in School…Good Idea?

One of the most important tools to our students today, especially to our middle and high schools students, is you guessed it the cell phone. However, there has been a lot of controversy about whether this tools should be allowed in schools. Cell phones allow for a great window of opportunity to our students, they allow them to communicate and find information quickly. These are a 21st century tool that they will be able to use well passed their school days and into their careers. Although teachers worry about students doing things on their phones during class that are inappropriate, why not have them do things on their phones that relate to class. Programs now allow for students to participate in quizzes and polls simply by texting the answer to a certain number. There are great possibilities when it comes to cell phone use we as teachers just need to find ways that work for both us and our students.

I was able to find quite a few websites that pertain to cell phone usage in schools. They’re pretty cool, check them out if you have a chance!

http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3751073

(Is a scholastic website that discusses why they feel the cell phone ban should be lifted with some great points and an example of teachers attempting to use cell phones within the classroom.)

http://www.teachhub.com/how-use-cell-phones-learning-tools

(Gives a list cell phone use strategies and how to solve common problems within the classroom with cell phone use.)

http://www.howtolearn.com/2012/04/how-educators-can-use-cell-phones-in-the-classroom

(Is an article about the percentages of schools that ban cell phones and also how teachers are using cell phones within their classrooms.)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/teacher-network/2012/sep/10/mobile-phones-classroom-teaching

(An article that discusses cell phone use and tips given by teachers that use them within the classroom.)

Meeting Students’ Needs Instead of our Own

As I have mentioned in previous posts about us as teachers primarily teaching towards the test and having our own ways of teaching to our preference but we have to keep in mind is this type of teaching really helping our students? We know that simply having students memorize material isn’t cutting it. If we take a look at the “Learning Cone” we find that talking at our students is one of the worst approaches we as educators can use. We need to allow our students to discover while they are learning this is how we reach them, by finding ways to relate to the student. We need to become more of a facilitator of learning, guiding our students instead of telling them.

Preparing Our Students for the Real World

As we all know our main focuses as educators recently has been preparing our students for the test. Although we are preparing our students we have to think is this really preparing our students for the real world? In order to prepare many teachers are talking and/or lecturing their students so that they can do well; they are also having them memorize the majority of the material which results in them typically learning it long enough to take the test then forget everything they have learned in the process. Students are learning new skills thanks to technology and even their higher order thinking has changed. We now need to prepare our students for the technology based world of today and in order to do so we have to focus on their needs. Below I have created a chart explaining the new skills taught to students and another to demonstrate the change in higher order thinking.

New Basic Skills

Bloom'sTaxonomy

Sites that also help promote higher level thinking can be found at:

http://www.pbs.org/teacherline/

(which gives examples of activities teachers can do with students)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6grRsLm8eww

(a you tube video discussing Bloom’s taxonomy with softchalk).

Time to Play Catch Up

In order for teachers to best help students, especially those teachers who may not have as much experience with technology as others, it’s important for them to prepare themselves as much as possible. There are many opportunities available to teachers so that they may be able to learn and teach new technology to their students. Workshops can be found online or locally to help teachers with technology. Training are also being done within school systems to help their teachers learn new technology and how it can be used. Professional developments are also available to those interested in learning more about technology. Remember to always reach out to your co-teachers!!

I was able to find two specific websites that offer professional developments to teachers, they can be found at:

http://edtechteacher.org/ 

http://www.pbs.org/teacherline/

Drop Out Rate Linked to Lack of Technology?

This week in my technology class I was shocked by my reading. I found out that the primary reason our students are dropping out of school is because of boredom and lack of technology. I was able to find some incredible numbers within my weekly reading. “More than 1/3 of students in the United States are dropping out of school, only 28% believe school work is meaningful, 21% find their courses interesting, and 39% believe their school work will bear success in their future”. (Understanding the Digital Generation, Jukes, McCain, Crockett) I was able to find a couple of websites that help support why we as educators should use technology in school and some strategies to using it. Check them out!

http://www.edtechactionnetwork.org/why-technology-in-schools

(Discusses why we should incorporate technology in our schools)

http://www.dropoutprevention.org/effective-strategies/educational-technology

(This site gives educators strategies on using technology with students.)

Differences in Learning Preferences Educators VS Students

Due to our changing world our students want to learn through technology based tools, however, most educators prefer their original way of teaching through lecture and talking. This week I wanted to include a chart showing the different preferences between teachers and students. I’m hoping this will give you a little insight on what our students prefer versus what educators prefer.

Learning Preference Chart

Just for fun I was curious as to how much you use technology in your classroom. Please take a few minutes and participate in my poll. Thanks!

Getting to Know Our Digital Generation

We as teachers have quickly realized our students are becoming more attached to technology. Through my technology class this week it has informed me that our students’ brains are now wired differently thanks to their use of technology. We now realize that are students are by far more capable of multitasking and doing many things at once, for example they can listen to music while doing homework and still receive a good grade. As educators we have to remember that we can no longer reach our students by just having them learn to read, write, and do arithmetic, it will no longer prepare them for our world today.

We also need to realize that having too much technology can cause technology bombardment so we as teachers also need to present the importance of reading and doing other activities with our students so that they don’t completely rely on technology for everything. Although technology is very important in our lives so are other things.

Some websites that are useful in informing you about technology bombardment can be found at:

http://xebidy.com/the-digital-natives-their-brains-are-wired-differently/

(The above site discusses how the digital generation have differently wired brains.)

http://teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=250273&title=Understanding_the_Digital_Generation__Teaching__amp__Learning

(This site includes a video on how to understand the digital generation.)

The Gap Between Us and Our Students

Our students are termed the “digital generation” simply because they have grown up in a world full of technology; it’s all they know. In order to better reach our students we need to teach in a way that we can relate to them. In order to better understand the gap between our children and adults today I have provided two very interesting articles you can take a look at. We as teachers need to do as much as we can to help close the gap!

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/education/technological-gap-between-teachers-and-students-widen-1.714232

(The site above discusses the gap between teachers and students and how it continues to widen.)

https://saywire.com/bridging-the-technology-gap-in-education/

(The site above discusses ways the technology gap can be bridged.)