Saturday, August 13, 2011

Reflection Post

This course has helped me to develop my technology skills as a teacher.  I no longer look to the computer as a source of drill and practice for skills that I have already taught.  Computers and technology can be used to teach the skills to the students independently.  I previously used math websites to drill facts.  I will be looking for new games that teach skills to the students as they play.

My knowledge of the teaching and learning process has been deepened.  I look at teaching as facilitating learning instead of giving the students information.  While I teach reading this year, I look forward to using blogs and wikis for students to respond to each other’s questions.  They can learn more from each other than they can from me.  This will incorporate 21st century skills into their daily work.

I am constantly working towards having a student-centered classroom where I guide the class through the curriculum instead of lecture.  My math class has been a student-centered environment, but I struggle to make my reading class the same.  I look forward to posing questions and allowing the class time to answer them and collaborate with each other and perhaps students in other classrooms all over the world.

I plan to expand my learning with the goal to increase student achievement by working collaboratively with my peers.  There are great resources available in my county and many technologically savvy teachers who are willing to share their resources.

My first goal for the upcoming school-year is to incorporate voice thread into my classroom.  The school system has approved its use.  I need to take more professional development on how to implement it without frustrating the students.  My second goal for the next two years is to create a classroom wiki for the novels that we read.  The students will have a chance to develop the wiki.  I would like to use this year to describe the characters and their traits.  In the coming years, we can use these pages to identify their motives and the reason that things happen in the plot line.

During the first week of the class, I thought that I used multiple and varied opportunities for using technology tools and resources to support the learning.  However, I realize that I really do not use technology in varied ways.  I use technology after I teach the skill instead of using it to teach the actual skill.  This is a weakness of mine and I look forward to making it a strength.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

21st Century Skills

The partnership for 21st Century Skills is an organization that advocates for the integration of information and communication technologies in the classroom.  I agree with most of the information presented in this website.  As a technology liaison for my school, I work to find ways for teachers to include 21st century skills into the core curriculum.  The partnership believes that core content should be taught using these skills. 

It was helpful to see the way that businesses incorporate these skills into jobs.  I had not realized how much jobs have changed in the past years.  Previous jobs required the worker to be skilled at one machine or task.  Now, workers need to be proficient at multi-tasking and using multiple tools.  Teachers should be collaborating with local businesses to identify the skills that need to be taught in the classroom. 

I found that this website stresses incorporating 21st century skills into standardized testing.  I feel that standardized tests do not always represent what is taught in the classroom.  There are multiple ways for students to demonstrate an understanding of the information.  The website also stresses that the only things that are taught in a classroom is what is on a standardized test.  Good teachers, do not just teach what is on the test.  They go beyond that to include global experiences for their students. 

As a contemporary educator, I need to use 21st century tools in my classroom and on their assessments.  Students should have daily access to technology including during assessments.  I am working towards a masters degree in technology because I believe that it is important for my students to have these skills.  As I move to the library this year, I will be using technology to teach my students how to read and think critically.


Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (n.d.). A report and mile guide for 21st century skills. Washington DC: Author. Retrieved from

Trilling, B. (n.d.). The Partnership for 21st Century Skills - Home. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills - Home. Retrieved July 20, 2011, from

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blogs in the Classroom

I hope to use blogs in my classroom as a place for students to showcase their writing and respond to each other.  This year, I will be teaching fifth grade writing and library.  I would like the students to post their work and have other students respond to help build it and make it better.  Many times, students do not know how to peer-edit because they don't know what questions to ask.  

I do not think that the students will be sharing their work with the larger community.  I worry that inviting the community in will not keep them safe on the internet.  By keeping it as just their classmates, they will be able to benefit from collaborative writing without worrying about outside safety.  My students are too young to know how to appropriately communicate with people outside of the building.  Their blogging experience would be a stepping stone to allow them to communicate with others on future assignments.

Blogging allows the students to learn how to use the internet for more than just chatting and texting.  Many fifth graders have learned how to use it for their personal use.  In older grades and in their careers, they will need to know how to respond to someone professionally.  The students will need to learn proper etiquette for their writing.  

Posting their writing assignments on a blog also allows students to feel that their work is important.  They often have to write persuasive essays.  A blog would allow others to question their arguments and have a continuing discussion to improve their ideas.  It will show a record of their writing from one assignment to the next.  Students will be able to see their progress over the course of a school-year.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


I created this blog in conjunction with a graduate class at Walden University.  The class focuses on integrating technology into the classroom.  This has been a focus of many schools lately.  I am hoping to learn ways to continue focusing on content while using technology as a tool.

Last year, I was the technology liaison alternate at my school.  This gave me a great opportunity to learn about new technologies and ways to engage the students.  I was also able to attend a MSET (a state-wide technology conference) and ISTE (an international technology conference).  Both of these conferences opened my eyes to new ways to include technology.

I have enjoyed integrating my interactive whiteboard and netbook computers into the instruction of the class.  However, many teachers at the conferences are going beyond their classroom to integrate wikis and blogs.  My concern is for keeping my students safe on the web.  I am moving to fifth grade this year where they are very tech savvy.  I would love to open our classroom and invite the public to comment on my students' work. I hope to be able to find the best ways to keep students safe while teaching them responsible computing.