Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Digital Age without a Digital Classroom...

In Sara Kajder's book "Adolescents and Digital Literacies" chapter three talks about teaching in a digital age. there is no doubt that we are definitely living in a digital age and it seems necessary for us to teach with digital apparatuses. In many of our education classes we have learned how to use differnt technologies in order to teach students. Also, when we teach mini lessons in class (even without being instructed to use technology) we often use technology in the form of the internet or at least in the form of our projector systems, which we have become oh so familiar with. In chapter three, Kajder even mentioned how important it is to go to conferences and other workshops to learn the newest ways to use technology in our classrooms. Even so, I have to wonder, what happens if you get a job at a school that does not have technology? What if your school does not have the projector systems that we have become accustomed to, and instead they have the over head projectors with the transperancy sheets? This eliminates powerpoint presentations, the internet in class and even videos. With the way that students automatically connect with technology, do you think this would make students less engaged and do you think it would be harder for you as a teacher to teach your lessons?

Friday, February 24, 2012

During the previous weeks of class, we've been using a portion of our classtime to present the different technology lessons described in our textbook. The one that I would like to speak on is the one about podcasting; in particular, using podcasting for book reports. With the lack of motivation in our schools today, any time that we can use technology in the place of more traditional teaching methods or presentations, we need to take advantage. Not only will a podcast eliminate small issues students may face such as "stage freight" or sloppy unrehearsed oral deliveries, but it also allows students to be a lot more creative.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Teaching Online Schools

In one of my other classes we were discussing the topic of online schools. During this discussion we talked about whether or not we would want to teach at an online school and whether or not we feel that students receive the same quality of education. We even took a survey and asked the people in the class who had previously taken on-line classes what they thought about on-line vs. in-person classes. Everyone agreed that they do not feel as though they got as much out of online classes as they did with in-person classes. It was a very interesting discussion, but I thought this was an idea to think about. Would you ever want to teach at on-line school? Personally, I do not think I would want to teach an on-line class. In an online classroom, you would never see your students and thus I feel that it would be a lot harder to make connections with students. However, it would probably be a lot more convenient because you would not have to physically leave your house and go to school. J u s t s o m e t h i n g t o t h i n k a b o u t . . .

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Discovery of The Literature Network

Well.... In my computer class (I forget the actual name of the class) we had to evaluate websites that we could use with a standard, (or something like that). During my search I found a nifty little site that I think could be very beneficial for English Teachers! It's an online database that basically contains "all of the classics." Online makes it easier to locate and go through works of literature. Also, it provides quizzes that you could potentially use in your classes. Students can take them online and it records their scores electronically. One more nice feature that it has is a forum for people to discuss different issues and topics. The fact that the literature can be read online opens up the opportunity to even project this on an overhead and have students read aloud in class. I just really liked this sight and see a lot of potential in it. :-) Oh here's the link: http://www.online-literature.com/

Friday, February 3, 2012

Teachable Moments

Earlier today in my Young Adult Literature class. My professor was telling the class about how

she learned a new word from one of the novels we will be reading. The word that she learned happened to be the word "fuckery" and she told us that she had never heard of the word before. Myself

and another student of color both recognized the word and have heard it and even used it on multiple

occasions. The professor, realizing that the two of us were familiar with the word, said to the class "May I

make a 'race statement'? I notice that the two of you lovely ladies are the only ones that knew

what this word meant. Maybe this is a cultural thing? The author of this book IS African

American." After this, class continued and proceeded as usual. As the class was winding down, the

professor announced to the class "Class, I've done something bad; something you NEVER want to do

when you become teachers. I singled out two students because of their race. You NEVER want to

single out a student based on anything! And I hope you two ladies will accept my apology." So

there you have it folks! A teachable moment right there.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Who's job is it, really, to teach the basics?

      In class, we were discussing some of the myths that are out there regarding literature. One that we did not talk about in class, but I do feel is worth mentioning is Myth #2. This myth says:
     "Students learn everything about reading and writing
                in elementary school."
I believe this statement could not be any further from the truth. Regardless of whether this statement is supposed to be true, or not, it isn't. In multiple high school English classes I've observed, teachers re-teaching basic ideas, rules and concepts that students should already have ingrained in their brains for life. It's sad, but true. As a teacher I anticipate that it may be very frustrating when you plan to teach students a new kind of writing or other new skill, but you have to put that plan on hold to reteach an earlier skill that students should already have mastered. As future teachers, we could all be faced with this issue. The question remains, will you humble yourself and go back to repair the foundations of your students, or just continue to try and teach on top of unstable "mastered" skills?