Monday, February 14, 2011

Equal Access


 As a new educator in the 21st century, I feel that I need to be on top of all the technology that there is out there. Children now in the 21st century are exposed to some kind of technology during their daily lives. Some children are able to have cell phones, others have video games and some are able to use a home computer on a daily basis. There are also technology like iPads, iPods, laptops. These are great technology that surrounds us during our daily lives, but unfortunately not every child is able to have access to these items. How do we new teachers make it fair to have equal access to the digital world to all learners?

I feel that we as educators are able to teach our students all the same when it comes to technology, as long as we are giving the students the opportunity to use what they are teaching in the school. To make it fair, the teachers should allow the student to complete their assignment during class time because there are students who don't have access to what we might at schools. Another obstacle a teacher may find when trying to incorporate technology into her teaching is that the school might not have enough for all students. But that is when the teacher can modify her lesson and maybe get students who get to work in groups of 2 and have them share computer time together.It might sound impossible, but in my mind I have this picture of it just working and everyone getting the same opportunity.

I think another way of providing equal access to the digital world is that teachers are able to share their work with other teachers through online, and students are able to share their ideas with other students online. Teachers could teach students on how it's done and actually do lesson plans together with other teachers from different schools. This can be done with teachers in the US and outside of the US. 

Having equal access to technology for every child seems like it can be challenging, but i feel that it can be done. Teachers just need to think outside of the box, and i'm sure we will all do the right thing for our students. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Classroom Teacher As a 21st Century Instructional Leader

K12 Online Conference:

The Classroom Teacher As a 21st Century Instructional Leader with TimTyson

I watched a powerpoint presentation done by Tim Tyson and he spoke highly about how the United States is pretty much short changing out students in their education. Education in the United States is not priority, we here are too busy focusing on what is important for them individually. Tim used Finland as an example. In Finland they are # 2 in Math and the United States comes in # 17. Finland has something that the US doesn't have, Finland has their Sisu; which means strength of will, get together and help each other, everyone's well being is their well being. Everyone comes together when there is a problem. Unfortunatly Tim said that all he sees in the US is Anger. Tim spoke with a David Gergen and he said that the binary choices of the US is either/or, for/against, liberal/conservative, black/white, republican/democratic. Tim said that we have to invest more in our children's education. We are a reactive nation when we need to be proactive. The US is in so much debt that we can't afford to be proactive.

Tim goes on to say where is the American Dream?  Kids in schools don't really believe that tomorrow can be any btter then today is. They can't see a better tomorrow because of the things they are learning today. Education in Finland is number one. They pay for their teachers education, they have the best and brightest become teachers. The teachers get a lot of training, the class size's are in their 20's and EVERY child receives FREE lunch. Students seemed to be treasured in Finland.

Tim suggests that WE AS TEACHERS we should LEAD as NEVER BEFORE! We should be sharing our work, share our students work, use technology, work together. They only way this can be accomplished is if we LEAD! "FOR A CHANGE INVEST IN A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR OUR STUDENTS!" Tim Tyson.

I couldn't agree more with Tim, he has made some great points in his powerpoint presentation. We here in the US have to put our children's education first! They are the future. We need them to keep the US running succesfully. Not that we are right now, but we need bright young students to make a difference, and the way we are doing things now, unfortunatly I don't see that happening. The US has to come as a whole, and work towards the future, and compramise.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sharing: The Moral Imperative by Dean Shareski


Sharing: The Moral Imperative with Dean Shareski

I watched a video posted by Dean Shareski. I found it to be very interesting. I wasn't really sure about it at first because of the title, but once I got into listening to what he had to share, it became really interesting. Dean was talking about how important it is for us to share our work with other teachers. He shared a quote that caught his attention " Sharing, and sharing online specifically, is not in addition to the work of being an educator. It is the work." Ewan Macintosh. 

When we think about sharing our work with others we might ask ourselves, why would I do this? Is it safe? Is it worth my time? How do I make it valuable & meaningful?  But what we really should be asking ourselves is:
Is this an obligation?
Does my institution see value in sharing?
How will it help my students?

If you think about it we really couldn't share any of our ideas with other schools before we all had internet. The only time we were sharing was within the same school. We never really got knew and bright ideas into the schools. Very rare, teachers shared when they would go to workshops, which wasn't all the time. Dean says that sharing back then was a luxury, and it really was for the students in the classroom. They shared with each other. 

Dean also mention that we should ask who, where, and what do I share? He thinks that we should be sharing with the best educators in the world. With all of the technologies we have now a days, it makes that concept of sharing with each other much easier. 

Dean gave examples of teachers and administrators who did awesome with sharing their ideas with other schools and teachers. One example that he showed was an administrator who thought of having an Identity Fair with his students. This was when a the students made posters, like the one's for science fairs, and shared who they were with the school. Everyone got to know everyone in the school. They had a touching story, and the administrator shared it online, and it caught other schools attentions. The other school applied the new project to their school, and everyone is loving it. the two schools Skype with each other once in a while. Great experience!

Dean mentions that we should learn how to share and learn with other countries. We can enrich our learning and make it more powerful by doing so.

His final thoughts were that teacher should give time and energy for sharing, not for the money but because they love to share and they love their students. 

I thought that this very was very powerful. It showed me how important it is for us to share our work with each other. Without sharing, their might not be education. Education is sharing. We are sharing and exchanging ideas every day with each other. By doing this we are bettering ourselves and our students! More power to sharing!