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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Digital Citizenship in High School


           Digital citizenship is being able to use technology appropriately, safely, and effectively. For my level this means teaching how to use the tools they have, how to be safe with the tools they have, and how to find new tools themselves. It is important to promote digital citizenship with my students because it is a skill that they will need for the rest of their life, both in and out of school. Perhaps the important part of digital citizenship today is the wide spread access of information for research. Student will have to be taught the correct online research skills in order the use the Internet to it's fullest potential. At the high school level there are many potential issues that can come with being a digital citizen. Perhaps the most dangerous and most common in cyber bullying. Reports have shown that 4 in 10 young online users here experienced or seen some form of cyber bullying take place (Steinberg). As educators, we must stress how to avoid this and what to do if it happens. For teachers there are many online resources to help them educate their students about digital citizenship. Digital Citizenship Resources is just one of many such sources. It give teachers a great amount of information that could prove extremely useful in educating their students.

Resources


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Learning to Unlearn

Because, Bruce Lee
     For me there is quite a lot that I need to unlearn and relearn about education. Especially in my earlier education, many of the lessons were undated and used materials that no longer work in the world today. However, that was the way I learned and when I think over how I might teach, I often find that these methods spring to mind. Another issue is the changes in what teachers are allowed to do. I remember trading papers with my classmates and grading each other's work on a very regular. Now because of FREPA guidelines, we are no longer allowed to have the students do that.
     In trying to unlearn and relearn, I will likely struggle with letting go of antiquated techniques that I used in my education. The way I learn is likely very different than that of most of the students I will have. I will have to go to great lengths to study other learning styles so I can then differentiate my teaching to fit those styles as opposed to my own. This will be challenging because, even now, I can have difficulty understanding how others fail to grasp concepts that nearly come naturally to me. Being able to view learning from other perspectives will be very important for developing myself as an educator.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Interactive Whiteboards in Today's Classroom


     I believe that Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) can play a very important and successful role in education. They offer a very effective way to display information visually and on top of that also allow for a hands on experience as well. IWB's, when used effectively, could aid a teacher's ability to differentiate instruction in the classroom. However for them to truly be useful teachers must be trained on proper use of IWB.
     At my high school there where IWB's in nearly every classroom. However, a limit few teachers actually used them, leaving most of the IWB's gathering dust in the corner. Those teachers that did use them regularly, used them as little more than projectors and marker boards. This added up to a massive waste of funding for the school. This trend seems to be at play in many schools also using IWB's. In Stephanie McCrummen's article, "Some educators question if whiteboards, other high-tech tools raise achievement", it is shown that many teachers don't see the IWB's useful in the classroom and that it does not actively involve the students in learning. This issue, in my mind, stems from a lack of training with IWB's.
     In order for IWB's to make the impact in the classroom that we believe they can, teachers must have proper and in-depth instruction on how to use them. The capabilities, especially with the newest models, reach far beyond being a projector/marker board. By setting up the IWB in a way that allows for the students to use it, it can give them control over their education. This could let students of several different learning styles mix their methods together in order to reach a common goal. In the end, teachers that have IWB's should get advanced training on how to use them to their greatest potential so that they can truly
 aid in education.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Differentiation

Differentiation looks to avoid this sort of teaching
     From what we have covered, both in and out class, I have come to understand that differentiation is an extremely important part of education. Differentiation is method of teaching in which the instructor provides different ways of presenting the information so that a variety of students can find success. This all based on the understanding that all students do not learn the same way. 
     While differentiation is vital for education, it isn't widely used to great success. There are countless different ways that students learn and this can make it nearly impossible for a teacher to meet every students' needs

This is where I believe technology can be of great help. Teachers can use different technologies that cater different needs. For example, visual learners could use something such as the iPad to work with the materials in a way that appeals to them. By having many different types of technologies in the classroom, students can take some control of their own learning and find what ways best aid them in understanding the information. For the teacher, this helps them discover the ways that students learn and allows for future lessons to be developed more inline with the students' needs.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Twitter and Me

     So far it has been a very eye opening experience working with Twitter for class. Up until this point I had always had a dim view of Twitter and made sure to avoid making my own account. Now while I still see large amount of Twitter as useless, the educational uses shown to us is class have proved that it could be a very valuable tool in teaching. Twitter is a great way to collaborate with other professionals in a quick and straight forward atmosphere. It also could be extremely useful in class with the students. As we saw on Tuesday (Feb. 18), Twitter can be used to share answers in class between both teachers and students. Not only does this document all of the answers, but it gives the opportunity for participation from everyone. Although using it to take a quiz, as we did in class, sounded confusing at first it quickly became clear as to how it can be utilized. New to me was the TweetDeck, which provided a great way to organized the class's answers and the provided questions.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Final Frontier

     For our assignment we were to create a presentation touching on the subject covered in the article "The Final Frontier" by Peggy A. Ertmer. In the article Ertmer goes over such topics as, the usefulness of technology in education, the belief systems currently held by a great deal of teachers, and what steps can be taken to change these beliefs with the final goal being full integration of technology in the classroom. She references statistics and the thoughts of other experts to enforce the idea of changing the current and future belief system so that seamless use of technology is possible. As part of our assignment we had to create the presentation entirely through the Google Drive. This allowed us to each work on one group presentation on separate computers in real time. This gave us great fluidity to the manipulate our presentation as a group. The final result being a clear, effective, and to the point presentation. In our presentation we reviewed some of the issues that prevent beliefs from being changed. We also included several slides that outline the perks of technology in the classroom. These slides contained a video supporting technology integration, facts found in the article, and links to other sources of support.To conclude, here is our final draft of the presentation.            

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

All About me

Yes, it is a gallon jug of Tabasco Sauce
     My name is Stephen Sajewski. I'm currently in my second semester of my sophomore year here at Edinboro University. My major is Middle Level Education: Science and Social Studies. I was born and raised in Erie Pennsylvania. I went to Grover Cleveland Elementary from kindergarten to 8th grade, which was absurdly boring. For high school I attended Colligate Academy. It provided me with a great education, though I didn't entirely enjoy it. About me personally, I am lightly obsessed with cars, enjoy hockey and soccer, love spicy food, and, of course, play video games.
     I believe that technology in the classroom is completely vital. From a personal standpoint, I know that my note taking has improved ten fold with the use of a laptop in class. Using Smartboards and similar technology allows for a greater level of visual and adaptive teaching in any number of situations. Having access to computers in class grants students with a nearly limitless amount of supporting resources as well a great place to keep all the information learned safe and organized.
     As a teacher I will certainly use technology as much as I can to help achieve my classroom goals, chief among which is instilling a love of science in the students. I will do my best to incorporate a myriad of different technologies in developing the way I present information to my students. This will include everything from sources to good information online to making my own educational videos to using Photoshop to create custom visual images. To the point, technology will have a place in all aspects of my classroom.

Here is a small example of something I tossed together in Photoshop (Go Red Wings!)