Monday, May 6, 2013

Digital Citizenship in Second Grade/Elementary Schools

What is digital citizenship? When do we start telling our students and children about the dangers that lurk in the dark? How do we teach them to use the internet safely and warn them of the dangers, but at the same time not scaring them.

We do it now! In a world where smartphones are the only phones that exist, people are typing their notes in classes, using it to create their own artwork and connecting with multiple people around the world!
In a world, where we all are becoming digital citizens, we need to know the rules of the road and how to use what we use correctly. What is the best way to do that? It is by opening up to the new and changing world and becoming well-rounded people!

There are many resources online to help build up resources in the classroom with digital citizenship! :) We need to always be evolving and learning new things, if we don't then we are stuck in the dark ages. It is good to remember though that it is nice to have face to face relationships as well tagged along with our digital citizenship!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Learning to Unlearn

"Teaching does not make learning occur. Learners create learning. Taking on a new role, taking a posture of learning, means recreating ourselves, and rethinking how we do our jobs." (Connected Educator pg 46)
This statement states clearly what we need to do as educators, we not only need to be learning as we grow older and more mature in our teaching ways, but we need to be learning with every experience that we have. Whether it is from taking a bad situation and turn
ing it into a learning experience of how to handle certain situations, an example would be cyber bullying. We could take this ever rising issue, that students are probably facing in our classrooms and teach them how to handle it. As teachers, not only are we responsible for meeting the standards in the classroom, we have to prepare our students for the world outside of the school. We can only do this as teachers by constantly learning ourselves.
We as teachers need to reproach teaching in a new way starting with ourselves. We have to become connected learners and be participating in connected learning even though it is hard because we have to unlearn what we know and then grieve what we have left behind. Unlearning is necessary though in the ever-changing world that we live in. With new technology coming out every day, we have to be prepared for the now and the future. The way we can do that is by participating in a construction of knowledge.
The construction of knowledge consist of three parts, knowledge for practice, knowledge in practice, and knowledge of practice. All three of these may sound the same but they differ greatly and each is important to be successful in the ever changing world we are in where we need to unlearn what we know. Knowledge for practice is the "sit and get" experience where you are participating in a training session, reading a book, or traditional professional development activities. While the participate gets the knowledge from the activity, it is often hard to transfer what they have learned to their classrooms. Which is why knowledge in practice is important, this is the "try it out and see if it works." This is where you take what you learned in the knowledge for practice and apply it to the classroom to see what works and doesn't. This is the step where it is valuable to tap into your PLN (professional learning network) and PLC (professional learning community) and asking what has worked in other classrooms and what doesn't so that you have a base to start within your classroom. The next step in the construction of learning is knowledge of practice, which is where we shift the focus of just learning to learn, to asking deeper questions and going into research on a topic we are interested in as well as doing reflecting on what we have learned and bringing new and deeper meaning to it.
Technology in the classroom allows for everyone in the classroom to not only learn on their own but it allows us to cut the time in half, because we can pull information from other learners. We also find out many opposing views and experiences that allow us to validate our opinions and why we have them. Technology n the classroom allows for us to help produce a world of children that is ready for the world and not one that is used to drill and kill techniques or waiting for someone to teach them how to do it. As learners we have to be able to take a question and research it on our own to find the answers and teach ourselves.
Learning to unlearn is important because we have to not only be preparing ourselves for the world that is coming, we have to be preparing our students for their future. Which is much different than ours. Teachers have to be able to adjust to the new world that is evolving because we can't stay stuck in the dark ages. We do need what we have in the world today and we have to teach students how to use if efficiently. The kids we teach need to take what we teach them and be able to apply it to the real world that they will live in. If to do this, we have to unlearn our own learning styles to be able to teach every kid in the classroom efficiently and well, then that is what needs to happen. Intelligence isn't enough, we need an education. And that is our goal as educators, to give the children we teach an education.
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said, “We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character –that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.”


Monday, April 8, 2013

Interactive Whiteboards in Today's Classroom

The world is an every changing place where the technology and people are evolving to be the best that they can and be the most efficient as well. With new technology being introduced, whether it be from the newest Temple Run to another update of Pinterest or a Kindle Fire with a camera on it that makes it almost exactly like the I pad Mini. Unless we decide to become hermits and live in a cave, technology will be very present in our lives and those of later generations that we will be teaching.

Having grown up in a world of technology and not knowing anything else, most would assume that I am biased towards Interactive White Boards (IWB). To be quite honest, I think they will be the downfall of teaching. As well as the amount of technology that is trying to be incorporated into the classrooms. I think that a teacher should be able to teach to the kids without the IWB, if they have to rely on technology to teach the lesson then they are not efficient teachers. In my experience, the best classes that I had were where there was no smart boards at all. It was sitting down and having a group discussion or debate or moving around the room to talk to different people to get their opinion on what the topic was. A lot of teachers do not know how to efficiently use the smart board, so they use it like a PowerPoint that you can add notes to. Technology can be very beneficial in a classroom, it is just my opinion and from personal experience, that I like being taught through a teacher and not a board. I like to be able to ask questions and have a relationship with the teacher and my classmates, of more then just an online one.

I feel like the basis of the idea for the IWB's was genius. Having a board that lets the teachers interact with the students by pulling in videos and audios and many other things to help reach every student, is a good idea in theory, but if you standing up there with the board and lecturing while using the board or even showing the videos, there will still be a kid asleep in the back of the classroom and there will still be that girl on her phone texting the newest boyfriend of the week. To be able to use the IWB's efficiently and correctly in a classroom, you have be a good teacher who can adapt to the needs of the students by differentiating their needs. While you may want to run a full paper less class room, like one of community college in Iowa does, some students need that hard copy in front of them to be able to learn from it.

There are many pros to the IWB's, but at the same time there are cons to it at the same time. I feel like as teachers, we should first be taught how to teach and the effective methods that work the best and then move onto the technology part of teaching, because anybody can stand in front of a classroom and throw up a PowerPoint with information and read it to the class giving them a little bit more then is on the slide, I have been doing it for years with school projects. The articles that support the Smart Boards, mostly state that it is interactive, it makes life easier for everyone since it can be uploaded and it has outside world applications since videos can be pulled in, but there is very little research done to show that IWB impacts students learning. Why? Because it doesn't, in my opinion. The same thing can be done with a white board or a chalk board or a projection board or laptops. Wasting the money it cost to buy a IWB for a teacher who doesn't use it effectively is a waste of the taxpayers money. Instead, the money should be spend to update the curriculum and the material in the classrooms. As teachers we need to remember that we need to be teaching to the children, and not at them. They are still going to be bored through a lecture or lesson, with or without a board. The teachers have to hit the students interest by differentiating the material and the projects so that the students have the opportunity to try new learning styles.

We may live in an ever progressing world, but we need to remember sometimes the way that works the best is one that has been done for a long time. The world exist outside of technology, if one day we lost all power. What would happen? Would we stop function? No, we wouldn't. We need to not only teach our children how to survive in the world of technology but how to survive without it. We don't need to be glued to technology, the world exist without it.

Use everything you can to its fullest potential to gain the best knowledge that you can without abusing it. The world is in your hands, stop and smell the ro
ses that are out there and see the sights in person, not through Google.

*I apologize for the odd picture placement, I had it nice and pretty and something went wrong.... And I can't figure out how to fix it! If you have any ideas feel free to share!*

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Differentiation is understanding that "one size does not fit all". It is understanding that every student learns differently and that you need to be accepting of everything that is going on with the studenets and in their brains. In a diverse classroom, you will inevitably be faced with students who are visual learners, auditory learners and children who are bouncing off the walls all during the school day. Every student will learn at a different pace and in a different way, so the teachers have to get to know their own students and everything about them. It is very easy in todays world, after all with the technology available at our finger tips a step-by-step is easy to find to break it down. Differentiation is very time consuming but it has very good outcomes. With multiple teachers trying it out and finding success in it, it is benefitting them, their students, and the Common Core Standards. As a future teacher, I recognize that this is probably one of the best ways to teach the diverse students out there and hopefully be able to spark that love for learning in all of them.

I experienced differentiation, in high school with my Art classes and my English class. My art teacher had a small class once we were down to art 2 and 3, he knew who each of his students were and how to approach us the best way. I spent everyday after school for at least an hour to possible two hours, my art teacher would be there the whole time working with me and the other students who stayed after to show us different coloring techniques or painting techniques or even showing us how to do something right then and there so that we have an example to reference. My English teacher, was probably able to get to me the most, she recognized that I had a hard time writing essays, since I write like I think typically, so she helped to teach me how to edit my papers and catch the mistakes that I make as well as suggesting books that would introduce me to many new styles of writing so that I can find where I could find the style of writing I felt most comfortable writing it. All of my teachers I have had found out my interest and got to know me on a personal level where they knew how to teach me. They knew what to do, which makes them fantastic teachers. There are many different ways to approach differentation and they have to learn the best way for them and their students.

I feel like technology can be play a key part in differentiation, it allows for teachers to be able to help students learn in different ways by assigning a project and allowing them to do their own methods of learning and questioning certain concepts that they come across. Technology can be used to show movies and videos and pictures and help the students participate in learning by perhaps making the lesson a jeapordy game. Technology can play a good role in helping to teach the children, but everything is good in moderation. Remember that. :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Twitter and Me"

Twitter and me.... It has been an experience so far. In my personal life, I use twitter to follow authors of books that I like and to follow friends of mine. I don't use it religiously by any means and I don't have a lot of desire to use it religiously. In my personally opinion, our private lives do not need to be aired on the internet for any one and everyone to follow. It is something that breaks the breach of privacy, and privacy is very important to me. I do have experience with Facebook and using it to keep up with family and friends, but I am not one to post about what I am doing on a daily basis or even a weekly basis. So when I have twitter I 'tweet' very sparingly and mostly it is to authors to find out how to get the signed copy of their book or when the trailer for the book is coming out or if there is a possible tv show that will be based off the books.

So using Twitter as we are in Sedu 183 is hard for me. Especially using it to take quizzes a new concept to me that I don't particulary like. It is confusing because I do not know the ins and outs of all of the Twitter methods. I like to have a hard copy of everything in front of me, just so I have easy access and I can take notes on it and refer back to it. I learn by writing and having to refer back to it. So for me, while I am good at most technology such as online shopping and finding Kindle Books and deals online. Even ask me to look up on how to do a projectt such as a penny table or how to bind a book I can do that but having to follow so many people on Twitter is just overwhelming to me. I don't have the energy or want to follow someone's live when I have plenty of things that need my direct attention and not me distracted by my phone or an account. So today in class was a difficult experience for me to try and multitask between the quiz, Google Drive, and double checking my answer. It helped me that my group and I opened a chat up on Facebook to communicate because it made it easier for me to check with them and we didn't have to worry as much because we could 'talk' to each other without talking directly.

On the other hand, I understand the uses for Twitter in education and many of the benefits that it has. Such as setting up homework reminders for the students and parents to make sure it everything is done. It also helps because parents can use technology, such as Twitter to ask a quick question about the math homework that they are helping their child with. There are many uses for Twitter in Education, such as stated in The Ultimate Guide to Using Twitter in Education. It even has multiple great videos that allow you to see Twitter being used in education and how others do it. Another great use for Twitter that I do like is that you can communicate with many teachers throughout the world and get ideas on how to teach a certain subject in history, such as possibly the Chinese New Year, and you could even possible set up a Skype chat to help them see the traditions that are done and for the students to become more diverse people. It is helping to change the way kids are taught and how they are learning, whether it be because it is easier for them to back tract and follow something a teacher is asking about or to learning a different language through someone who is bilingual. Twitter has changed education and how learning is done.

It is up to you to decide whether the change of the technology centered world is good or bad, in most part it seems to be good if not abused, but just remember that there is a world outside of your computer and phone. Enjoy it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Final Frontier

To start the second week of SEDU 183 classes, a group of students inluding myself, Lindsey Downing, and Megan Trinh, worked together to make a presentation about Changes in Technology. We used Google Drive to work collabrively on this presentation. Through technology, we were able to access the same presentation and make changes all at the same time so that we can create the best presentation possible. Google Drive, was a new concept for me, so I was glad to be able to comment and ask questions as well as have tutorials to look at when I was stuck. To work with classmates who are knowledgeble in Google and to work on the project with made it easier to get the presentation done with a variety of opinions. I enjoyed working with the girls I did, they are fun and hard working so no one person was doing all the work! :)

The article about Teacher's Beliefs about Techonology, talks about how teacher's beliefs in using technology and how they can change over time. Also about how certain experiences, whether first hand, vicarious experiences, and social-cultural influences can help to shape a teacher's beliefs. Also about how technology can be intergrated into the class room and how it can be used through out the classroom and in daily life. The article also talks about how if you pressure a teacher to change, they will resist more than if they have a chance to adapt and grow at their own pace.

In our presentation, we talked about the differences in first and second order changes, as well as our we are only moving foward in today's world. As well as how to make the changes easier for teachers and the other benefits of technology! Now onto the presentation!!!

Hope you enjoyed it! If you are future teacher or a current teacher, don't forget to use the technology you have around you to make your classroom more futuristic!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

All About Me

Hi, my name is Megan Dulion, I typically go by Meg because it easier to go by and I am only really Megan when I get in trouble. I am currently 18 years old and a second semester freshman at Edinboro University, I am in the Dr. Robert C. Weber Honors Program. I graduated from Indiana Senior High, which is near IUP. The only way you could any one knows where Indiana, Pa is if you say IUP. Otherwise people assume right away I am from Indiana the state! I have 3 younger siblings, one who is a Dr. Who/Glee Fan, one who is a die hard Justin Beiber fan (Gah even writing his name is painful!), and a mine craft geek. Then there is my mom, who is honestly my best friend because we are so similar! Then there are my two cats, Isabella and Meredith, Isabella has alien eyes and Meredith is a complete cuddle bug and a cry baby, she sleeps with me when I am at home, but when I am not there she cries all night. I am originally from Georgia and I have no taste for the snow here! I am a warm weather girl and I plan one day to teach in North Carolina near Outer Banks. In my spare time, I can often be found reading all different genres of books, babysitting, painting, drawing, photography, or doing an arts and crafts projects. I view my self as a very well-rounded type of person, who loves to expand her knowledge, I want to travel the world to get an even better understanding of the world and the people that are in it. My goal in life is to experience as much as I can and to make an impact on people's lives.

Here at Edinboro, I am studying Early Childhood and Special Education. Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to be a teacher. During my high school career, I had the opportunity to teach a preschool class twice a week for three years and I absolutely loved it. Everything from learning how to teach the different subjects to sitting down and reading with the kids to helping them learn about the different holidays is what I loved doing. That experience solidified what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I want to teach and help kids expand their knowledge. Once I obtain my undergraduate in Early Childhood and Special Education I want to earn a Master's in Reading/Reading Specialist. I have a love for reading and I loved helping the kids in the preschool I taught in learn how to read and write. I want to be able to have more knowledge and learn how to help the grade levels I will be teaching to grow more and be better students right from the start.

I personally feel that technology can help anyone learn. When I was in high school, the Promethean boards were just introduced at my school. They were helpful for math classes because if you missed a day the notes were right there online for easy access with the teachers notes on them and problems with the homework so you could stay up with the work and not get behind. It was also easier because if the notes were typed it was easier to read since handwriting on boards can often get messy! I also like learning through technology if used in the classroom, it is easier to get interperations and incorporations, such as visuals and videos that help make a stronger connect so that I can better understand.  When teaching, I feel that technology can be beneficial if used correctly, such as to have the kids participate in math problems or other problems, so that they can gain a better understanding. It would be from simply showing them how to carry over in addition to showing them how to find x in an equation. It also helps for the teacher to get a better understanding of where students are messing up and where they need help. Technology also has its benefits in the fact that is allows students to be more involved since they could have an interactive board that has clickers for the students for them to answer questions. Technology in class room allows students, who are visual learners to get what they need to help them learn better, and those students who learn by hearing can get the same effect. The lessons could also be loaded online to help those students that missed to stay caught up and for the parents of younger children to be able to help them at home with assignments. With the communication technology today, it also allows emails to be sent very quickly and for the teacher to respond quickly so that if there is a question, it can be answered right away. The internet is a great resource for many teachers to find ideas for their classroom from door decorations for the holidays to lesson plans to decorating bulletin board ideas. A website known as Pinterest has allowed teachers and parents alike, to get ideas on how to teach certain books or adjust material to better fit a student. Although, when used excessively or abused, technology can have downfalls. Say a student is to turn in a paper via email and the teacher doesn't get it but the student sent it or the teacher sents out an email of a change of date for a project to move it up earlier and the email never sent, there is a miscommunication which can cause mishaps. Technology should be used to assist in the learning process, but it should not become solely relied on because it does have it's faults.

My personal beliefs about teaching is that a teacher should try their hardest to help students learn and comphrend all the material that they are taught, even if it requires the teacher to stay well past the end of classes. I honestly believe that teachers are there to help you succeed and that when I, myself am a teacher I will support the students and help them in everything they need whether it be from learning how to write or learning new vocabulary so that they can understand a book they are reading for pleasure. I will do everything in my power to help the kids, succeed. It will never be pleasurable to see a student fail, I would help them out and if I personally couldn't help them I would find someone who could so that they will succeed. Personally, I am going to try to make my classroom, safe and enjoyable place that students want to come to, someplace they are welcome to, I want them to be ready to learn and want to learn. I want to be like the teachers in Won't Back Down, who took a failed school system and turned it into something better to help the kids so that they get a better education. Those are my personal beliefs and goals as a future teacher, I want to help the students succeed no matter what it takes and I want them to feel safe in the environment that they are learning in.