Another bloggy blog blog

March 12, 2009 at 9:56 pm (Technology in the classroom) (, )

Social networking is a tough thing for me to stomach. Although I am an avid user of it and have been for several years, there is a time and place for it. What I mean by this is that social networking, is not, and I repeat, NOT for everybody, and to think it is totally unrealistic. Okay, maybe that sounds harsh.  Social networking is for people…hmmmm…how can I put this delicately, that are mature enough to limit and control the content used and observed. I don’t think that this can be monitored by age, because I think there are FAR too many twenty something’s that use social networking in a negative and harmful way. But it is the way nature runs its course, that, as you get older, you often mature.


After having read Danah Boyd’s article about social networking and youth, I thought about what she had to say about the public’s view of this recent phenomenon and how this affects youth and our society. Not matter what article I read and how many lectures I attend, I do not buy the whole social networking thing for kids. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of using technology to teach and having the children use technology to learn. I think it is mega valuable in our education system. I am also no dinosaur, in fact, I might be seen as a total hipster, however I have a real hard time seeing the value in having 12 year olds on facebook. Now I’ve always been a bit old school about certain things, but I think that kids, sometimes just have to be kids. And social networking is not a way to be a kid. I think using these sites and outlets are an interesting way to share yourself with other people, and to learn about these same friends. I think the fact that you can choose what people see is a feature that was meant to be used by mature individuals, not some hormone-crazed 13 year old.


Do you remember being 13 and not being allowed to watch PG16 movie? I remember it not making much sense to me back then. What difference does it make, I thought? I could probably just rent it when it came out if I reaaaaallly wanted to watch it. The fact is that, most of the time I did not wanna watch it once it came out. In other words, that stupid PG16 worked. I remember being 16 and desperately wanting my eyebrow pierced cause I was cool like that, but I needed my parent’s signature and I knew I would never get it. I could have easily forged it, but instead I decided I would 2 years and guess what? I never got a piercing. Partly because I am now deathly paranoid about piercing shops, but also because they discouraged me to do something potentially stupid when I was at my most influenceable and vulnerable age. I feel that social networking sites should do the same. Force kids to get their parents consent. The fittest will find a way to do it, but I think many will decide it’s not worth the effort and will grab a soccer ball and go play outside. 


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I love Smartboards.

February 24, 2009 at 7:26 pm (Technology in the classroom) (, )

Last Thursday, I was asked to substitute teach in a second grade classroom.  I knew the teacher and children pretty well and felt that this would an easy day. After seeing the plan left by the actual teacher, I quickly realized that this would be a REALLY easy day for me. Why you may ask? Because this specific teacher is a techno-freak and integrates technology whenever and as often as she can, thus this made my job as the fill-in teacher easy-peasy.  Almost every activity throughout the day was accompanied by some sort of technology. And because the students were so accustomed to  this type of learning, it wasn’t difficult to run the activities. For the first hour of the day, I was to set up centers, including activities on the Smartboard, a listening station, and computers. As I supervised the activities, I watched students work on the Smartboard together with total ease and comfort, use the listening station without any problems, needless, play happily on the computers. Several arguments that surround technology are based on the fact that the set up, planning and management when using technology doesn’t make it worth it. However, in this classroom, the students are so accustomed to the routine that it was probably easier than setting up a paper activity. They knew the centers and how to use them, and when the Smartboard was causing some technological difficulties, also gave me some friendly and effective advice on how to fix it. These students were in SECOND grade and were so on track with technology, they would probably put most students in our faculty to shame…but not me of course 😉 I guess my point is, that if you implement technology in the right way, it can be extremely successful for both the students and the teacher.

 In our readings this week, they discuss exactly that. In chapter 5, the author suggests different approaches some administrations should take when introducing technology in schools and in classrooms.  One approach that is discussed in great detail is the ecological approach to technology. In this approach, media ecology is explained as how media and technology affects our environment, and which technologies have greater impacts and why. I find this particularly interesting because this idea plays with the theory that certain technologies have bigger impacts on us, such as social networking.

If we decided to integrate social networking in education, it is imperative that teachers and the administration are aware of the effects of this media on the children’s environment.

Because as per the readings, certain media can have negative effects on the users. In addition, the readings also discuss the importance of professional development in education. Referring to my experience subbing in that grade 2 class, this was an example of a teacher that decided to develop herself professionally to improve the teaching and learning in her classroom. By taking workshops and doing work at home, this teacher improved her computer skills and established a classroom where technology plays a vital role in the curriculum. 

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