One aspect of my Ipad that I love is the ease of using Skype or other video communication applications. There is something about video communication that I prefer over audio. I’ll be honest, I hate the telephone and “lose” my cell phone constantly; I also never listen to messages. Videos allow you to see facial expressions and feel connected. I recently tried to connect with a class member via Skype that did not work well due to technological difficulties. It was nice, though, to get to see her and communicate briefly. It lends a new level to what is oftentimes for me a disconnected experience.
I’ve recently discovered that podcasts are much more than the old time radio shows that I like to listen to or rebroadcasts of current shows that I have missed. Instead podcasts offer anyone the ability to record audio and video about any subject matter that they choose while allowing end users to find a podcast about a subject that appeals to them. As I’ve explored podcasts over the last several days, I have found that podcasts can be created by professionals and laymen alike. I have seen slick video podcasts from the American Chemical Society, and simple teacher created podcasts for a specific classroom like PapaPodcasts.
I first used a wiki in my classroom roughly 7 years ago when I created a wiki for an American history class I was teaching. I had links to resources, journal entries, etc. My district devoted a lot of time that year, and the year prior, to setting up wikis for everyone in the district, giving us training, and troubleshooting any problems we might have. I also spent a lot of time and effort putting together what I thought was a decent start to the use of wikis in my classroom. My students seemed to like the use of wikis and I thought the first year was a success. But as things seem to go in education, the next year we moved on to using moodles in the classroom. The year after that blackboard. Wash, rinse, repeat.
I was really surprised by the responses I received to my blog post this week. I really thought there would be varying viewpoints depending on what type of school or occupation of the commenter, but what I discovered is that, for my classmates, we have all thought long and hard about the process of evaluation of both teachers and students, and while most of us feel there is a need for teacher evaluation, the system in place is designed to be punitive to those who teach the neediest students.
For you special education teachers out there, here is what our federal Secretary of Education thinks about us. It is only going to get worse.
I wanted to add a few links that I shared below that I feel touched on many of the comments provided. I’ll have to say I was surprised that everyone is feeling the heat and shared many of the same opinions, comments and concerns. I believe I am a good teacher, and I can tell by your responses that all of you are dedicated teachers well versed in your craft. If you have time take a look at the following three links.
Most of this school year I have been really excited as our staff were told that our high school would be going one-to-one with computers next year. At the last school board meeting, however, this plan was put on hold for another year. In talking with my building principal a few days ago, he asked if I thought I was ready to implement one-to-one computers in the classroom. Unhesitatingly I said yes, primarily because of classes like the one I am currently taking from PLS. While my students have access to computers within my classroom, I was looking forward to students always having their own computer, relying on them, and the expectation of using their computer daily both at school and at home. Continue reading