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Continuation…

Okay, so if you read my last post. I am going to take it one step further. Assume the students did the assignment and they are excited and ready to present. So, as teachers, our lessons improve over time, and with practice. Sometimes students don’t get a lot of practice standing up and presenting in front of people but yet public speaking and self constructive critisim are very important skills to have throughout life no matter what “you want to do when you grow up”. So, as teachers, it is our job to prepare our students for the future.

So, continue the student participation, video their presentations, and email or post up to their personal school account and as an assignment tell them to watch themselves. Pay close attention, and then critique themselves. Write down ways you can:

Improve?

What you did well.

Any nervous habits?

This gives the students a real view of how they did and will be able to improve in their next speech, presentation, or even in daily conversation. We teachers are nothing short of miracle workers, aren’t we?! I know, I would have benefited from this exercise as a student. I never did this until college in my public speaking class, and boy do you look and sound different on a video than in your head! So, get a video camera, and upload away! Let the students handle the rest…then of course you will need to grade the critiques!

Happy Teaching!

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When you are out of ideas?!

It’s nearing the end of the school year, and you’ve used the computers, the smart board, music, movies, live video, and seem to be out of ideas to keep the kids attention on school and off their summer plans.

Well, this can be a problem and I remember as a student myself the last few weeks were the hardest to keep focused. We just wanted to be out of school! So, what can we as teachers pull out as secret weapons in order to keep their attention?

Let them out of school!

What?! What do you mean by that I assume you are wondering, well yes, let them out of class, let them go out on campus and explore for themselves. Give them a subject that you had in your lesson plans, tell them to incorporate one form of technology and make a mini lesson to teach your class next class session. It feels like a break for the kids, it’s not something generally teachers think to do. However, we as teachers know it best that you learn the best when you are teaching others, right? That’s the beauty of it, they choose their technology, they incorporate it in all types of different ways, they put a lesson together, and the students get to listen to someone other than you, the teacher! This was an idea that I thought of and wished my teachers would’ve let me do so I do not have a specific website to use because the form of the technology would not be up to me! It’s the students choice.

Happy Teaching!

Movies

I remember as a student when the TV rolled into the classroom everyone had smiles on their face! We viewed it as a break from learning, an easy class period, a stress reliever. However, I still to this day, more than 5 years later remember things I’ve learned through the movies in class. Movies are key, because students don’t view them as hard or stressful like class can sometimes be for them. When a teacher comes across a school and topic appropriate movie to show to their students they are holding the key to learning in their hands. Students soak up so much knowledge when watching movies. Some teachers choose to handout worksheets during movies, and some assign a movie report after the movie. I guess this is where “to each his own” comes into play. However, from first hand experience, I spent less time actually paying attention and more time just listening to the important points or answers! I say, just let the students enjoy, soak it in, and then have a class discussion afterwards. Who would have thought it could be as easy as that! Wanna learn? Watch a movie!

If you wonder where you can access a wide variety of movies, go to http://www.netflix.com. This website is wonderful, cheap, and has awesome categories to split it all up! Go check it out!

Technology fail.

So, this is now my fifth attempt at posting this! Our internet was down, so I attempted to use my iPhone and it froze three separate times. So I restarted it, and hoped that would fix the issue. However, nothing changed…so I was faced with a dilemma. I decided to get creative and make a video to upload and use as a video blog…ironically, that too wouldn’t work. It seemed like nothing I would try worked. So, finally our internet was fixed and now I am making a successful post!

Teaching with technology is great, and with some students it allows them to succeed when traditional teaching styles aren’t working for them. However, like I have been experiencing technology is not always reliable and can fail. This is when you as a teacher show everyone what being a teacher is all about. Teachers are always prepared and when everything else seems to fail, we always have a back up plan. I say when nothing else works, you can always go back to traditional ways. We know how to adapt and make things work for all our students, so when technology doesn’t work…the key is to never be thrown off. Preparation is key as a teacher. So more than anything, this post is to be encouraging when things don’t always go as planned. Unfortunately I do not have a website to use in this post…but I hope this gives you some inspiration to never let technology get the best of you. It’s a wonderful tool to use, but remember, it is just a tool; not the teacher!

2nd post of the week.

So, I haven’t been very quick to get my second post up this week but here it is…I was thinking about the subject “teaching with technology”. It’s the class I’m currently in, and I have to say, I have learned so much more than I expected to. I think it’s one of those things where you don’t know how much you don’t know until somebody shows you.

I know I have recommended a few ways to incorporate technology into the classroom…but it just hit me, why not this?! Every one of us has been a student at one point or another and we all have had writing assignments, article reviews, or even journal entries. Why not use this? The teacher can subscribe to all the students accounts, can read, comment, and see when it was posted. It can basically be used as a “Blackboard or D2L” website if one isn’t already being used in your school. In fact, all these posts I have been posting are directly related to education because I am using this for exactly what I am recommending. My professor is monitoring these and using them as assignments. It really is a great idea! See, even while giving us assignments he is using strategies in order to use technology in the classroom! I don’t know why this has hit me sooner than this, but this is a great way for students to open up and hopefully even share useful topics with others online rather than just social, and meaningless posts which clutter the internet!

I hope this has set a spark in any of my fellow teachers!

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Music

In my previous post I gave different examples of how a teacher can incorporate technology into their classroom in fairly easy ways. One form I briefly touched upon was music; I mentioned how beneficial classical music can be in a learning environment and how in foreign language classes it can be used to show the students a bit of culture.

I would like to further go into depth about using music and give you more ways to access a vast variety for your students. Most everyone already is signed up and is using http://www.pandora.com, and for those of you that don’t know what this is…it is a website and available in an app which provides listeners with free music of any and all genres. You even have the ability to type a genre or artist into the search bar and create your own station. For example, I could type in NSYNC and an NSYNC radio would pop up, and their songs as well as similar artists would be channeled into that radio station.

This is a great site to listen to music, however; there is not a very wide selection of foreign language music on there and for me specifically, this would be a problem for in my classroom. So, I came across another website that is also available as an app and it is called last.fm and can be found at http://www.last.fm. This has a vast variety of foreign music and offers all that Pandora does. I love last.fm and what it has to to offer. I urge you to get on, sign up, and check it out! Especially if you are looking for some current foreign music to let your students listen to, or even just for yourself!

Teaching with technology

When you think of teaching with technology, what forms of it do you think of? The most common answers would probably be a computer, projector, and maybe a smart board. Those are all good sources, and are fine to plan a lesson around, however, our daily lives are completely surrounded with technology. Why not bring those into the classroom? Why not use them for your benefit? Children are always excited when they get to learn in different and unique ways. This blog is mainly just to give you ideas of how to incorporate technology in appropriate ways into your classroom.

First off, taking notes is always very time consuming…I would encourage the students to have access to a computer and type out the notes. In this day and time period, the younger generations are incredibly fast with a keyboard. Would this not be more time efficient and possible leave time for review of the notes rather than up to the bell writing?

It is widely known that music can clear a mind and increase attentiveness, especially classical, why not set up speakers and let the students listen to classical music in the background during free study, silent reading, or note taking, or even while they are taking a test. The benefits of this are shown throughout many studies. If you aren’t convinced, go Google it, the results are everywhere. Especially if you are a foreign language teacher like myself, this is a great way to incorporate culture without even setting aside extra time.

The third form of technology that I would like it talk about in this post is online surveys and quizzes, there are some websites that actually allow you the teacher to create a quiz with different forms of answers like (multiple choice, fill in the blank, or T/F) then the students use their cell phones to answer, it is sent to the website in real time and you can see the answers filter into the website. It is the quickest way a teacher could ever grade 30 quizzes in a matter of seconds and then put those grades into their grade book instantly. I think this could be a very powerful tool. 

In fact; go to http://www.polleverywhere.com to see what I’m talking about!

Thanks, hope this gives you some inspiration!