Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Schools that Learn

Reading the first few pages of Classroom was like a trip down memory lane. When I was a student, I always loved the new box of crayons, perfectly sharpened pencils and the assignment planner that had blank, crisp untouched pages, at the beginning of the school year. Even though I don’t have my own classroom yet, I look forward to the day where I am in the classroom that I helped create with new rulers, pencils, posters and a warm welcome. What the students bring into the environment will be the exciting part. Together we will create a space where learning occurs, learning that may be different for everyone. Sure there will be a curriculum that I’ll have to follow and “get through,” administrators and parents watching me carefully to ensure their child passes the assessment exams, and unprepared students that might get on my nerves, but I am ready to take on those challenges. I am ready to touch students’ lives because of the devotion I have for the teaching profession I am entering. One quote that comes to mind is by Palmer, the author of "Courage to Teach". He made a very interesting statement about teaching; “…good teaching comes from the integrity and identity of the teacher, not methods and techniques.” Yes, I’ve been trained on the theories that should be incorporated into everyday teaching, and I have my own methods that work for different scenarios that occur in the classroom, but teaching isn’t just about that. The integrity and identity of who I am as a lifelong learner will help me change students’ lives, in one way or another, only if I open the doors to the classroom that’s awaiting creation.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Free Web 2.0 Tools?

Are free tools worth the price?

Free tools are definitely worth the price and should be used and brought into the classroom. Here are a few reasons:
*They provide an opportunity to enhance collaborations
*promotes positive communication
*creates a digital classroom
*meaningful to students lives, as they learn for their unknown futures
*teaches leadership and responsibility (global citizenship)
*teachers need to practice, be patient and engage in lifelong learning

Free web 2.0 tools not only support the ideas listed above, but are multidisciplinary, and can easily be incorporated into any classroom setting for any subject. Teachers will develop patience as the tools are learned, practiced, and taught to students and colleagues. Keeping up to date in the digital world, by continuing to collect and use valuable resources that are meaningful to students today will prepare students for their futures. When students use web 2.0 tools they are intrinsically motivation because their creation has a purpose since the audience could potentially be endless.

As teachers if we explore with new web 2.0 tools that are constantly developed and changing, we will be able to take information and apply it to new settings that affect not only student lives but the way we teach and learn with our students. There may be times when we learn from our students , as well. As long as the lines of communication are open and afford everyone in the learning community the opportunity to participate as they are comfortable, learning will occur. We can also communicate with teachers to give suggestions about what works best for which subject/grade level or just give a comment based on a tool we've learned enhancing what we do best as teachers -share ideas.