Monday, June 30, 2008
in a technology ethics book i am reading for class, they say that the amish leaders decide if a an item is acceptable for amish used based on the question "Does it bring us together, or draw us apart?" i am curious about people's opinions on this. my take is that balance and intent make all the difference and that some people use technology to escape and that others use it as a tool and that it brings some together.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Since this post is for a grade, I have decided to use capital letters.
The National Educational Technology Standards are a good idea to give guidance to teachers. With the high expectations of "no child left behind", however, I feel that most teachers will not have the time or resources to meet these standards. I know teachers that are not even able to send an email with an attachment, for these teachers, the standards are quite unattainable.
For myself, I was encouraged to see how many standards I already follow. I am especially good at staying abreast of current and emerging technologies. Part of that is due to my dad. He has worked with the technology field in Seattle, Washington for over twenty years. I remember being on the internet in the eighties when it had not been named the world wide web, yet. So, although, I would not call myself an expert (I actually know little about how computers actually run) I am comfortable with learning most programs and have no fear of working with new technology.
I am also good at teaching ethical practice. In fact, as a music teacher, I am often explaining to students about copyright laws and how we should not copy music for our friends that haven't paid for a piece of music. Just because we have the technology to do things, doesn't mean we should. Students usually look at me with shocked faces when I tell them this.
I am very weak in the area of assessment and evaluation. Music teachers do not usually give the types of assessments that make data analysis a simple procedure. I also wonder if any teachers are evaluating "students' appropriate use of technology resources for learning, communication, and productivity." It seems as if this would be something at a computer teacher would do, not a regular classroom teacher or music teacher. The problem being that we do not have any computer teachers at the elementary level and I'm not sure about the Middle School. The regular classroom teachers currently do not have a place on the grade card to report this information and I can't imagine them adopting this sort of thing any time soon. Especially with all of the other things to be concerned about.
As a K-4 music teacher, I am glad to know of these standards and am happy to see that I do use technology to enhance my student's learning. In the past I have used the smartboard, projector, computer lab and eight computers that I incorporate into learning stations. I go to technology workshops at my annual music educators conference to stay abreast of the latest trends and I try to get students to use websites that enhance the information that we are learning in class. My current frustration is that I will have much more limited access to these tools in the new school where I will be teaching. I am hoping to write grants to acquire some of these tools so that I can use them again.
In conclusion, I would say that the standards are a helpful guide to help educators guide their teaching. They are good for all teachers to reflect, but will matter most to those that actually teach computers, rather than those that simply use computers to teach.
Monday, June 9, 2008
before taking this class, it never occurred to me to find out the author of a website. i just looked to see if the site had relevant material and made sure it was ok for kids. i could see how this is important because you could have a good webmaster that makes a web page look great, but the information on that page could be completely inaccurate. we need to be sure that the author is someone that has the credentials and information to back up what they are saying.
another thing i didn't really think about was dead ends. i remember one time during a music career unit we used a school appropriate search engine, but it had a lot of dead ends and blocked areas of the site. if i had checked that out ahead of time, the students and i could have avoided a lot of frustration.
in the end i found a cool website that i put in as a link just because i've always wanted to try that. i hope everyone has fun playing with the San Fransisco Symphony Site.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
i have my girls all ready for kindergarten summer school. i never intended to sign them up, but their pre-school teacher recommended it and the girls are really excited. i had always considered summer school to be cruel and unusual punishment, but if they are excited and i actually get time to myself...how could i say no?
Saturday, June 7, 2008
this has been my first full week home this summer. the twins and i have been having a marvelous time. the first couple of days we were lazy around the house and didn't do much. wednesday we went out with friends from church, thursday we went swimming for three and a half hours, and friday we went to the park and met a bunch of surprise friends. one of the girls' favorite friends surprised us at the park and we spent most of the day with her. we finished up the evening with their dress rehearsal for their first dance recital. i thought this would be very long and boring, but the girls really enjoyed watching the other dancers. we stayed for two hours longer than we had to, just so the girls could watch. now their recital is today and it looks like it will be a beautiful day. i am lovin' summer time!!!