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SMARTBoards in Classrooms

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The SMARTBoard is an interactive whiteboard, combine with functionality of a whiteboard, computer, and projector in a single system which uses touch and detection for user input in the same way as a normal computer device. (Shaw, Giles, Hibberts, 2013 p. 85) For example, the user can scroll up and down by using their hand and moving to the desire direction. SMARTBoards have expanded into our classrooms nationwide. If you can work a computer than you can work a SMARTBoard. Teachers can use them in their classrooms for any academic subject. SMARTBoards are effective for a small group instruction, active discussion, and questioning. (Shaw, Giles, Hibberts, 2013 p. 87) Interactive whiteboards make it easier for a teacher to save or revise their lecture. They can allow easy access to the internet and integrate a classroom with digital resources like multimedia. At Saint Mary School, teachers use their SMARTBoards to complete easy tasks, like attendance, according to the YouTube video.

SMARTBoards are beneficial for teachers and students. Teachers can use a SMARTBoard to add some interactive learning in the classroom. Most children are excited to use technology and with a SMARTBoard it allows that. It can help a teacher with time management in a classroom such as, not having to change out all new material when starting a new subject. It can also help teachers to enhance their lesson plans with different learning styles. The teacher could have a “hands on” lesson just by using easy activities with having an interactive whiteboard. A research concluded that interactive whiteboards can make enhance a child’s communication and thinking by using tool and environment that assist a child’s knowledge building. (Shaw, Giles, Hibberts, 2013 p. 86) We want our students to have fun learning and a SMARTBoard can be used in a positive reinforcement.

“Critics claim that in too many classrooms, interactive whiteboards are nothing more than fancy, expensive chalkboards, especially when their interactive features are ignored by teachers who do not know how or refuse to use them.” (Shaw, Giles, Hibberts, 2013 p. 86p) If we have teachers who are in a classroom setting and do not know how to use the SMARTBoard then it is not going to be effective teaching and not encourage students to listen. There can be more problems with SMARTBoard rather than a traditional white board. Sometimes technology has problems with functioning properly. The interactive board may take a long time to load, someone can unplug it, or something can break. If it quits working then it could cause the teacher to fall behind with their teachings. This can be avoidable in some cases, but it happens. According to Bill Ferriter, “Schools and districks run out and spend thousands of dollars on these gizmos, hanging them on walls and showing them off like proud hens that just laid the golden instructional egg. (www.edweek.org)

As a current student and a growing teacher, I think SMARTBoards is something we should have access to for learning. It can be an easy motivator for students and help a teacher with their lesson. I know I will use my SMARTBoard throughout the year and try to create fun activities. I think if we expect our students to know how to use technology than we should know how to use a SMARTBoard. I support having them in our classroom, but I also think we need a traditional whiteboard as well. This way we can ensure a back-up plan if the SMARTBoard has problems. My concern is that teachers who do not know how to use a SMARTBoard and that is the main resource in the classroom then how will the teacher be an efficient teacher throughout the day. We already know the students can learn by having a SMARTBoard in the classroom, I think it is something teachers should have in their classroom.

References

  1. Shaw Jr., E. L., Giles, R. M., & Hibberts, M. (2013). Does Technology Make a Difference? Investigating the Impact of Instructional Method on Second Graders’ Knowledge Acquisition and Retention of Rock Types. Global Education Journal, 2013(1), 83-92.
  2.  Ferriter, B. (n.d.). Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards – Education Week. Retrieved October 24, 2015, from http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2010/01/27/tln_ferriter_whiteboards.htm
  3.  SmartBoard in Grade 3 at St. Mary School. (n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkBz6achxGU
  4. Picture: google.com
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Collaborative Learning with Interactive Games in Elementary Grades

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As a growing teacher, I would want my students to be engaged with what they are learning. Video games will engage the students if it is fun and exciting for them. Most children have some type of technology in their everyday life and some students like to play video games. There are so many educational games that will help children with subjects that they maybe struggling to learn in class. “A child learns through playing with others, creating and improving his or her zone of proximal development, because such play tends to involve more complex activities than those the child experiences in daily life.” (p. 176) Educational games would be something I would want to integrate with my teachings in my elementary class, so they can build on their learning skills and have fun. Role Game is an educational game that can assist a child with social and communication skills. It will enhance on their mathematics and language arts because Role Game is a collaborative gaming activity that is designed to make children build strategies in order to reach the game’s objective.

Role Games allow the students to create an avatar and interact with three other students. Each avatar has an objective to do to complete the problem that they have at hand, whether it is capturing letters to complete a word or catch a villain to get across. The students have to plan and carry out a collaborative actions to overcome barriers. Students needs to be communicating, organizing, negotiating, and coordinating throughout the game in order to win. Role Games helps the students to have attainable goals and to not get frustrated. It also creates constant feedback from their peers and create problem solving strategies as a team.

These games are affordable and can be easily downloaded through any app store or download online to a family’s’ computer. It can help children through all grades and at different ages. I think children would benefit by having these different types of activities in their classroom to create change and keeping it fun. I am observing a third grade class and the one thing I noticed is that my teacher always keeps is fun because learning should be fun. As a student and a prospective teacher, I would want my classroom to be a place where children can make mistakes,, have fun, learn, and enjoy spending their time with their teacher.

Reference:

  1. Infante, Cristián, Juan Weitz, Tomás Reyes, Miguel Nussbaum, Florencia Gómez, and Darinka Radovic. “Co-located Collaborative Learning Video Game with Single Display Groupware.” Interactive Learning Environments 18: 177-95. Print.

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Today’s Teaching

Early Learning Collaboration Clipart

Starting Off Strong in Early Learning
According to Chrys Dougherty (2015), “Our nation strives to have all students graduate from high school ready for college, we have to confront the reality that we are far from achieving this goal.” Early childhood and elementary are important years for a child to learn. For many students learning gaps appear in early childhood. Students, who enter kindergarten are behind in early reading and mathematics skills, oral language, development, vocabulary, and general knowledge. Since most kindergarteners are academically behind one their first day of school, teachers must upgrade their regular academic curriculum to a higher-quality of learning. It is beneficial for students to have an enrich curriculum, but it does not help the students, who have limited knowledge and vocabulary. Children build their knowledge and learning skills based off of their life experiences. So children who do not have a learning environment at home early on, do not have a promising future in their school years.
Early learning contributes to later learning throughout a child’s academic career. Children should have early exposure to knowledge to help them to learn new things. Learning takes time and is spread out through periods of time. In order for a child to learn upper grades, they must build their lower grades. Some children do not get exposed to knowledge, unless they are at their school. This is a major disadvantage for the child’s learning because children need adults to guide them. Adults help them with understanding new things. It is difficult to get a student caught up in middle school or high school, so it is best for a child to have an early invention in elementary school. By having a child meet with a tutor, it can enhance their learning and have one-on-one time with an educator.
Strengthening early learning is to start reading and mathematics. Reading is identifying words on a page or being able to decode the words. Knowing letter-sound relationships and with spelling patterns will help the child with decoding. Children also have to be able to understand the words that they are reading; which is comprehension. Reading aloud can help a child with understanding what they are reading. Teachers should assist their student to develop phonological awareness as early as kindergarten. Instill games into a child’s classroom to keep it new and exciting. Playing a take away game can get a child to learn mathematics and prevent difficulties in that area of learning. Keep learning fun and interesting. If students have a good reading and mathematics in elementary it will continue through college.
Home environment needs to be positive for a child to go to. Having a learning environment at home for a child could increase their achievements at their school. Developing a strong vocabulary and knowledge is to provide a stimulating environment at school and home. Parents who are active in their child’s education will motivate their child to do better and to love school. Parents should help with homework so the parent knows what they are doing in class. When a parent helps a child out with the school work, their child feels important. Children need the right amount of sleep every night and nutrition. If a child does not do these things at home, then they will have bad day and not pay attention in class. Thankfully, Alabama has free lunch at any school, but children also need this in their home environment.
Classroom environment is important as well. Students must feel comfortable enough to ask questions, engage with other students, and receive positive feedback. Teachers should do an icebreaker activity with their students so they break out of their shell and socialize with their peers. Social interaction is important for students because they will need it for their future. Students will make friends with each other and can learn from their peers. Have a routine with a classroom, so they know what to expect each day and what to be doing. Teachers also need to be great at communicating with parents. Parents should be informed with what their child is learning, having a bad day, or falling behind. Creating a happy gram or a weekly calendar will help parents know what is going on.
How do we close the learning gap between students? Parents, caregivers, and teachers need to be held accountable for what they do with their child or student. Experiences that a child goes through can have a long term effects on a student. Strive for active learners not passive learners. Try to eliminate behavior issues in a classroom. Keep a structural environment in class and at home. By doing these little things can enhance more time with learning in a classroom. This will create an easy transition into school for the child.
Classrooms should have a curriculum and academic goals. Teachers must know what is expected of them in the school year and what their students need to learn. Provide examples for teachers to see what different levels their students may be on. Having a descriptive instructions for students and teachers will help them to know what comes next. Monitoring a students’ performance can help with seeing which student needs extra help. A teacher can reteach, use different teaching strategies, or give different instructions to help a student.
An intervention for early learners can help with filling in the learning gaps with students. Collaborating with teachers to help assist students who need the extra help. By having an interventionist can have the greatest impact on a student. Although it is costly on the school, it can change a students’ future and life. Learning is priceless for a student. Schools should have the best resources for their students and teachers. If a child has a disability with learning, then that student should not be placed in a classroom that does not cater to their disability. If they are in a third grade classroom and on a first grade level, then that student is only getting further behind and is not using their school time effectively.
A teacher can be define in many different ways. Teachers are the glue that keeps the classroom on task and prepare our children for the future. We need good teachers, but we need effective teachers. Teachers that follow a high quality curriculum, challenge students, and make learning fun. The key to a successful school year in early learning is to have parents who are involved in their child’s school. We need teachers to become more active and want their students to learn. If teachers does not have the proper training to teach their students, then they are doing an injustice to their students. I want to change a life, give back to others, and give knowledge to people. I can do all these things by teaching, so now it is time to learn how to do it the best way I can.
References:
Dougherty, C. (2015, February 1). Starting Off Strong: The Importance of Early Learning.Eddigest, 12-18.
Linkages to Elementary Schools and ECE Providers. (n.d.). Retrieved September 2, 2015.
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How to be a Great Teacher!

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I love this picture, that I got from Teachideafactory.com. I know this is something I could look at in a classroom and admire it. I also want to teach elementary education and these are the things you have to go through as a teacher and especially working with younger children. We also should do this now, as a student, to our peers. This is for people of all ages and it is something to work towards.

References:

Teachideafactory.com. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2015.

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Ted Beacon (Personalized Learning)

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Personalized learning is the ability to make a child’s educational career more focused on what they need. It monitors what the students need to learn in order to move to the next level. It really means that no student is left behind. It enhances the ability for students to move at their own pace on what they are learning. No two people are the same, so they are most likely not going to learn the same way. If schools had more personal learning, it could help teachers enable quicker and more efficient learning skills. Education is the key to success and a future.

I feel that it is something that school systems should consider. It can be a key to help students on what they need to learn better, rather than making them sit through a class on what they already know. Some students can learn quicker than others and if teachers have to stick to a schedule, than they leave that student behind. I am one of those students, which has to put in the work in order to learn things better. I know that is doesn’t mean I cannot do what other people can do, it just means I have put more effort into my educational career. I feel if I had more of a personalized learning program, I would have been better at other subjects.

I find it comforting, that I get the feedback instantly with personalized learning. For example, I have written two discussion responses and I still do not know if I did it properly. Or that fact that some professors wait till the end of the semester to post the grades we have made. Those grades effect my future and I would like to know as soon as possible. Personalized learning is something students can gain something from

The positive thing about personalized learning is it monitors you so closely, that it will know if you are guessing. It can regenerate your leaning plan instantly because you failed a test, even though other students passes it. It will see when it is a good time to learn new material, for example if I fail at a learning activity because it is too early, then I will not get new material at that time. Although we have multiple tasks in a classroom, most of them are taught the same, but not with personalized learning. Personalized learning offers students to pick on how they want to learn their new assignments.

Parents and teachers, may not like change or may not like going more of a non-traditional route of schooling. I can relate to how they may feel, because I am always dragging my feet on the ground, when it comes to change. The definition of change in my Webster Dictionary is make or become different. When I think of that definition, it does not make me think that change is bad. I like to be different because it makes me unique. Now my question to the people who don’t want to change to personalized learning is, why would you not want to change our students’, your children’s, future for the better?

Link:

http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Reimagining-Learning-Richard-Cu

References:

Watch “Reimagining Learning: Richard Culatta at TEDxBeaconStreet” Video at TEDxTalks. (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2015.

Guralnik, D. (1970). Webster’s New World dictionary of the American language (2d college ed.). New York: World Pub.

Nobody is Average, Every Student Deserves Personalized Learning. (2015, June 16). Retrieved August 29, 2015.

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Learning To Blog

I am learning to blog, due to a class. I don’t know what to believe. Is it going to be hard? Or is it going to be something to learn from? I can’t tell you, because I have only been in class for two days. I will definitely keep updating on wordpress, even if I am the only one reading my blogs. This class has put me out of my comfort zone, but it is nice to feel like I am challenging my media skills. (Which is none, just an F.Y.I) I am excited about this course, so let the work begin!