Reflection on Web Tools

For the past couple weeks, I have been taking a class called Web Tools. This class explores different teaching methods through the use of technology. Exploring the instructional technology world has been a valuable journey thus far. I have learned useful information through blogging, tweeting, and using different educational tools. I have engaged with educators, administrators, and even students through blogs and twitter chats. All of these things have taught me a lot about what it will be like as a future educator. Being able to create my own lesson plans, quizzes, and presentations has not only prepared me to teach myself, but also to use my own creativity to translate information to others. All these different teaching meatheads that I have learned will help me keep my lessons interesting.

This class has also helped me better understand the risks of the internet when it comes to teaching. By researching about different teachers who have lost their jobs by uploading mindless posts on the internet, I better understood that any teacher can lose their job by posting something rash. In this class we are expected to watch videos through EDpuzzle and answer questions as we go along. This method helped me stay focused while watching these videos. A video that I found very beneficial to understanding how teachers should act on the internet can be viewed below.

Culture through TV shows?

To explore the Japanese culture, I decided to watch a Japanese TV show called: “Death Note.” I heard about this show from my brother who loves to watch anime. What a better show to watch then one that is recommended by an anime junkie. He was very excited to watch it with me in Japanese.

The first scene was a group of high school students in a class. The students were dressed very well in suits and ties. I noticed students would stand up to speak and were referred to by their last names in the class. All these things could be because of the setting and culture of this show.

Outside of the classroom, we learn that the show is based in a city. We know this because the scenery is mostly buildings, and there is a combination of people walking, riding bikes, and driving cars. This is very similar to an American city. I also noticed the cars drove on the opposite side of the road as to what we are used to in the US.

This show is based on a smart high school boy named Light who found this book called the death note. The death note was dropped in the human world by the death god. The way the book works is Light writes down names of people he wants dead, and they die within seconds after. I found it really interesting how everything is in Japanese except for the book. The death god tells him the book is in English because English is the most common language in the human world. The fact that they have gods in the show may demonstration another a cultural aspect. I looked up the most common religion in Japan and it is Shinto. This religion believes in multiple gods. So that is probably why they have multiple gods in the show.

Another thing I noticed is how the god ate as well as in other anime shows that I have seen. Eating food in these shows is very exaggerated; a lot more exaggerated than in American shows. This may be because in the Japanese culture it is polite to slurp and be loud while eating.

All in all, this show did a great job in depicting Japanese culture. Although, this show wasn’t made to show off the culture, it was a great way for me to explore a different culture in a way that is entertaining.

What I Learned Through my Twitter Experiences

Before this class,  I had no idea Twitter could be used in a professional teaching aspect. I always thought of Twitter as a website strictly used for personal thoughts and interactions. I never thought of it in a professional way. After making my professional Twitter account, it was cool to be able to participate in different Twitter chats and interact with teachers and other professionals on different topics of discussion. My first chat wasn’t very interactive because I didn’t follow many people, and so I picked a random chat (#edchat). After following multiple educators and classmates, I was able to see Twitter chats that people I was following were interacting in. This week I participated in #blogchat. This chat was a lot more interactive. I posted a question and within seconds I got multiple responses. It was a much more exciting experience than my first. I also got great advice on how to find my voice when it comes to blogging!

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Now you ask: how can this be applied in the classroom? Well before interacting on Twitter through Twitter chats, and watching videos of teachers who actually use Twitter in their classroom, I didn’t know Twitter and teaching could be a thing; but I was very wrong. As I stated in my previous blogpost, Twitter can make your classroom more exciting and allow your shyer students to become more engaged in discussion. So I was thinking, well this is great for a writing class, but what about us math teachers? How can we use Twitter to benefit our classroom? I came to realize through my Twitter chat that we could have Twitter discussions posting math problems and having our students post their thoughts and opinions on how to solve. After learning the different uses Twitter can have, I am excited to try them out when I do start teaching.Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 1.39.07 AM

Teachers Role: Inspiring Students

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“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little extra.” (Jimmy Johnson). When it comes to students in the classroom, they all need that little extra push. Whether a student is struggling for those few extra points for an A or barley passing, our job as educators is to help them achieve their goals. A way to do so is by inspiring these students. Pushing them to their limits and always telling them they can do better. Never put your students down, and always keep them thinking positive. A happy student is a motivated student. If we inspire our students, they will succeed and be the best that they can be.

Now you may ask? How can we inspire and motivate these kids; especially the ones who really don’t care to learn? In the TED Talk, Every Kid Needs a Champion, Rita Pierson does a great job explaining ways to really motivate these students to learn. She puts her students in a positive mindset and motivates them to do better. She believes in her students and they know that. This is how we make our students successful. As I said, a happy learner is a successful learner. In the video she states, “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” If we build bonds with our students and show them we care, they will be inspired and actually want to learn. In the article, Motivating Students, it states: “Students who are not motivated will not learn effectively.” So let’s motivate, inspire, encourage and stimulate our learners’ minds! Let them know to shoot for the moon, and even if they miss, they’ll land among the stars. (Les Brown)

Twitter in the Classroom?

With modern day technology we have numerous ways of teaching our students. We don’t realize how we can make things more exciting in the classroom by using these tools. When looking through the textbook, The Global Educator, I came across different tools of community and social media. One that struck me was Twitter: a tool almost every student is familiar with. Students use this tool every day for personal uses. But what if we could use this tool to create discussion boards beyond the classroom. What if student could use their Twitter accounts to blog and interact with other classmates. The lesson plan, Twitter and Academic Research, starts off teaching students how to use Twitter; for those who are unfamiliar. This is followed by a presentation after the lecture. This presentation is done by tweeting. Students must use hashtags to search things related to the topic of discussion. Finally, once they all have tweeted the class will discuss what they have found.

This lesson plan isn’t the only thing I found where students are able to engage with Twitter in the classroom. In the video, CNN: Twitter has place in classroom, a high school teacher notices how much students are on their devices and uses this as a tool in the classroom. He decides to allow students to engage using Twitter as part of the group discussion. He asks his students questions in the classroom and then asks them to tweet about it using their own technology or technology in the classroom. These tweets would then project on the board where they would be able to discuss them as a class. This helps every student participate in the discussion. A lot of students do not participate in out loud discussion because they are too shy, so this is a way to include everyone. He says in the video, “Twitter did become this Paperless way of sharing what’s on their mind.” This is the future of journal writing. As technology advances, so will our tools in the classroom.

Watch this video below:

Do you want to lose your teaching job?

mobile-social-heroIn today’s society, almost everyone engages in the use of social media. According to N.J. School Boards Association Issues Model Social Networking Policy, school boards are required to have policies governing the use of social media communication between teachers and students. These policies must be written to standardize appropriate ways of virtual contact between students and faculty. In our present world, this is important. We are living in a time where technology is a big part of society. I always hear things about being careful of what I post online because future jobs might look at it. Now that they have specifics in what we should or should not be posting, it will be easier for employees to be more careful about these things. Also, this will make it easier for employers to have specific documentation to reference when accusing someone. The bill allows different communities to have different policies when it comes to the guidelines of internet use. This is very important because different communities have different types of people living there with different opinions. So policies should consider the needs and culture of the community.

Although different districts may have different rules as to what you should or should not be posted on the internet, these are my tips concerning ways to avoid losing your job while using technology!

  1. Keep your accounts on private. Although you shouldn’t post anything you do not want students or employers to see, you also don’t know who’s going to tag you in an inappropriate picture. To make your life easier put your accounts on private!
  1. Keep your accounts unsearchable. Kids these days can easily search you on the internet. To make sure they will be unable to, use a fake name. Maybe a nickname or middle name that only close family and friends would know. This way students and employers are unable to find you! Only share these accounts with close family and friends.
  1. Keep your work life and personal life separate. Students should not know about your personal life. Avoid posting things on the internet that would affect your students comfort towards you if they ended up seeing it.

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If you came to this page wondering how you can get fired, do not follow those tips! Follow these tips as to how to lose your job:

  1. Keep your personal accounts open to the public. Adding students on personal social media accounts will allow them to see everything you post. Most schools do not allow you to friend your students on your personal accounts. This a great way for you to lose your job!
  1. Share racist, prejudice, or sexual content for everyone to see. Whether if it is your own post, or someone else who tagged you; either will get you fired.
  1. Post inappropriate pictures that may make your students uncomfortable. Anything that can affect your students learning outcome will definitely do the trick!
  1. Communicate with your students nonprofessionally via text, phone call, private accounts, etc. Talking to students through personal accounts is not professional and will make you look suspicious!

And there you have it. Follow these tips and you will lose your job in no time!

When Should We Unplug a Student in a Plugged-In World? Response

shh, I'm playing.In response to the Twitter article, When Should We Unplug a Student in a Plugged-In World?”, I agree that our generation may be addicted to technology. This article agrees that technology is a useful supplement in today’s world, and even in our educational system. I believe too much of anything is not good for you; in the article it talks about how too much use of technology appears to delay frontal brain development in growing students. It talks about ways to control students in the classroom from using their mobile devices and being disruptive in the classroom. It also talks about how parents should limit and monitor their children’s use of technology. I totally agree with this because as a student in college, I do distract myself with my phone in and outside of the classroom. For this reason, I sometimes lose track of what I am learning in class and have to look back into my notes. This also causes me to take longer to finish my work. Sometimes when I have a deadline and really need to finish up some homework I will turn my phone off and hide it in my bag. This really helps me keep track of what I’m doing and finish my work quicker. In the article, it talks about how as a teacher I should collect cell phones before class so students will not be distracted. As a student myself, I can see how this method will be helpful.

As a future math teacher it would be great to be able to take advantage of the future technological advances in math. I am sure there will be great resources for homework and test taking. But I would also want my students to do a lot of their work on pen and paper. As technology grows, it becomes easier for students to look up answers and cheat. In math, it is important to see my students steps and where they messed up while doing their work. If everything is online, I will not be able to see my students scratch work. I will also not be able to check if the student actually took the time to do their homework or just asked a friend to copy their answers. This article was very useful and had great tips that I believe will be very valuable while teaching and even parenting.