The Elephants in the Classroom

Ok, so we now know that our students aren’t holding on to the information that they are supposed to learn, they are bored, they are getting tested on stuff they won’t use. My question is, is all of this really so different from when our parents went to school? Yes some of the content of the education system is different in terms of technology and stuff but my parents don’t remember everything that they learned in school, but they do know the stuff that they need to know for their jobs, if they don’t they are still able to learn it. My dad is a computer programmer and for years worked for the same company until he got laid off. When he found a new job the stuff that they were working on was in a totally different language then what he was used to so he had to learn it and train to use it. I think that school helps our students a lot and that it is important that they are learning, but do I think it matters that children are actually learning or is it ok that they are just testing well? I think that both have their benefits, for example actually learning stuff allows students to use it more aptly through real world situations and apply this known knowledge to other learning. At the same time testing skills show work ethic and performance under pressure, along with the fact that they are able to know what they are supposed to when they are supposed to. A student who is an English teacher for example would probably not need to know what the derivative of x3+4 is, but they would need to know that a noun is a person place or thing. As long as they know the later no one is going to come into their classroom and ask them what the derivative is. It is important that we all have a basic education if we want to go further up in education, and for those people it then becomes more important that they are actually learning and retaining that information. For all of the other people though who might go to a trade school or other alternative route it don’t know that it is all that important that they learn and retain more than they really need.


This Semester Activities

I think that one of the biggest activities that we did this semester was our blog, so I will talk about that and other activities through my blog.

Overall, I think my blog turned out pretty good and that through the process I learned a lot of useful information that I can use when I start teaching. Most of the time my blog posts were one of the various assignments that we had throughout class. One of my favorite things to write about this year was my Independent Learning Problem. I chose to refurbish furniture for my project and I think overall it went pretty well. I really enjoyed blogging about it because I could share what I was doing. This made me feel good because other people got to see what I worked really hard on. I also really liked the blog and doing our assignments through the blog because it was more relaxed, and I was able to use more of a conversational ton in my writing. Reading back over everything I think that I used a voice that tried to connect with my readers by not being to academic but at the same time still using an air of understanding.

I think my main themes of my blog are obviously teaching and learning. I also think that within those I really like to push the idea of using more then one ways of learning and the same goes for teaching. Over and over again I find that I state we can’t use the same way of teaching., we can’t just use PBL, or inquiry learning by themselves. We have to use many different ways of teaching because there are many different types if learners. I think throughout my blog I really tried to express how important it is that we meet as many needs as we can while we are teaching.

I think one of the biggest take-a-ways that I am going to take from this class is our PLN or Personal learning networks. I think this can be one of the biggest tools that we have in our teaching careers especially with the whole coming of technology and how fast it is all changing. I think that it is important to have this learning network to keep up with it all. I for one hope that I never stop learning. To be honest if I was able to go to school for free the rest of my life I think that I would. But also, through learning I have seen how important it is that we have teachers, or how else would I be able to learn everything that I have so far. With all that being said I think that our personal learning network is essential to keeping that learning going while we are teaching. I also think that as teachers we need not to be afraid of all the change that comes, many times I think I see my teachers afraid to try new technology which is explainable. But there is still that possibility that it could benefit at least one student then I say they should give it a shot.

The other thing that I just want to say is I think that one last thing I learned from this class and the ILP specifically is that there are ways that you can not only take time for yourself in life but also make it a learning experience at the same time. In our case we made it a teaching experience also by posting about it on our blog.

‘A’ Assignment 4 “Language of the Digital Age”

As we look at the language of the digital age one of the aspects that I find most interesting is the uprising of the emoji. It’s as if we have sort of gone back in time to ancient Egypt where all of their writing was just pictures. Although they are really similar hieroglyphs too a lot longer to develop then emoji’s. Now days you don’t have to text “lol” any more you just send a good old

smilelaughOr if you see something you like insert asmiling-face-with-heart-eyes

And for those special occasions, my favoriteScreen-Shot-2015-04-06-at-3.39.59-PM

All of these are ways that people are now showing their emotions to each other, over texts and social media and now they even have stuffed animals and Halloween costumes of the different emoji’s. A while ago there was even a movie called the Emoji Movie that came out. They really are sort of taking over the world. It makes me wonder if back in ancient Egypt they watch hieroglyph movies.


Snapchat also started a new sort of thing that is very similar to emoji’s. You can now send videos or pictures with a filter on your face. These filters follow the movements in your face and head. I also think that some of the newer phones have an option where you can create your emoji’s by using your camera to make your different facial expressions into the emoji’s themselves. So this new development of emoji’s is continuing into who knows what.

With all that being said how is this affecting our society and our communities and humanity in general? I think in some ways it can be good because more emotions and ideas and feelings can be sent over longer distances. It is also better for these ideas and such because they have less of a chance to be misunderstood and misinterpreted. From other points of views it could be more challenging for everyone because you now have to basically learn a whole other language to communicate. You have to make sure that everyone understands what each emoji means and what their implications are just like we have to do with words. We also are going to have to make sure we keep adding on to the language of emoji’s because there are still so many things that we could say through them. It is always the worst when you are looking for the one emoji that isn’t there. Overall they are just another language that we can use but their main bases is derived from technology.


‘A’ Assignment 3 “Teens and Social Media”

Teens are constantly looking at social media whether it me snapchat, twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or some other platform teens all over the world are sharing and liking and re-sharing millions of ideas. I think that this has its pros and cons like many things in life do. I think that social media can help build good internet social skills but can deteriorate our interpersonal skills when we are face to face with other people. I think it is also shaping our brain and habits differently than they used to be shaped. The CNN article “Teens: This is how social media affects your brain” talks about how teens are now responding to “likes” of their posts and pictures the same way that they would winning money. It activates more of your reward center in your brain. We are also becoming able to recognize “like’ like we do peoples facial expressions. I think this is really cool and have no comment really if I think it is good or bad. I think it is cool though because it shows how our brains and society adapts to fit our environment.

I think that there is also a real problem though with teens oversharing and also bullying over social media. Bullying in the adolescent years was bad when technology wasn’t around but now we have given teens a bigger and more easily assessable platform to bully on. I think that part of schooling and education should really focus on cyber-bullying. I remember in elementary school we learned how not to bully and it seemed to be this big huge campaign, I think the same thing should be going on for the internet. One good thing about the internet is that we can use it just as much to fight the bullying as the bullies use to hurt others. In terms of oversharing or using social media to post inappropriate stuff I think that education and schools is again the place we should start teaching kids and teens how to properly use technology. I think we should not only encourage students to do so, but also their parents. There are so many good things out there that technology and even social media can be used for, we just need to get teens started down the right path.

‘A’ Assignment 2 “Children and Tech”

With the rise of technology, there are many opinions on how it has affected children. Some people say it has negatively affected them while other people say that it has benefited them. I think personally that it has its pros and cons. There are the many obvious cons, for example when I was younger my mom would try to limit how much screen time we all got because she wanted us to do other things besides play video games and watch tv. At the time I was not very fond of the idea but now that I am older I sort of understand why she did this. It isn’t that all tv is bad or that video games are bad, but I believe that for many things in life moderation needs to be the key word. Too much of anything is not good for anyone. There have been studies that show that video games help kids with some motor skills or even video games that are created to help kids learn.

Movie on past the domestic use of technology by children I sort of want to look at the different ways technology is used in schools and education. Now days kids in elementary school, middle school, and high school are all using technology every day. My little sister in 4th grade is telling me about writing papers and said she was struggling. I ask well what specifically are you struggling with. She turned to me and started telling me how she couldn’t figure out how to format her paper right and I was like well just write the words on the paper where you want them. She goes on to tell me that she went she can’t format it right in word. I guess I was just surprised by how that are typing papers and doing so much of their work on the computer or ipads or tablets. I remember this sort of learning for me didn’t start until middle school and we still had to write some things in cursive. Now they just change the font on the computer.

I think that overall this isn’t a bad thing, this switch. It is many times more efficient for teachers and students. But I also thing sometimes between different socioeconomic groups there can start to be a gap, where some students don’t get the same technology to learn with as other students do. As a teacher in the future I think that I will try to balance the learning students do with technology and without it.

Last and Final ILP Update

This is the last ILP post and man has this been a fun project/projects overall! I think that I learned a lot about not only the craft and work that I did but also about myself. I think some of the things that I learned about the craft of renovating furniture is that a great place to start is Pinterest. Then when you see something you like the next good place to figure out how to get the final product you want is YouTube or web sites that tell you step by step instructions on how to do it. One thing that I always liked to do is to not go with the first thing that I saw. For example with my crate shelves, I got the main base idea from Pinterest, but then I saw other things or had other ideas in my head of what I wanted it to look like. So a good tip is to not always take exactly what you see, but to also make the furniture your own.

I also learned a few things about myself. First is something that I already knew, and that is I am a procrastinator at times. I also learned though that if I am really enjoying the stuff that I am working on I procrastinate a lot less. For example I don’t really like painting and sanding so those are the places I really got caught up on my projects. I didn’t have any problem procrastinating on the cutting and building and overall construction of the pieces, but when it came to the other stuff I did procrastinate. I think another thing that I’ve been realizing lately is that I can be really materialist. I think that I have plenty of furniture and that this is a great hobby, but if I continue it I need to start selling or giving away the stuff that I make.

I think that the outcome and results of my project were most definitely the best prat of my project. I really enjoy spending time in my room now and I really get a lot of use out of all of the projects that I have built. I do have to confess though I did not finish my chairs or my bench dresser. I mainly, as I was saying, have to sand and paint the two which I hate doing. Hopefully I will be able to get them done when I no longer have assignments or tests to worry about.

I think that on the teaching track I wouldn’t really use ILP’s that much. The only use I could think for them would be if I taught a special kind of geometry class where we used all the math we learned to build stuff or something like that. I know that a school back home did something like that where the students would build houses for homeless people using the math they learned in the class room and every student had an individual job to do. Other than that I don’t really know how you would use this with math.

Overall this has been fun and I learned a ton, I mean what more can you ask for in a class.