I chose to look at the report about defining the emerging role of social learning tools to connect students, parents and educators, from the Project Tomorrow website. The report examines how social learning is being used in the learning process and how to better understand the value of incorporating technological tools in the classroom. It was not a surprise to me to see that they discovered that students, teachers, administrators and parents all increasingly see the value of social learning in both their personal and professional lives. I did find it interesting that students in particular had a heightened interest in using social learning tools in order to enhance their engagement and academic productivity in the classroom. I found this surprising because I just assumed students wanted to incorporate technology because it more fun and they can access Facebook more easily, not because they find it relevant for their personal learning process. This report shed some light into the increasingly level of support for technology in the classroom which will inform my teaching by allowing me to take more risks by incorporating new and exciting technological tools into my curriculum. It also made me realize that if I incorporate more technology, my expectations for the students will increase as well. I will have to teach and model appropriate use of the tools while also creating guidelines to ensure that students are not misusing the technology and their privileges. If technology in my classroom use can be implemented, taught and monitored I would definitely buy into the idea of using more tools to enhance student learning.
The video “Learn to Change, Change to Learn” on the Speak Up website discusses how technology can influence academic success for students by allowing students to research, analyze, collaborate, and synthesize learning through tool using technology. They discussed that their needs to be a shift from teaching students to standardized tests, to teaching students how to critically think and solve problems in more authentic settings using technology as the base. I agree that students need to be taught how to use the advancing technologies in order for them to compete for jobs that require knowledge from multiple literacies. I thought that the ideas presented video were idealistic and focused on how awesome education can be, but it did little to explain HOW we can create the shift to enhance student success and learning through technology. I think that there should be more research put into what implementation strategies are successful and how the use of technology with students can be monitored. A major concern for me is that I feel like my students would be easily distracted from learning content, so I would like to see what preventative measures I could use to help deter this problem. Overall, I believe that the message to create a student who has multiple literacies and can critically think and collaborate to solve problems is very important, but there needs to be some guidance in to how to actually implement and monitor such changes.
Starting a ‘Future Teachers” type of organization at my elementary school site could be beneficial in many ways. One advantage to starting one of these organizations is that the teachers at my school site would gain new ideas and perspectives when it comes to teaching their students science and math. Education is advancing all the time so this would provide the teachers with the opportunity to keep up with new practices that might enhance their teaching style and student success. Another benefit would be that the students might be more engaged and motivated to learn science and math. It is important to get students hooked on math and science early in their academic years because they will most likely carry that passion for those subjects throughout their lifetime. I was unable to find any information on how to specifically start one of these organizations at my school. I would assume that I could bring it up to the principal or the faculty during a staff meeting and then make further arrangements after. I think the main concern would be how to fund such an organization so it would be important to be an advocate to gain support from the school, parents and the community.