Friday, December 5, 2014

Video killed the radio star

I think that video games can definitely play a pivotal role in classrooms, especially as technology advances. It blows my mind to think about how much has changed just since I graduated high school in 2000 and how much more will change by the time my children are in high school. I remember having to use dial-up to do research and having to wait until everyone had gone to bed so that I wouldn't get kicked off the Internet when the phone rang. Now, my students do research on their phones before I can finish talking about a topic. As a high school English teacher, I'm not really sure how to use video games in my class, but my stepson who is in 1st grade uses websites like as well as games on our phones to get better at reading and recognizing sounds and letters. It fascinates me to watch him and how not only his knowledge but also his hand-eye coordination improve by using the technology that is available to him.

 One of the things that stood out to me the most from the presentation was how learning has adapted with the advancement of technology. How many teachers have adapted their teaching styles to meet those changes? I have known many teachers who didn't see the value of technology, especially video games, in their classes because it wasn't "traditional" education. But, if we look at our students, they are multi-tasking at all times. They are constantly texting, on social media, having a conversation, listening to music, and carrying out other tasks at the same time. I often stumble trying to walk and chew gum at the same time! We have to, as teachers, adapt our teaching methods to reach where our students are. If that means we find educational games to help them learn something, that's what we have to do.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Flip this class!

I think that flipping the classroom would be beneficial in some cases. If I was a history or science teacher, my students could study certain time periods or inventors on their own and do their own interpretation of events. In math, they could try to figure out theories on their own. In an English class, they could study authors or works and research different interpretations of the works. However, I'm not sure how the logistics would work. I don't think I quite understand how to set up a flipped classroom. And what about the fact that not everyone has access to internet on a daily basis? I do think offering a flipped classroom would be beneficial to students as an option for some assignments. I'm just not sure yet if it would be possible to completely flip my classroom without doing more investigation into it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I'd love to start using blogs in my classes. I think it would foster more open and honest conversations from the students who are reluctant to speak up but are comfortable from the comfort of their computer or phone screen. I also think it will better prepare my students for life after high school when they are more likely to encounter online classes and assignments. Teaching them at this level what is expected of them will, hopefully, help them know what to expect at the next level.