I really enjoyed the November reading. I have to say that I have been all about implementing technology into the classroom and it is needed to enhance a lesson, however I have never thought about teaching specifically how to research critically. One of the most important thoughts I took from the book was that we would never send a class into the library and say go, so we shouldn't send them out into the internet and say "go". I also thought the book had an abundance of resources. I took this book out of the library but I will be buying my own copy to have.
Another major topic I took from November was reading about Glow from Scotland, a online learning platform. The goal of the program is for both students and teachers all around Scotland to learn from each other. I thought it was brilliant that everything a teacher does can be shared with all teachers around their country so everyone can benefit from someone else’s great idea. I thought this is something that should be developed at more schools here, around the United States, and I am planning on researching more about this program in Scotland. I need to grab my own copy of November’s book!
Many valid points were made throughout November's book, the one that stuck out to me the most was the validating and evaluating online resources. Throughout my college years validating and evaluating resources from online was something I was unaware of. Before reading this book I never thought how significant technology can be for students cognitive learning. Also with the use of technology many educators can reach students across the world.
The November reading was such an insight to the world of technology. I thought it covered the material in a way that was easy to understand. I really liked how the book discussed how to tell if a website is a reputable source. I thought that Zack’s story was a great example of how the wrong information is available through the internet. It shows that you need to teach your students how to know if the information they are using is reputable or not. At the end of chapter two I loved the questions that they ask. It really made me reflect on how to incorporate technology in the classroom, and how to incorporate it with families. I think that by using the technologies that the book discusses it can really connect students in school to the outside world. It is important to make relationships to be able to get the means to incorporate technology in the classroom. The book had so much information I really loved the examples the book gave because it made it concrete for me. It was very empowering to read this book and know that this is possible in the classroom.
I thought the November book was awesome. I was really surprised about the amount of money that was spent on technology in the last few years. In my personal experience, there is not a push to have technology used in schools I have been working in. Although there are computers in our school (2 student computers in each classroom), they are very old and work sproadically. It's very disappointing because students can not even access the internet at times, let alone any sort of program or website they would be interested in.
Also, I really liked the part of the book about building relationships through technology. I would really like to try using skype in the classroom. I think it would be awesome for parents to be able to watch part of our school day using skype. It would also be great for students to be able to contact other children from other parts of the world, or contact an expert based on a topic they are researching.
November's book in the introduction states " We are using technology as a stepladder to continue to teach the same way we have been for a long time". Reading this made me think of how boring the curriculum is in today's inner city classrooms are. The curriculum is set up in a way to fail the students. Very little critical thinking is involved. While students at magnet and charter schools are advancing in the world of technology, the students of inner city public schools are lacking behind.
I was really inspired by this book! It is always great to hear someone with actual classroom experience sharing what has worked for them. I loved how November describes teachers as digital immigrants because we are "not native born into the this world of technology." I could really relate to this description because I have often felt this way with my students. I would define myself as moderately tech-savvy, however, if I do not know how to do something that I want to do, I'll ask someone who knows! Most frequently the people I turn to are my students. I have a handful of students who I will go to and say, "I have this idea, how can we make it work?" Usually, they can brainstorm something that works and I will have them introduce it to the class. In this regard I am a "digital immigrant" because I am picking up the culture of technology from my students.
Also, as a history teacher, I was really excited to read all of the possibilities for online archives and virtual museum tours. These are fabulous resources because they allow students to do "real history" and interact with primary sources in a more authentic way instead of reading from a text book or doing more conventional lessons. I will absolutely use the NARA in the future.
November's book was a good book that I enjoyed. There were many valid points to technology and including it in the classroom. One area that stuck in my mind came from the beginning of the book which was about "the wayback machine". I actually did not know that you can retrieve archives from years ago (newspaper clippings and old websites). I also enjoyed reading about how to "teach" your students how to use the websites and what not to do. I believe this book is extremely helpful to use in the classroom when researching and using the computer.
November really worked to make a valid case for technology in the classroom. I really liked the "e-ventures." It provided some cool ideas to "teach" technology. The book also provide just useful nuts and bolts to using technology in the classroom. The was extremely helpful because it explained how search engines search, and even the anatomy of a web address.
My biggest take away was the chapter on publishing online and why it is such a good idea in the classroom. I have recently started integrating technology into my writing block and online publishing has really piqued my interest. November's book pushed me to start thinking about pushing this into using the internet to provide feedback during the writing process.
Overall, I really liked this book see it as a great resource/tool.
I thought the November reading was extremely helpful. I learned a number of things I hadn't before. The first point which really stuck out to me was Zack's story- the fact that we can search for information but not really know the source behind it or it's validity is incredible! I thought it was great that November gave us the anatomy of the url- that way, we know what we're looking at! It was really helpful to know that a tilde (~) was a giveaway that we were looking at a personal site.
I also thought it was helpful to learn about link command. Link command basically lets you search for sites that have links to a certain url. This is great because it lets you see who is utilizing a source, and what those people have to say about that particular source.
I truly loved this book- in fact I read it in two nights.So much was just fascinating. To start with, the section on online courses was fascinating. Having taken two different courses online this summer (but never prior to this), I was amazed to see the idea of online courses was taking off so much. I was glad that he brought up the idea that online learning isn't for everyone. This is so important to remember. I also love that this online piece also gives kids a chance to participate that may not normally participate.
I also love the story at the beginning about Yves- how he was a student who didn't have a chance to show what he knew, and yet he broke in to the school just to teach himself how to program on the computer. It was such a great example of the misconceptions we have of students,and we don't understand them until we give them a chance to shine.
I'm glad November brought up the point about bridging "the digital divide"- because I kept thinking this as I read ... what about those kids with limited access to technology? I know that it happens- whether the limits are at home or at school. I found it interesting (especially in the section about online learning)the discussion about parent support being so important. Even though November says that online learning brings parents in, I still know that an uninvolved parent will often remain uninvolved, no matter what the educational platform.
Zack's story was incredibly powerful to me. It is amazing to think that such false information is so readily available to students, and they believe it, despite what they have learned in school. People (myself included) have very little knowledge of how to identify a valid website. The URL isn't just a random string of letters, but it has significant meaning. I always knew there was a difference between .org, .com. and .edu, but I was not aware of the significance of what comes after that. It is absolutely necessary that we, as teachers, learn and understand the meaning of a URL, and begin teaching our students this meaning.
I was also completely blown away by the Wayback Machine! I knew that nothing was every really deleted on the internet, but I did not realize I could find it within minutes! It seems that Facebook has been blocked in the archives, but Myspace is easily viewable. I was able to look at profiles for random people from years ago! It would be powerful for students to know and see this, to realize that what they post really does not disappear.
Finally, while I am a Skype user, I had never thought of using Skype in the classroom, or even how to do so. Many of the teachers in my school have a "mystery reader" come in each week to read a story to the class. There are always some parents who have a hard time doing so, because of work, business trips, and other reasons. How cool would it be to give those parents the option to Skype in?! I'm sure their children, and the other students in the class, would love it!
I found November's book very interesting and helpful. I liked learning how to dissect a URL - I was fascinated to learn that the tilde indicates a personal site! I also enjoyed the stories he shared about students' experiences with technology. Zack and Yves's stories especially put many issues into perspective.
I liked reading about the online classes as well. I think it is great how these classes can act as equalizers for certain students. It is nice to know that there is medium out there allowing the quieter, more reserved students to shine.
I found that, in addition to the technical knowledge and stories, November shared a powerful message through this book. He kept reminding us that technology is always changing, so we must always be learning, and teachers must accept that the roles of teacher and student may often be reversed in this area. I liked the advice from the Academy Online teacher that November shared - "Learning is fast and furious. The teacher keeps up with the students rather than the students keeping pace with the teacher."
Better late than never right? I thought I had posted, but I guess I did not.
Sooooo....I consider myself fairly tech savvy, but not to the extent where I can offer insight on understanding the construction of web pages and such. I found it really interesting the section on what all of the forward and backward slashes and reading a url address. I felt really dumb, because I had no clue. It is really useful to know though, especially when we are teaching our students to use search engines for research and if we can't guide them to what is valid and not valid then that makes for a sticky situation. I'm glad I now have a little insight to this.
This is a great book for any teacher, because in a rapidly growing tech age, we must always stay on top of what is going on. As a teacher, we must always be looking for new and inventive ways to engage our students and make learning authentic for them. With ipods and pads, tweeting and fb'ing, xbox and playstation, how do we compete with all these bells and whistles and floods of flashy interactive devices? Well, after reading this book, I can say that I can be in this tech race and feel comfortable...sort of. Technology is growning more and more each minute, but with the tools and tricks that this book provided, I feel like I could hold my own in incorporating technology in the classroom.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.