Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blog Post #13

Back To The Future

I highly enjoyed watching Mr. Crosby's video, Back To The Future, which showcases several projects that his students have completed and how he implements technology into his classroom to bridge language and communication gaps. The reason that I enjoyed Mr. Crosby's video was because I have developed such an appreciation for the wonders of technology in the classroom over the course of my EDM 310 career. Mr. Crosby's zeal for teaching at risk, second language learners through technology has shown me that, even in the most difficult cases, technology can be used to allow students to reach the highest of potentials.

back to the future logo

Now that the end of the semester is approaching, I feel like I can really use technology in my classroom in many ways. At first, I was skeptical of the use of technology in my classroom because, quite frankly, I wasn't willing to try. By watching videos and reading posts assigned in EDM 310, I can now see that the implementation of technology is nothing to be afraid of! I can't wait to see how my future students will benefit from various tech tools and learn new ways of teaching with technology. Dr. Strange, now would be the appropriate time to say, "I told you so!"

Mr. Crosby is so inspirational to me because of his obvious care for the success of his students. Some teachers, if they were in Mr. Crosby's shoes, would do the minimal amount of work possible to make sure that their at risk, second language learning students passed the class. However, Mr. Crosby makes sure that all of his students learn reading, writing, and communication skills along with other various skills and he does so with the use of technology! By writing wikis, posting to blogs, and recording videos, Mr. Crosby's students learn not only the subject material but also communication skills that would, typically, be difficult for ESL learners. One more thing that stood out to me in the video was Mr. Crosby's effort to incorporate Celeste, a student with leukemia who was unable to come to class into his every day classroom routine. Mr. Crosby went above and beyond to video in Celeste so that she could see what was going on in class and complete the assignments just as her other classmates were doing. Mr. Crosby's class is a perfect example of how technology, along with a dedicated teacher, can greatly affect the outcome of students' success.

A Vision of Students Today

The video by Michael Wesch encompasses the idea of what it is to sit in a crowded classroom in a typical university. Many of the students provide facts regarding what their classroom is like and how they spend the majority of their time. Some of the scary, yet not so shocking, testaments included quotes such as, "18% of my teachers know my name," "my neighbor paid for class but never comes," and "this laptop costs more than some people in the world make in a year." I can relate all too well to this video. I have sat in many classes where I thought, "how will I use this material," and "what does it matter to me?" I have had many teachers that never knew my name nor cared to. Mr. Wesch's video shows what students really think about their learning experience.

Charlie Brown's teacher

As a future teacher it saddens me to think that classrooms today are full of students who feel as if their teacher doesn't care about their academic progress. I plan to teach elementary school, but even so, University professors should be concerned about their students' success. In today's growing society, it serves students no benefit to sit in a class and hear a lecture. Students today need to be engaged in what they are learning in order to produce greater rewards. However, it can be difficult to teach when students are on Facebook during class and some are not even showing up at all. At this point, it is the teacher or instructor's responsibility to realize that students will not participate in class if they are not engaged. Mr. Wesch's video should be viewed by all educators in hopes that they would see, from the students' point of view, what it is like to sit in an unengaged classroom. If teachers realized that a good number of students are interested in learning, I believe that teachers would be more willing to go above and beyond the minimal effort that some teachers give.

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