Monday, September 24, 2012

Technology used in testing?

I commented on the post No More Memorizing in Schools- Yes, Really! in the Edublogger. The title popped out to me right away. In my previous blog posts I have mentioned that I think that some depend on technology too much so this post caught my eye and I immediately thought, here we go again relying on technology! Then, I thought about it for a few minutes and talked with my husband about it and I think there is a valid point made in this post. As a teacher, I do not rely solely on my own knowledge. I collaborate with others, use the internet, textbooks, etc. to develop lessons and activities for my students. Do I know everything about teaching Spanish and the language itself? No, but I do know a lot about it. I think allowing for the use of the internet during SOME assessments would be acceptable. Students would have to know how to use the internet to get the information that they need. However, their knowledge in the content being tested must be strong enough so that they are not solely relying on the internet/technology for answers. That will be the difficult part to judge- what they know and what they know because of the use of the internet.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Allowing for creativity

I saw this video during a staff development day last year. When it ended, my colleagues and I all looked at each other because most of us are not technologically savvy, at least not to the extent that our students are. We realized that we needed to adapt to the way our students learn. However, like I mentioned in my previous post, we want to find a balance between the new technology that our students are using and making sure that they can socially interact in world without solely depending on technology. Technology is a wonderful tool and avenue for all learners, especially those that are shy and struggle with standard tests. Personally I believe that we, as educators, can integrate technology into our classrooms by using it as an assessment tool. For many, it would take the pressure off from the standard written test and allow for creativity to show how they processed the material taught. 

Hurting or helping?

Wow, what an eye-opener on the way our world is changing and the dependence we have on social media! Our personal lives are often available for the world to see. We turn to Facebook to connect with old friends and new acquaintances instead of picking up the phone to call them. I think that is one of the biggest problems with social media. Too many depend on "writing on someone's wall" or tweeting at them and lack the socials skills that our world once had. Of course this does not mean everyone is like that but I see it a lot in today's youth.

 On the other hand, I love that our schools are adjusting their teaching approaches to include all of the new technology that is out there. However, I also think that kids today still need to know the basics of writing, not typing everything, and know how to carry on a face-to-face conversation. I found it fascinating that Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google are not welcome in China. Maybe this is part of the reason that their academic scores are higher than ours?...They do not rely on social media to learn. Just a thought. I think our world needs a balance between all of this but I am not sure how that can be reached. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Blogs in the classroom...

          In my classroom I could use a blog to have my students practice using the Spanish-language outside of the classroom. Since blogging is brand new to me my initial thoughts are to post a question/statement and have my students type their thoughts and opinions in response. By doing this, they will be practicing their comprehension skills as well as their writing skills. Students can have the opportunity to converse with classmates, the instructor and native speakers. The only downfall that I can see with that is the fact that the students may use an online translator.
         Students can use the blog to express opinions and/or provide comments about classroom activities, etc. I like this idea since some students are shy about speaking up in the classroom and feel more comfortable in a different setting.
         I also like the idea in the text, Chapter 2, about web logging and using a class portal. I would use this to communicate information about the class through the school year as well as in the summer and during breaks. The class portal also would serve as a way to communicate with parents/guardians. They can access classroom rules, curriculum, handouts, a class calendar, assignments due dates, etc. As a middle/high school teacher, I often have parents calling or emailing me to find out when things are due so they can stay on top of their child. By using a weblog, this would hopefully eliminate a lot of questions.
         By blogging, students can engage in conversations, express opinions, and use the language beyond the classroom setting as stated in the National Standards for Foreign Language Education.

National Learning Standards for Teaching Foreign Language met:
 Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions
Standard 5.1: Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting