During class tonight, we watched exemplar videos of how a teacher can incorporate Skype within his or her classroom. In one of the examples, there was a teacher that would Skype a student who had cancer in the classroom so she would have the opportunity to take part in class lessons and discussions. This student would Skype her fellow students every day so she could take part in what was happening in school from the comfort of her own home. Cancer is such a debilitating disease, yet this student was able to travel to art class, gym class, English class, and so on. Technology has become such a huge part of our society, and even though parents may have their opinions of how hurtful the internet can be, this is a huge advantage that seems impossible. This child has been given a second chance to see her friends, experience what her peers are experiencing, given a feeling that she is not missing out on her everyday life, and making strides with people she feels the closest to. It is amazing the advancements that have been through technology and how young children are implementing technology in their lives each and every day. Once I saw this movie clip example in class tonight, I knew this is what a can passionately write a blog about because I felt a great sense of pride and admiration for this teacher. I went home and watched the full video. It was amazing to see how this teacher incorporating technology into the classroom and how well the students responded to it. This teacher seems like an amazing and courageous individual who is not afraid to take chances in the classroom to benefit the good of the students. I wonder if there are teachers who would have implemented Skype into his or her classroom to benefit this child, or if they would have taken the easy road and just filled the child in on assignments she missed.
I have learned many things throughout the construction of this paper. This paper, and the resources that I chose, have taught me ways to integrate technology into an ELL classroom. All students, not just ELL students, can apply technology cross curricula and can use it to further their learning. In one of my sources, there was a classroom that used podcasts to communicate with one another in the classroom. This was a different way to assess student participation, and a fun and engaging way for the students to communicate with one another. In another source that I used, there was a French classroom that used a strategy called TELL for English language learners. This strategy increased participation among the students and helped them with drafting, revising, and editing papers. This strategy was a useful tool and I am eager to try and apply this to my teaching in the future. Another component that I discovered throughout this paper was the term technophobia. I think many people assume that teachers do not use technology within their teaching because he or she is afraid to do so. This is not always the case. Some teachers believe that technology goes against their beliefs or personal preferences and choose not to use it. Even though they are missing out on something that their students can value and be engaged about, this is their choice. I hope to one day, when I have a classroom of my own, to integrate technology as much as possible for my students and open their eyes to new material. After writing this paper, I understand that integrating technology into teaching has many options, and can truly benefit the students when used properly. There were so many issues that I touched upon within my paper and many ways in which technology can be a way of learning for the students. I always look for new ways to support my teaching and engage my learners, but I never thought I would gather so much information and knowledge from constructing this paper. Sometimes I become frustrated or stressed out when it comes time to write a paper, but once I started delving into this topic, I became intrigued and learned a great deal. I learned about myself as a teacher, as a student, and ways that I can cultivate my learning and the learning of others. I appreciate this assignment and I know it will be used a great deal within my major and my teaching in the future.
This week for the first portion of class we worked on the Smart Board. I enjoyed being in a small group because everyone was able to touch and play with the features that the Smart Board had to offer. I have had some experiences with the Smart Board from my student teaching placements, so it was a great opportunity to utilize some of my strengths and show the group the things that I know how to do. Also it was amazing to see all of things the Smart Board could do that I never knew before. The people in my group collaborated together and helped one another when talking about lesson plans and things you could do with your students. It is nice to think that one day when I have a teaching job, that there might be teachers that help me in the same way and we will collaborate together to benefit our students!