8-C-1 2020 Vision

I am currently working towards my Master’s Degree in Online Teaching. The reason I began this journey was because of the changes I saw technology making in my school. I felt as though earning this degree would open doors to new and exciting teaching experiences for me. The shift in education is what brought me to taking this course, Building Online Collaborative Environments. After completing this course, I have realized that the changes I have been seeing are more advanced and real then I had originally thought.

In the year of 2020, the population will rely mostly on mobile devices. No longer will we sit behind big bulky desktop computers, let alone laptop computers. People will be communicating faster and more then ever before. The amount and quality of mobile devices would put today’s devices to shame. People will travel more then ever before, whether it is between homes of split parents, or around the world.

In 2020, the traditional classroom as we know today will be obsolete. The desks will no longer be sitting in rows and columns, or even next to each other in pairs. The focus of the classroom will no longer be towards the front where the teacher is located. Students may not even attend school on a daily basis. Students might be able to attend class virtually. Students can begin subscribing to the teacher’s lectures through RSS Feeds. They can effectively communicate in class discussions through blogs. Students can focus on specific topics using social bookmarking, rather then regular textbooks. While discussing textbooks, I should mention that I do not believe soft or hardcover books will even be on a school budget. Students and teachers will all be using handheld devices that will be used as readers. Students will be able to access all class materials through their devices. Whether it is downloaded, or shared through wikis, blogs, or even through social networking, all students will have instant access to it at all times. All learning will be published on the web. Students will not only be learning from the teacher, but they will be learning from their peers as well.

Standardized testing will surely be a thing of the past. Students will be using technology to learn so far beyond the curriculum, that they will not be able to keep up with appropriate and effective standardized tests. Students will take part in collaborative, ongoing, and creative assessments that provide real world experiences. Students can document their learning achievements through online portfolios. They can actually use these portfolios to enter into a career field, unlike today’s assessments. Students will document their own learning and be proud of what they have accomplished.

Because students will most likely take part in online learning environments, they will no longer be a push for bullying, it will be entirely on cyber bullying. Students will be responsible for their own actions like never before. The reason for this is because all of their interactions will be documented through the online tools. Their actions can be traced and obvious to all members of the learning community.

Publishing student work through multimedia sources or even through social networking will open doors for many students. No longer will hard work that is created by students only be seen by the classroom teacher. Since work will be published online, it will be published to a huge audience for the world to see. This could potentially open doors for students in sense of career opportunities or even high education opportunities. The use of Web 2.0 tools will allow students to display their creativeness on a daily basis. This will guide students down different paths then one had ever thought of.

Teachers will no longer use “Internet Safety” as a barrier to trying new things in their classroom. Students will learn at a young age about internet safety. The internet will be a natural part of the classroom. Teachers will not have to worry about parents and administrators not approving these types of learning activities, like I said before, it will be expected that the children are taking part in these type of online social and collaborative activities on a daily basis.

The staff within schools will certainly need to change. Whether staff members are replaced, or there is extensive professional development, teachers will not have a choice to incorporate Web 2.0 tools. It will be the way of teaching and differentiating to meet the needs of all students. College courses for educators will be completely revamped in order to better prepare teachers to enter this career field.

Teaching in 2020 will surely be different on so many levels. I hope that in 2020 I remember this blog, this topic, and the things I wrote in this post. It will be interesting to see if these shifts occurred. It will also be an awesome way to reflect on my personal career. Will I still enter a school building every day? How about once a week? Will I solely teach from the comfort of my own home? Will my students be from the same grade level, or will learning environments be composed of students of all different ages and from all different locations? As I sit here at my computer today, I do not have these answers, nor does anyone else. But I do know that this course has given me a great insight of the changes that are taking place today. It has taught be how learning needs to be collaborative, it needs to be creative, and it needs to be virtual. This class has taught me how to make the connection of technology and learning. I now strongly feel that I can effectively begin to incorporate Web 2.0 tools in my classroom to support collaborative learning environments. I know that this course is only a small start, and that it has only given me a brief look into the technology window, but I do feel that I am on the road to life in 2020!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8-A-1 Web Applications- Google Docs

As a previous writing teacher, I have felt the students’ pain when working through the writing process. For many students, writing does not come naturally and it is difficult for them to work independently through the writing process. With a class of at least 25, it is very difficult for one teacher to meet with all of the students on a daily basis to give feedback and guidance. For any student, I would recommend Google Docs. Google Docs allow the teacher to give immediate and continuous feedback to the student during all the stages of the writing process. Students and teachers can send chat messages to discuss the direction of the writing project. It will ensure that students are all on track and meeting the requirements of the assignment. The amount of support that teachers can offer their students through Google Docs is valuable.

7-B-1: The Paperless Classroom

Paperless Classes

A- How would a paperless class change your role as a teacher?

I believe the roles of teachers would shift in a paperless setting. The teacher would turn into a facilitator and they guide students through learning experiences. Because the students have instant access to information, the lessons could shift instantaneously. So a teacher in this setting must be flexible. The teachers would no long spend time lecturing, and students would no longer spend time taking notes. In turn, teachers become collaborators with the class.

B- How would paperless classes change learning?

Learning will become instant! Students will now be able to access information anytime from anywhere. They no longer have to sit in the classroom to learn from the teacher. The learning process can continue and expand outside of the classroom. Paperless classes also make learning a true collaboration between many people.

C- How would you measure learning in a paperless class?

I would still be able to measure learning though formal assessments submitted. I could use rubrics to assign scores and give feedback. I can assess through discussions and creations of projects using media. Students can have their own learning portfolio where I can determine their growth.

D- Would a paperless space make it easier or harder to build a learning network?

I believe a paperless classroom would make it easier to build a learning network. Students can collaborate more then ever before. They would not waste time in class listening to lectures, instead they could be using tools to collaborate both in person and outside of class as well. Also students would be able to expend their learning network outside of their peers in the class. This is a huge advantage of a paperless classroom.

7-A-1: Big Shift 2

Big Shift 2: Many, Many Teachers and 24/7 Learning

Big Shift #2 explains that as our access to content grows, so does our access to other teachers. The Read/Write Web allows us to connect and collaborate with countless amounts of people. Teachers are using these connections to transform their classroom, teaching methods, and to create real life experiences for their students. The big picture is that learning can take place anytime and anywhere.

This shift has affected my teaching practice. I spent 8 years teaching 6th grade. This year I made the transition to first grade. I had no idea where to start. I used the Read/Write Web to make connects with many other first grade teachers. The teachers shared their best practices through blogs, wikis, and pictures. These connections helped me begin my career in first grade. They aided me in the creation of my room décor, my lesson plan template, center activities, and much more. I have also been able to use these tools to create learning experiences for the students.

I strongly believe that these tools will continue to affect my teaching practices in the years to come. As more teachers jump on board and are willing to share, the more connections we will be able to make. This course has changed my views because it has forced me to experiment with tools that I would not have tried on my own. It guided me to learn how to use these tools effectively in my classroom. This course also taught me how many resources are available and how to continue to make learning real for my students through the use of Web 2.0 tools.

6-A-3 Responding to Connectivism

The following is a link to a wiki that was created on a position against connectivism in the classroom:

 https://summer14-bce-01.wikispaces.com/Group+C+6-A-1

 I read on this wiki that, “students tend to find networks similar to oneself instead of learning from people with different experiences and views. When creating a connectivist classroom, teachers turn into effective facilitators as they guide their students through many learning experiences. Yes, I do believe that students tend to work with students who have similar learning styles as them, but as a teacher, we teach our students to branch out and to try new things. As an effective facilitator, the teacher will help students create networks that challenge their work habits, learning styles, and thinking. Teachers that agree with connectivism understand that teaching methods and tools continuously change and therefore, the need to change too. I believe that using technology, teachers will provide their students with so many networks and learning opportunities, that it is impossible for students to only work with others who have the same style and networks as they do.

6-C-2 Skype in the Classroom

In the past I have used Skype many times to connect with my family who lives far away. It is so nice to be able to see family members regularly through Skype, it feels as though we live so close even though we do not. I have used Skype a few times in my profession. A few years ago, I was home schooling a girl who happened to be in the hospital with injuries from a car accident. It was flu season, so I was unable to visit her to keep the patients healthy. I used Skype as a tool for us to be able to communicate about her schooling. I was able to teach several lessons. It was very convenient and productive.

In the future, I plan on using Skype to help my students collaborate with others in the community. Field trips were taken out of our school budget, so my immediate thought was using Skype for virtual field trip type activities. During the school year, we cover a unit on jobs in the community. I could use Skype to allow my students to collaborate and learn about important jobs in the community. It would really give the students a real look into the different careers. These are just a few ideas, but the list of ways to incorporate Skype is endless. By incorporating Skype into my classroom, I hope to give my students more opportunities collaborate and communicate with people in our community.

6-A-4: Blogical Discussion “Gaming in the Classroom”

On average, children spend about 7 hours using entertainment media in one day. They are continuously multitasking between devices as they listen to music, play games, and communicate through social networking. Video games tend to include every kind of digital content- music, text, video, and pictures, which makes them really engaging for children.

 As teachers, we are always trying new tools to enhance the motivation and engagement in our classroom. A new trend is using video games for educational purposes inside the classroom. Teachers who have begun using games in the classroom are finding that video games are teaching their students critical thinking and problem solving skills. They also can be engaging and motivating for the students.

 Because students are so tech savvy, it only makes sense to incorporate these tools into the classroom setting. As you think about this topic and your current teaching placements, please choose one question below and share your thoughts and opinions about gaming in the classroom.

 1- Do you currently use games in your classroom to motivate and engage your students? If so, share what you do in your classroom.

 2- Can you discuss any of the benefits or drawbacks that teachers and students may face when implementing gaming for educational purposes.

3- Do you think you would encounter resistance from parents or administrators if you begin to implement gaming in your classroom? How could you handle the resistance?

 4- Can you share video games that you have found valuable to students and explain why they have value within the classroom setting.

 I am looking forward to hearing what you all have to say!!