Final Reflections Post

 

Looking back at the list we created on the first day of class, I still think many of the qualities we discussed are applicable to my views on what a good teacher is. In September, we discussed a few different characteristics, such as:

  • Making learning fun
  • Being personable and friendly
  • Humor (keep students involved and active)
  • Relatability
  • Ability to apply what students are learning to real-life situations
  • Ability to explain why
  • Access to students and parents
  • Knowledge (enables passion)
  • Credibility (experience, education)

I would add a few things to this list, now that we are at the end of the semester and have discussed a wide range of topics. First, I would add “motivating/inspiring”. Motivation is an important technique to encourage students to achieve their goals and maintain good behavior. Many of the teachers that I would consider to be my favorites throughout my life were positive motivators and inspired me to do well in school. Second, I would add “organized”. Time management and planning are very important to the success of a classroom and the way it functions. Instructors who are behind on grading and unprepared for class can be very frustrating for students, which could affect their willingness to attend class or complete homework assignments. I especially saw how this factor works when we did the Backward Design lesson plan, as it took a lot of organizing and outlining to figure out what I wanted to teach and how I was going to execute my plan. Third, I would add “cultural/diversity awareness”. As we discussed, it is important for educators to provide students with an appropriate environment to learn and help students feel safe and comfortable in the classroom. Understanding cultures and having an appreciation for diversity can help create this positive atmosphere for students from all different backgrounds. Together, I think that these traits make a very well-rounded educator.

I think we have become prepared for encountering many of the Wisconsin Standards for Teacher Development and Licensure. Through learning about Multiple Intelligences, child development, and ability ranges, I think we covered a few different situations that may occur in regards to the ability of teachers to understand that children learn differently. It is very important to recognize that many students learn differently. One teaching method may not work for all of the different types of students that are present in a classroom.  We also discussed assessment techniques and goals/objectives, that will help with teachers understanding how to test for student progress. It is also crucial to evaluate and monitor advancements that students are making throughout the year, to potentially change the way an educator is teaching, provide extra assistance to the student, or create more challenging assignments if they are exceling in a subject.

I think the most crucial thing I have personally taken from this class is the importance of creating and maintaining a strong connection with the child, through methods such as communicating well, understanding that children learn differently, and being culturally aware. There are so many factors that play into a successful teacher and I think this course has appropriately prepared us with the background knowledge for many different situations that may occur in the classroom setting.

I am already monitoring my online identity, due to my current position as an RA on campus and as a student in the College of Education. I am very careful about what I post online, as I believe that a digital identity is very important in the professional world. I try to portray myself in a professional manner, both on social media and on platforms that are academic related (including email and this blog). I plan to continue blogging and possibly create an ePortfolio, so that I can include them on my resume for future potential employers to look at my work and what I have to offer.

Published in: |on December 14th, 2016 |No Comments »

Scholar Post: Technology in Education

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We have discussed so many different topics that are crucial to future educators this semester. One I especially enjoyed was this last module, where we talked about technology in the classroom. Although there are mixed feelings about this topic for individuals in the teaching field, I personally think technology is a really great aid for helping students learn. However, it is important to also recognize the disadvantages of technology in the classroom that educators need to be aware of.

Today’s society is experienced with the media and how it works. Many students prefer to use hands-on learning, as opposed to sitting in a classroom and listening to lectures. Technology gives students this opportunity. The article “Integrating Digital Video Technology in the Classroom” by Jon Lim, Heidi Henschel Pellett, and Tracy Pellett, discusses how integrating technology into programs has enhanced and improved student learning. They specifically discuss digital video technology, which helps students develop various skills such as research, communication, decision-making, problem-solving, and other higher-order critical-thinking skills. It also enriches curriculums, enhances authentic and meaningful experiences, and provides new and sophisticated ways to help students learn. This article also gives an example of a success story from Minnesota State University-Mankato. Students in a sport management class created a promotional video clip for a local business, which the company later used on their web site. Due to the use of technology in education, these students were given a really great opportunity to gain experience in their field and become confident in their own work!

In the article “Digital Devices in Classroom-Hesitations of Teachers-to-be” by Paul Lam and Aiden Tong, a study was conducted that shows how students use technology in the classroom. Results showed that although some students were performing activities that were not related to the course, such as reading email, sending email, reading/sending instant messages, reading news, online shopping, playing games, and working on assignments from other classes or on things that were not related to the class, many students were focused and on task. Activities performed that were related to the course included reading class materials, taking class notes, reading web materials that are related to course content, and communicating with others using computers for issues related to subject content. This article also recognizes the advantages of using technology in the classroom, such as improving motivation to learn, actively exploring information for learning while looking for online resources, and increasing willingness to attend class.

In class, we watched a video from the Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she sat down with younger children and showed them technology devices that are no longer used very often, such as a typewriter and one of the first versions of a phone. Although the kids’ responses were hilarious, I do believe that it is important that kids are aware of what devices were used in past years to show them how far we have come and how much technology has advanced since then. Nowadays, we can just grab our phones and Google a question to find the answer, type our notes on our laptops instead of writing them in a notebook by hand, or even read our textbooks online.  An appreciation and awareness of developments in technology will promote children to not take for granted the ease of access that was not always present in people’s lives.

I think it is important when discussing controversial issues to look at the opposing side of a topic to be educated about a different viewpoint. There are some educators who do not believe technology is effective in the classrooms for several different reasons. For example, like we discussed in class, multitasking is not as easy as it looks. We may think we are completing two tasks simultaneously, but really we are just switching our focus from one thing to another, which slows us down.  According to the article “Technology use and academic performance” by Diane Keyser Wentworth and June H. Middleton, “Numerous researchers have found that successful multitasking is impossible; our brains are not designed to concurrently attend to multiple incoming information sources effectively”. This can be applied to using technology in a classroom- if we are working on a project on our computers during a lecture, we probably aren’t paying very much attention to what the professor is saying. In the article, an experiment is discussed that looks at test scores for students in a classroom who were required to text during a lecture and students in a classroom where texting is forbidden. Students who used their phones during class had significantly lower test scores than the students who were not allowed to use their phones.

Overall, I think that the pros outweigh the cons in regards to technology use in the classroom. It has been proven to improve students’ performance and give them many opportunities that they may not have had without technology. It also prepares them for the real world, where technology is greatly used in many job settings, and makes learning more fun! Here is a short video I found that demonstrates some key advantages in relation to the importance of using technology in educational settings to create successful learning experiences:

Lam, P., & Tong, A. (2012). Digital Devices in Classroom – Hesitations of Teachers-to-be. Electronic Journal Of E-Learning, 10(4), 387-395. Retrieved from http://libproxy.uww.edu:2074/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=47e2c655-5efe-4923-a50d-3857996797f8%40sessionmgr1

Lim, J., Pellett, H., & Pellett, T. (2009). Integrating Digital Video Technology in the Classroom. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. 80(6). 40-55. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07303084.2009.10598339

Wentworth, D., & Middleton, J. (2014). Technology use and academic performance. Computers & Education. 78. 306-311. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.06.012

Published in: |on December 7th, 2016 |No Comments »

Module 6: Technology in the Classroom

I think that technology is a really great opportunity for students and that teachers should take advantage of it, to an extent. They should not rely solely on technology to teach lessons, but should use it as an aid to help students learn and add fun to the classroom. According to our textbook, there are three ways that technology can be used in schools. First, teachers can design activities that incorporate technology into them to create virtual learning environments.  Second, students can use technology in various ways, such as completing assignments using a computer or tablet or by collaborating with other students virtually. Third, administrators can use technology to track information about teachers, students, or classes in systems. I believe that all three of these ways can really support student learning and success in the classroom.

I personally have had many great experiences with using technology in the classroom. When I was in high school, our library had a cart full of ChromeBooks that teachers could check out for their students to use in class. It gave us a way to work on our projects while also giving us an opportunity to learn how to use computers. Technology is very common in many workplaces and just for everyday use, as well. I learned how to use programs such as PowerPoint and Word better in high school because we were able to use the ChromeBooks, which has proved to be a necessary skill for college and even my job.

After looking at the K12 Horizon report, which incorporates many forms of technology into teaching, I chose to focus on the section called “Online Learning”. I thought this topic was very interested, as I have taken a few online courses in the past, and am really enjoying our hybrid course that we are currently in. I think there are many advantages of online learning, including greater schedule flexibility and the ability to overcome several obstacles that may occur with in-person schooling. The article discussed transportation challenges, such as inclement weather or other hazardous threats that may affect how a student gets to school each day. It also says that many students choose the online-only route because of homeschooling, medical issues, or involvement in sports. Online-only school gives students a chance to dedicate more time to other activities, such as joining the football team or getting a job. The article also gave an example of a system that is currently in use. A school in Illinois provides their students with ChromeBooks, so students have access to technology in their home environment, in case school has to be closed because of snow or any other inclement weather. On snow days, they use these ChromeBooks for their schoolwork and their teachers are available to help students via email or online chat. I thought this was really interesting and a pretty cool idea, as they will be able to continue their education even if they are unable to physically attend school. Although this is not attainable for all schools, due to budget restrictions and limited access to technology, it is an idea that some schools may consider to implement into their systems!

In regards to online learning, I even considered doing my Master’s Degree the next two years online, instead of applying to schools where I would have to attend class so that I could save money and also have a job to start paying off my loans. I ultimately decided against the online route, but I like that I have the option to take classes online if I ever change my mind.

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Published in: |on December 6th, 2016 |No Comments »

Module 5 Blog Post: Classroom Techniques and Backward Design

Motivation: As defined on page 476 of our textbook, motivation is an internal state that arouses, directs, and maintains behavior. There are two different types of motivation- intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is motivation associated with activities that are their own reward, such as a student studying outside of a class simply because they enjoy that subject. Extrinsic motivation is motivation created by external factors such as rewards and punishments. This may include doing something to earn a grade, avoid punishments, please a teacher, or for another reason that does not have much to do with the task itself (477). As a future Speech-Language Pathologist, I have observed different sessions in the clinic that involve extrinsic motivation. For example, one of the clinicians used a system where the client would get to fill in a section of a caterpillar each time they did something positive. If they filled in all of the sections by the end of the session, they got to pick a prize from the prize box. This was really successful with the clients  because it motivated them to have good behavior and also try hard to do well in the session.

Different Assessment Techniques: Assessments are crucial ways to see how well a student is doing in a specific area. There are formal assessments, such as unit tests, and informal assessments, such as observing which student is the leader during a group activity. I think both types of assessment are very important, as educators need to see how students are retaining information, as well as see how they are growing in other aspects, like leadership skills.

Goals/Objectives: Goals are important to set specific targets for students and track progress. Goals help motivate individuals and improve performance. They direct attention to the task at hand and away from distractions, energize effort, increase persistence, and promote the development of new knowledge and strategies when old strategies fall short (485).

Learner-Centered Methods of Teaching: Learner-centered methods of teaching help students take ownership of their learning. They place emphasis on the student and focus on what is being learned. They motivate students to learn and lead to more success in the classroom.

Backward Design: According to the “Overview of UBD & the Design Template” by Grant Wiggins, classroom design principles and frameworks, such as Backward Design, help instructors make their plans in their classroom purposeful. They help appropriately connect, make sense of, and use discrete knowledge and skills in context. They also help transform goals into learning targets and help educators reflect on adjustments that may be beneficial in their classrooms. While I was writing my lesson plan, I think that the Backward Design method really helped me establish what I would want the students to learn from my lesson, what questions I would want them to be able to answer after the lesson, and plan how the activities I chose would help accomplish those objectives. I think Backward Design is a really great way to outline your lesson and really break down the specific parts of it. Below is a link to my plan for a lesson on teaching Spanish colors to students:
Lesson Plan

Published in: |on November 30th, 2016 |1 Comment »

Module 4 Blog Post: Behavioral and Cognitive Views of Learning

According to page 272 of our textbook, behavioral learning theories are “explanations of learning that focus on external events as the cause of changes in observable behaviors.” The behaviorist theory states that new behaviors are learned, and also includes classical and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is the association of automatic responses with new stimuli. It focuses on the learning of involuntary emotional or physiological responses. These may include fear, increased muscle tension, salivation, or sweating (pg. 274). On the other hand, operant conditioning is learning in which voluntary behavior is strengthened or weakened by consequences, something that happens in result of a specific action, or antecedents, events that occur before an action (pg. 276). Various types of reinforcement may either increase or decrease the chance that a behavior will occur again. Limitations of behavior learning theories include, as Bandura stated, that individuals may know more than we show and that incentives can affect an individual’s decision to do something or not. It is also important to consider that even though a person has learned something, they may not show it until an appropriate situation comes up or an incentive is brought into play (pg. 300).

According to page 312 of our textbook, the cognitive view of learning is “a general approach that views learning as an active mental process of acquiring, remembering, and using knowledge”. Knowledge and strategies are learned, and changes in what is known makes changes in behavior occur. Learning is extending and transforming previous knowledge that we previously have, not starting off on a “blank slate” with no prior information. The cognitive approach shows that one of the most important elements in the learning process is the knowledge that a person has before a learning situation occurs. Things that we know determines what we will pay attention to, perceive, learn, remember, and forget (pg. 326). Limitations of the cognitive view of learning include the fact that cognitive processes cannot be directly observed and that it does not take into account other factors that affect behavior.

I think that both of these views are important in the role of teachers and students. In the behavioral view of learning, students are recipients of information and follow directions. For the cognitive behavioral view of learning, it is important that students process and remember information. I will apply these view of learning while in my career as a Speech/Language Pathologist by correcting wrong answers in my sessions and by modeling effective strategies for children (the role of the teacher). I have also observed speech sessions that prove the technique of using incentives is effective, such as a prize at the end of the session if the child stays focused and completes the appropriate tasks.

Published in: |on November 9th, 2016 |No Comments »

Group 3 Assignment: The Good Behavior Game

After watching the video, I do not know if I like this game very much. Although I think the general idea of it may be a good idea to promote positive behavior in the classroom, I do not think that it is carried out in the best way with this age group. I used to work at the Children’s Center here on campus in both the Preschool and the 4K rooms, and from my personal experience, I do not believe that it would be very effective in a classroom setting. Sometimes kids have off days, or are distracted by things going on at home or things that happened during their day. For example, a child whose mom is on a business trip for the week or a child who did not get to finish their art project during art class may be still thinking about those things, which may affect how attentive they are in class. Though these situations may seem insignificant or unimportant to us, they can greatly affect a child’s attitude and behavior for the day, especially with younger children. In my opinion, maybe this game would be better for older middle schoolers? As children grow older, they will better understand what is expected of them in a classroom, so a game like this might be more appropriate.

Published in: |on November 2nd, 2016 |No Comments »

Module 3 Blog Post: Individual and Cultural Differences of Students in the Classroom

diversity

As a Resident Assistant on campus, the President of the Best Buddies chapter here at UW-Whitewater, and a Spanish major who volunteers in settings with children who’s first language is not English, I have had a lot of training and experience with diversity that has helped to prepare me for my future. As a Speech/Language Pathologist, I will be working with individuals of all different backgrounds. There will be the potential to interact with individuals from all over the world in not only my future career, but in daily life, as well. This may include individuals with various sexual preferences and orientations, individuals that look different, talk different, have different customs, etc. You never know who you will encounter, which has been one of my favorite parts of my job as an RA. I absolutely love meeting new people and getting to know them as individuals.

It is important for individuals around the United States to be comfortable working with people who are different from themselves, especially in the healthcare and educational fields, so that they are able to provide patients or students with an appropriate environment to learn. The misperceptions, stereotypes, and other challenges groups of people face are also key to recognize because they may negatively affect individuals. It is necessary to realize that they may require assistance with these issues. Each person you work with should have the ability to feel safe and comfortable in your classroom (or during speech sessions for SLPs), to promote success and productivity. One’s main job is to help these individuals to the best of their abilities and help them overcome obstacles. Success in this area heavily depends on the patient’s connection with the worker, especially with careers such as teaching or Speech/Language Pathology.

During sophomore year, I took a class called Educational Foundations in a Pluralistic Society. In this course, we discussed things that teachers or Speech/Language Pathologists can do to help students of all different backgrounds feel comfortable, safe, and like a part of the group the second that they step into a classroom. With many different groups of individuals, avoiding stereotypes is a huge part of this concept. Teachers should never assume things based on others they have interacted with of the same culture. It is also important to get to know each and every individual personally. Never assume someone is of a specific background because of the way they look. Everyone is unique and has a different story. Teachers should also work to make their classroom have decorations and educational material that encompasses all backgrounds. These images should also portray real-life and authentic individuals, not characters one sees in the media. These are often offensive and can make students feel uncomfortable.

I think that this video is very powerful and shows the importance of stopping prejudice and overcoming stereotypes by getting to know individuals on a personal level instead of making assumptions about them by the way they look! :)

Published in: |on October 22nd, 2016 |No Comments »

Module 2 Blog Post- Knowledge Construction and Development

I think Urie Bronfenbrenner’s theory of Bioecological Model of Human Development accurately portrays how individuals develop and construct knowledge. On page 86 of our textbook, it is stated that Brofenbrenner’s theory says that there are both physical and social contexts that are constantly interacting with and influencing each other, also called “systems”. These systems include- the microsystem, which consists of family, friends, school activities, teachers, etc.; the mesosystem, which is the interactions that all of the elements in the microsystem have; the exosystem, which is the social settings that can affect a child, even if the child is not directly a member of this setting, which may include community resources, parents’ work place, etc; and the macrosystem, which is the larger society, including laws, customs, values, etc. I think that all of these systems play a key role in how a person develops and constructs knowledge, but that the strongest influence is the microsystem. If they have a strong and consistent home environment, educational school activities, and passionate teachers, they will have the appropriate opportunity and support to develop knowledge. If they are lacking a nurturing family, attend a school that does not provide educational activities, and have teachers who do not give enough support to their students, they may be focused on these negative factors in their lives and not pay attention enough to school, therefore hurting their knowledge retention and development.

From my personal experience, I think my immediate family had a really big influence on the way that I developed and constructed knowledge. My parents were always very supportive of my schoolwork and everything else I was involved in, like clubs and dance classes. They made sure I went to school, even when I did not want to, helped me with homework as best as they could, and always provided resources, such as computers or even a trip to the library to check out any materials that I needed for projects, available for me to use for schoolwork. Since I was little, my parents always had educational computer games, so that even when I wanted to use the computer, I was still learning something during that time. We also had a very strong relationship, which I think played a huge role in my behavior and attitude in my childhood. I was always able to trust them, knew I could come to them with any problems I was having, and rely on them to offer advice and help me through obstacles. Because of this positive relationship with my parents, it made me want to be successful and prove to them that I could do whatever I set my mind to. Both of my parents have made a huge impact on my life, and I am very thankful that I grew up in the home environment that I did.

Published in: |on October 12th, 2016 |3 Comments »

Module 1 Blog Post- Research and Homework

Part 1:
I think research plays a huge role in education practice. There are so many potential ways to accommodate all types of learners in the classroom setting, and research helps to show what works and what does not work to build success. Different studies also have various research participants, such as a specific age group or ability range of learners, which can help educators look at specific classifications of people to see how the study affects them and implement these strategies into their own classrooms.

Part 2:
I have mixed feelings about homework and this teacher’s way of educating her students. On the one hand, I look at the student perspective that I have been experiencing throughout all the years of my education so far. I remember seeing this image on Facebook from the show Modern Family that helps describe my opinion:

homework2

I know this image is not exactly the most educational, but I think it brings up a really great point. Students are expected to go to school all day, then come home and complete hours of homework. Where is the time for doing activities that we enjoy, such as joining organizations, hanging out with our friends, and having a social life, or even doing activities that benefit our health, such as exercising or sleeping? I know that I get very frustrated when I am assigned a lot of homework, due to the fact that I know I will have long days with not much time for anything but school-related tasks. On the other hand, I look at the educator perspective, that I may be facing when I am in my future career in the Education field. Without homework, students do not get as much practice with concepts that they learn throughout their days at school. I think that homework may be beneficial in classes such as Math, where repetition of material is crucial. As the article “Homework and primary-school students’ academic achievement in Latin America” by F. Javier Murillo and Cynthia Martinez-Garrido states, ” There is a strong dependence between the improvement of the academic
achievement and the way the teacher uses the homework in the classroom” (2014). When used effectively in a classroom setting, homework can help students grasp concepts and improve their academic performance. I also think that small assignments would be okay for students- if they work on their homework for an hour or two total each night after school and then have time for other activities, that would be ideal. Educators that understand that students have other obligations besides their schoolwork is very important.

Works Cited:
Murillo, F., & Martinez-Garrido, C. (2014). Homework and primary-school students’ academic achievement in Latin America. International Review Of Education / Internationale Zeitschrift Für Erziehungswissenschaft, 60(5), 661-681. doi:10.1007/s11159-014-9440-2

Published in: |on September 29th, 2016 |4 Comments »

Introduction!

Hello everyone! My name is Katie Herreid and I am a senior here at UW-Whitewater double majoring in Spanish and Communication Sciences and Disorders. Ever since I was little, I knew that I wanted to do something related to education. I believe that education is one of the greatest opportunities that can ever be given to a child. Over the twelve years, from kindergarten through high school, so many important concepts are learned and crucial information is taught. Without education, few people would be prepared for the real world. Most of the things we do every day, from reading a clock to writing our names, were taught to us at school. Education also exposes students to different careers that they can pursue as adults and helps them get ready to take on these jobs. Education is the key to success, and I want to support kids and help to improve their lives in any way that I can.

Communication affects just about every aspect of life. Whether it is verbal, written, or non-verbal communication, they all coexist to allow us to relay messages, provide information, and help us interact with other people. As I believe that speech, language, and communication are a huge part of success, I want to assist clients to increase their ability to communicate effectively and improve their quality of life. Although I am personally more interested in the field of Speech Pathology in an educational setting with younger children, I believe that this career is important for all ages across the lifespan. Whether a Speech Pathologist is working in a school, a hospital, a senior living home, or a private practice, they are given the opportunity to make a positive impact on someone’s life and help them become successful. This is an ability that is very valuable and can never be replaced.

Published in: |on September 9th, 2016 |No Comments »