Courses with Dr. Perry Marker
Personal Practical Theory
EDUC 570, with the Personal Practical Theory, and EDCT 585 helped me bridge between just reflecting on my own ideas, and as Karen Grady would often mention, pushed me to ‘sit on the shoulders of giants’ and learn to incorporate what others have researched before. This was from my first semester of grad school and before I had taken any of the Ed Tech classes.
You can see my my PPT that I have a passion for technology and want to use it in the classroom, but reflecting back on it now, I also see that I didn’t know how yet. However I did understand that technology can help students connect to the curriculum in new and meaningful ways. At this point I still needed more information about the place and implementation technology in my classroom.
James Lowen and Pablo Freire
While these papers were for two different classes I had with Dr. Marker, they both helped me learn about current theorists and historians that are trying to change the way we teach. Before graduate school I didn’t know much about people working in educational theory and these men opened my eyes to a progressive view on education and the role of the student and teacher. James Lowen made me passionate about U.S. history and teaching students more then the ‘plain vanilla’ version often scooped up to children. It also reminded me that if I want my students to investigate and do their own research I need to do that myself and question/research what bias there is in my curriculum.
Pablo Freire inspired me to give my students more of a voice and allow them to invest in their own education. He reminds teachers that students have opinions and ideas to contribute to the learning experience. We need to create students who are invested in themselves and want to make a change in their own lives and the lives of those around them.
Educational Technology Courses with Dr. Jessica Parker
The tech timeline was a great opportunity to reflect on my own experiences and learn about the experiences of my classmates. Being 27, I am younger then most of my classmates and and am categorized in the ‘millennium generation’ or as a ‘tech negative’ by some. My views on technology are different from having had a computer since 4th grade and on the flip side; my students will have a different view because their sonogram was on Facebook at 16 weeks!
It was a great reminder to think about how we engage in conversations about technology with our coworkers and our students. Since this assignment I actually had my students make a tech timeline in class. Not for their life, but in general. Timelines are a 2nd grade standard and it allowed us to see how technology has changed and what kind of technology was available in the past for their parents and grandparents.
The mini ethnography was an insightful assignment. I focused on a 12 year old boy who was a current student in my 6th grade class. This student and his twin sister had, and continue to have a complicated childhood and instead of hiding from it they would often embrace it. They could talk about their mom in jail and half siblings in foster care. They were equally open about talking about their use of technology. I got to understand two of my students better and see the importance of technology in their lives.
Sadly since the ethnology, and Andrew’s move on to junior high this year, he has struggled immensely. He was expelled from the junior high for selling pot and some other undisclosed reasons. He ended up moving out from his home in Alexander Valley to live with his step mom’s mother. This paper has given me insight into his life and a stronger connection to him. Regardless of the main point of technology use in today’s youth, the paper reminded me to look beyond the surface of my students and try to understand and help them and whatever is going on in their life.
Five Things You Should Know about. . . IMovie
I enjoyed getting to do the ‘5 things you should know about’ project as a collaborative piece. It allowed us the freedom to pick an interesting piece of technology and group insight on how to use the technology. It was also short enough that there was less worry about everyone not doing his or her fare share. In our group, Kristen was already using iMovie in her classroom and it was great to see and hear how she was using it. After this assignment I have started to use it my classroom. With 2nd graders I am starting off being in charge of the editing but I hope to start giving over the responsibility in small groups later on. In EDRL 527A this summer I created a Youtube channel for the class and helped my classmates upload videos of them teaching. I was able to show them how to edit and create captions on IMovie too. Lastly, it was really insightful to hear about what other students had researched. Some projects like Edmodo and Voicethread were familiar for me, but the presentations about gaming and programs for second language learners were new for me.