Technology and Twitter

The constant stream of ideas from experienced educators through twitter could be a huge asset to any beginner teacher. In the three tweets I found this week, one tweet predicted what the typical classroom of 2115 would look like, one tweet had helpful tips for anyone who isn’t already a whiz at Pinterest (I’m not yet), and the last tweet I found talks about the innovative designing app, Canva.

In the first tweet by Steven Anderson, Anderson links an article called “Talking Tech” which gives a summary of where education is going and what teachers need to be ready for. Earlier in our Sped 312 class, our instructor posed the question, “Do teachers have a choice whether to engage with technology?” I answered no in that first class period when that question was asked. At the start of the “Talking Tech” article, the author poses the same question, to which he answers that Technology is already so embedded in the fabric of schools, it’s unavoidable now. The article goes on to ask why wouldn’t teacher implement technology? Technology in the classroom has been shown to engage students and add, enhance, and enrich the learning experience. The question is not whether teachers should engage with technology, but how.

In the year 2115, the author, Steve Wheeler, says that technology will be paramount in the classroom. Traditional academic subjects will blend; students will be out in the world learning with the aid of technology. Children will learn new skills and literacies that will prepare them for a future we can’t clearly describe. Lastly, the article finishes by saying that teachers will always be around. Teachers will not be replaced by technology, but teachers who use technology will replace those who don’t.

In the second tweet that I found that has a link to Pinterest tips, I learned a lot about how Pinterest works. Some of the tips I found would save me a ton of time and probably show me more useful information. For example, I found out that I could follow a “super-teacher” on Pinterest and see everything that they pin, or I could follow one of her interesting pins and be shown more pins like the original pin I followed. You can create different boards where you could organize the items you pin. For example, you could have a board for technology in the classroom pins, or elementary reading projects pin, etc. Lastly, this article says to pin everything that catches your eye. If you are just scrolling through Pinterest, you can pin many items and review them later when you have more time. Since Pinterest has so much information and ideas, it’s better to pin everything and delete it later rather than pass it over and not be able to find it again. Teachers can uses Pinterest and all of these tips to find creative ways to engage students and assess their understanding of class materials.  Here’s a very helpful video on setting up a Pinterest account if you don’t have one yet. 

In the last tweet I found, I learned about an info graphic design app called Canva. “Canva is an elegant, simple to use platform that allows you to create graphics to share in presentations, on social media, and other places.” Canva has pre-made layouts where you can put pictures and text, then you can pick and customize a template where font colors change and images move. This part of Canva can be customized to your hearts content. When you are done creating and customizing, you can share your work directly on social networks or download as a PDF. Canva can add a whole different dimension to your classroom projects. Since there are so many templates and different features, students can create something personal to show their understanding.

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