The first tweet I found this week dealt with the question will human math teachers soon be programmed out of the classroom equation? The article started out by listing online program after program that can work on students’ math skills. Although there is no premier math application that can also monitor student progress, analyze it, and assign additional problem modules automatically, a program will soon come that can do these tasks.
Yet, the article switches at the end saying that teachers are needed, and I agree with this statement. Humans are fundamentally social creatures. Kids respond most strongly to feedback when they are secure in the knowledge that a teacher cares about them as individuals. Similarly, real-life engagement with peers helps children focus, build on one another’s energy and interests, and to learn from each other. I feel that children are most motivated by the rewards of human connection itself. The best math teachers are those who communicate joy and interest in the mathematics that they are teaching, and I feel that that enthusiasm just can’t be communicated through technology. The fact that I’m becoming a teacher, and this article saying teachers will always be needed, is quite reassuring to me.
This article talks about the endless uses for blogging in the classroom. Before I read this article, I only imagined each student having their own separate blog (like how our technology classroom is setup), but this article discusses ideas like teacher-parent blogs, or entire classroom blogs. Some ideas I took from the article were:
- Some teachers had daily student bloggers who were in charge of updating the classroom blog, somewhat like a scribe-of-the-day.
- Some teachers have their students take their handwritten notes that summarized the daily learning during each subject area and then have the students update the class blog on Friday.
- Teaches could highlight the best work of students as its produced.
- A student could be the daily/weekly photographer and document what goes on in class.
Finally, the last part of the article said that to learn how to run a blog you just have to experience a blog and go through it yourself in order to make it work for you and your students.
The last tweet I looked at had a link to an article titled “22 Simple Examples of Social Media in the Classroom.” I’ll go through some uses I’ve learned for just about popular social media site.
As the teacher, you can use Facebook to post homework assignments; this allows both students and parents to know what is expected for the next class. You could also use Facebook to share updates, changes, or humorous stories. Using Facebook could create a better classroom because it increases the feel of community and it creates communication between teachers and parents.
Although I don’t know much about Pinterest (but I hear it’s heaven for teachers), I learned you could use Pinterest as a show and tell for teachers and students to parents or you could pin student’s work and classroom projects.
Blogger could be used for many different purposes. Firstly, it could be used for writing practice because blogging requires students to map out their thoughts and express themselves. The student’s writing can also be shared with parents, classmates, and anybody else. Writing access can be restricted to the classroom and it creates a community feeling by providing a record of the year.
Finally, Twitter has an endless amount of uses in the classroom. Some I’ve learned about would be to give reminders – tests, assignment due-dates, field trips, conference, supplies needed, etc. Twitter can be used to give short, daily lesson recaps. It can be used to answer homework questions. Lastly, it connects students to other classmates and the teacher, which increases communication between teachers, parents, and students.
The blog post I looked at this week dealt with the topic of whether forcing a classroom of students to read certain books is a practical, good idea. I was personally interested in this blog post cause I remember reading Moby Dick during my junior year of high school, and I hated it. I read it everyday and didn’t appreciate the novel.
The author of the post starts off by giving an example of his 10-year-old daughter who loves reading. Before the daughter started her reading class this school year, she would read 50 to 60 books. Now that she has to read certain books for school, she reads far less, limiting what she reads to what is assigned. It’s ironic that her reading class is killing her natural interest in reading.
Some questions I always wondered through my school experience was why does every book I read have to be a classic. I also wondered who determines the books being read or when does a book become a classic? Why did we choose the classics we read in school? I used to constantly question the books my teachers assigned.
I think personal choice in reading material would greatly benefit all reading classrooms. Giving personal choice will naturally raise the motivation of the students to actually read. It also lets the students explore their own interests. I think teachers should have to approve of the books, but not dictate to the whole class what they must read.