Monday, September 21, 2015

Video Reactions

Educational Change Challenge  

The Educational Change Challenge video was short, but made a lot of great points about staying up to date and relevant in teaching. "Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or the same way" (George Evans) This quote at the beginning of the video was very thought provoking to me. As a teacher with a background in special education, I am very aware of the different learning styles and types of learners that teachers can encounter. However, thinking from an ESL standpoint, I am thinking about even great complexities and differences amongst ESL learners that I will encounter who bring with them even more unique learning styles from their own background and culture that may be very different from what I am used to. 
This quote also struck a chord with me - "In education, the use it or lose it rule may be that if you don't use technology for learning, you may lose relevance; an educator must be relevant. Teachers need to exist in the space the students exist, understand their culture, you have no credibility if you're not where they are. Because the generation of students that I am teaching is at instant putting the drive thru, microwave, downloaded from the internet, media driven generation, I know that I must be innovative to keep their interest and to inspire in them creative curiosity" (Martin). I have grown up with technology and have learned to use it pretty well, but I will admit that during my student teaching, I was having students help me with the SmartBoard technology as well as with some work on the iPad. I needed to include technology into my lessons because that was what the students knew. As a student in elementary school, my teachers used very little technology, so that was why it was hard for me at first to integrate it into my own teaching. However, as this video states, we as teachers must get on the same playing field as our students, and utilize the technology that they all have right at their fingertips. Not using technology in our lessons and daily teaching will simply make us irrelevant in the world's of our students. Not only with technology, but with all aspects of our teaching. We must find a way to get our students to buy into what we are teaching them; we must find ways to keep them engaged. I chose this image from Dead Poets Society because John Keating (Robin Williams) finds ways throughout the movie to connect with his students and keep them hanging on his every word. I find this moving inspiring to me as a future teacher, and it's also just a very great film!

The Social Media Revolution video was again a short clip, but it held a very powerful message. Social is so big, that our world is getting "smaller". We can communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world, in a matter of seconds. A teacher in America can FaceTime with students in China to teach a lesson. Entire college courses, just as this one, can be taught online, with out any physical interaction between professor and students. It is amazing what social media and technology can do, but it is also a bit scary how important it is becoming to society. 
As a teacher, it almost impossible to run a classroom with out being relevant on social media. Even if you're a kindergarten teacher, and your students don't use social media, their parents definitely do, and sometimes that is the only way parents can communicate with teachers. It is to the utmost advantage of us teachers to become comfortable with using social media as a tool in our classrooms, because it is not going anywhere anytime soon. The one quote from this video that I really liked was, "We don't have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it" (Erik Qualman). 
A girl that I student taught with was teaching third grade, and did a whole character study on a book the class read using Facebook as the inspiration behind the project - the students each had to choose a character from the book and create a Facebook page for their character, and then they each had to post on other characters' walls from the point of view of their character. It sounds complicated, but the third graders did an amazing job, because the material was presented to them on a platform that they were familiar and comfortable with - social media. 
As our world grows smaller and our students become more diverse, we as teachers can use technology and social media as a beneficial classroom resource that can help us and our students connect not only with each other, but with other resources around the world that can give them new insights, information, and strategies. 
The picture that I chose for this video is pretty self-explanatory. Most of the tools that were once used in a classroom, even something as simple as a pencil, are becoming obsolete. The majority of learning and teaching are beginning to come in the form of a screen that is attached to the rest of our world. 


  1. Ah! Dead Poets Society, I remember that film. A good movie about a forward thinking and engaging teacher. I remember that the school's senior faculty did not like him because he was so far ahead of them, though this made him closer to the school's students.

    The parallel with teachers now using technology and social media is quite accurate I would say. Teachers that I saw in supplemental academies with typically after-school classes would very often be connected with their students on social media even if in non-academic context, but as a way to be friendly and down to earth with what the students wished. However, the parents of those kids would often communicate with the teacher through the same social media in a PTA type context.

    Since everyone is so busy working, scheduling face-to-face teacher-parent meetings can be tough, however with social media or email transcend the need to meet. The resultant flow of information is just as useful and arguably more easily received with no need for parents to commute to their child's school after a day's work.

    1. Michael, thanks for mentioning the idea of using social media for parent-teacher meetings. Sounds like a great idea in some situations.

  2. Jenny, great post! The quote I can't get out of my head is the "use it or lose it" one. I used to think that teaching was all about the teacher, their command of the subject-matter and command of the classroom. However, you made a solid point that if you don't utilize technology, you WILL lose relevance. So true when the generation going through primary school now has grown up on iPads! It's crazy to think of but you've got to be versed in it and it must have a presence in all classrooms.

    1. The "use it or lose it" phrase also applies to so many tech tools and apps. Sometimes if I haven't used a particular tool for a few months, I have to "relearn" it. So there seem to be two ways to avoid that:
      1. Write down the steps.
      2. Google a solution. (Thank heavens for Google!)

  3. Jenny,
    Thanks for sharing the 3rd grade project about using Facebook. It sounds very creative!