Archive for the ‘ICM’ Category

Media Presentation


Link to my media presentation! Enjoy!

Literature Review

I’ve been arguing the pros of technology in the classroom for the last couple weeks, but haven’t really covered the cons. The Luddites of education certainly have a list though. I’ve listened in on many conversations in the faculty room, and have found that the biggest complaint among teachers is that they don’t know how to use it, so they don’t. Using technology in the classroom can be tricky if one hasn’t been taught to do so. Being a technology education teacher, it is assumed that using technology is part of my job description. What isn’t part of my job description, is teaching other teachers to use what is readily available in their own classrooms. How many times I’ve gotten requests for “a quick lesson” or just “show me quickly how to do..” it always ends up taking far longer, than either party previously anticipated. What is lacking is teacher education and training in these areas. Some schools that are lucky enough have the technology in the classrooms, or available through the library. Things such as, SmartBoards, LCD projectors, DVD players and TV’s, laptop carts, and so on. A portion of teachers are familiar with all of the technology and use it so some extent, but other teachers, scared of using it, don’t bother with it. There are so many resources out there for the classroom, that are technology based, that is one isn’t willing to at least look and consider those options, they are doing their students a great disservice.

The use of technology in the classroom can’t be understated.  In an article by Victor Rivero he states the following,

“Social media and learning technology have been hot for some time now, but with the sudden proliferation of ebooks, e-readers, etextbooks, and interactive digital content, technology in education is approaching its flash point.”

There are an abundance of resources out there for the teacher who is willing to look, put in the time, and investigate other ways to get information across to their students.  There are no shortage of sites that cater to different educational levels, and subjects. Sites like, get students excited about literature, poems, humanities, and even standardized tests! Not to mention the boom in online textbooks. College students are finding them easier to access, and cheaper by 10-40%. There are a plethora of sites that are edging their way into the etextbook market by offering high school editions of many textbooks. Companies like Amazon, Apple, Hp, and Sony are making it easier by designing devices that can read these textbooks, in the classroom, at home, or anywhere. Devices like the iPad, and Kindle are not only redefining the face of publishing, but also of public education.

All of these different avenues of finding and presenting material to the students have benefits so great, it’s almost a crime not to do it. A popular initiative in public schools is SRBI, which is a nice acronym for what educators have liked to call differentiated instruction.  The benefits of which are widely stated by educators in special education. According to the Learning Disabilities Association,

“Students need choices as to how they will engage in classroom activities in order to be successful. They have to be excited and interested about the topics discussed in order to participate and make academic gains. Furthermore, connecting curriculum in the classroom with life happenings outside of the classroom makes learning meaningful” (Voltz, 2003)

Using multiple platforms to get the information across really makes sure that the most students are receiving the information. Presenting information as test, or lecture, and in a presentation, in a movie clip, in pictures, as a tangible object, those are ways to reach the most students. Every student has a different learning style, and without these kind of technologies it would be nearly impossible for every student to succeed with just basic lecture and note taking.

Using technology in the classroom fits right in with differentiating the students instruction, and isn’t the whole point of education to reach as many students at possible?

Directions for Niche: Creating an Interactive Lesson

Creating an Interactive Lesson for the classroom, may be harder than it looks, but I’m going to try to break it down into some simple steps.

Step One: Choose a topic that your students will relate to, and that fits into the curriculum. For this post I’ll be using Advertising as a topic, within the larger unit of Mass Media Communication.

Step Two: Set specific objectives for your lesson. What exactly do you want your students to know by the end of the lesson? Objectives should be stated in measurable terms so that your students can meet those goals. It could read something like:

The students will be able to identify their target market  for their given product and create an appropriate logo, and slogan within one class period.

This way the objective is measurable, and has a time limit on it, this gives students incentive to finish because they know what is expected of them. To read more on objectives go here.

Step Three: Create a multitude of ways to absorb the information. The more differentiated the lesson the better. Create a worksheet or handout, that states your specific objectives and is a visual map for students to follow. Also, follow up your worksheet with a presentation. Standing in front of the class, writing on the board isn’t enough anymore. Students need their information presented to them in many ways because it is in every other facet of their life. A PowerPoint or video would be appropriate here. Much like this one: ADvertising

Step Four: Follow up during the lesson with questions that will keep students engaged. Create links to their personal lives, connections and references that they understand. Embarrass yourself if you must by singing jingles from common commercials to show them the effectiveness of creative and good advertising. Create a game out of identifying logos from different companies around the world. There are many ways to keep the students attention during an interactive lesson, the key is finding the right one for you and your students.

Step Five: After the lesson is all over, its important to close it by reiterating the important facts.  Making sure students know what it is they have learned, and where they are going to be going with the information they just learned. Are they going to complete an assignment with a group? Or are they just going to forget the info? Without a clear goal they won’t understand the importance of remembering the material.

Step Six: The next time you see the students, make sure you follow up and make sure they remember most of the material you covered. The more ways you present the information, the more students will completely comprehend what you’re covering, and you’ll get better results!

Public Persona’s PT 2

After reading some of the other people’s blogs about public persona’s I realized just how important it really is no matter what line of work you are in.  This comment off Jon’s blog was really eye opening.

“Media convergence has made this possible and allows ordinary people with an Internet connection to display their own masterpieces.”

He referenced Beinger, which we read in ICM 501. I really feel like this is very important to the public persona of today. No matter whether you want one or not, you are most likely going to have a persona because of the internet.  Specifically related to teachers, there are a number of sites that deal with the students perception of the teacher. Sites like Rate My Teacher, or Rate My Professors are becoming more and more popular with students. They can grade their teachers based on “Easiness”, “Helpfulness”, “Clarity”, and “Popularity.”  In college, we would make our schedules around what professors we heard were easy, or fun, or which professors had a talent for making students cry. This was mostly spread by word of mouth, you heard it from your friends, or someone who knew someone who had that teacher, but now it is readily accessible online for everyone to see.

I could see how this could cause an issue with future employers. Say a teacher is moving school districts, her possible future district could look her up on Rate My Teachers, or Facebook, and already know what students think of her, and have a image of her that might be incorrect, or totally off base. Employers are becoming more and more internet savvy as they find ways to research their future employees before hiring. Do they have a Facebook, a blog, a Linkin? What is there online presence? Some employers, like school districts don’t want you to have any online presence whatsoever, so that they can avoid lawsuits, or possible meetings with parents, or situations that might lead to being uncomfortable in the administrations point of view.

Overall, I think it is up to us to manage our own pubic persona’s. We should keep an eye out for what is happening under our names online. Teachers can request to have their names taken off the Rate My Teacher’s website, you can beef up the security on Facebook so that not even the Marine’s could find you, and you can Google Search yourself every once in a while to see that comes up, and then maybe do something about it if you don’t like it. It is our responsibility to keep up with the times and monitor our own online presence.

Public Personas in the Education World

Having a public persona in the education world is a tricky thing. You either want to have a great, established one, or not at all. Teachers in the opposite direction, aren’t teachers for long.  Having a public persona in a high school is tricky.  Students judge you based on what they hear from other students, and let their preconceived notions factor into how they react in class. The teachers with good public persona’s aren’t always the nicest ones. I think the qualities students admire most are respect, fairness, and being genuine in caring about their lives.  I took a poll among my students, and most said they would rather have a fair and hard teacher, than an easy but biased teacher. I’ve also found it doesn’t matter how old you are. Respect is respect. If you show it to them, and treat them as adults, they forgive your faults, and accept you as the teacher you want to be for them. It’s nice to have a good public persona in school. It can alleviate a lot of problems like under-enrollment, issues with administration, and general report with the parents.  With the development of sites like Rate My Teacher, and Rate my Professor students actually have the power to rate teachers on specific criteria. It ranks from “Easiness”, “Coolness”, “Strict/Mean” and “Hotness.” I’ve heard of students not taking certain classes because of things their friends have said or reviews they’ve read online. On college campuses, professors have it the same. Students would make their entire schedules around the classes that were taught by professors who were recommended by peers or online.  The education public persona is a dangerous and tricky thing.