Sunday, September 27, 2009

Emerging Tech One: Teacher Tube

TeacherTube is very similar in nature to YouTube. The major aid that it has for the education field is that the school filter will likely let you access it unlike YouTube which most generally blocked.

Teacher Tube features a myriad of resources that range in views that can be used :
For virtual field trips and exploration
For the opportunity to hear words spoken by an author
For the chance to view a politicians speech to evaluate after many years
For professional development in a skill they need work in
And many , many more.

Teachers and presenters can easily access these video clips from multiple locations.
I have used in the classroom and for work with my teachers in my TechArt team.
It is important that these videos, like all others are not used for the sake of taking up time or for playing with and LCD projector, but rather to add engagement to a lesson or adding validity to an argument. As with all technology you will experience issues, it is important to check the TeacherTube site frequently for changed and lost footage.
I am attaching two Teacher Tubes that I am currently in the process of using. One is a 60 Minutes video I am loading to a HotChalk group I am running as part of the InSAI work being done in my building. We are using this video to have an online discussion about our own school reform and areas of concern and how they align with this school. It was removed from TeacherTube put is still on YouTube (It's two parts)
The second is a presentation that you likely have seen that shows the importance of using technology in your classroom effectively. It is being used a starting place for discussions about student engagement and where we are as digital implementers.

PAY ATTENTION: Used for technology group
Dr. Monroe

Module 3 Critical Thinking/PB Wiki

Genevieve McLeish-Petty
Module 3 Critical Thinking
Main Ideas and Connections to “Teachers and Technology: English with an Edge” and “Toward a new model of high tech schoolrooms”
September 27. 2009
The articles read seemed to vary in specific purpose but share in a common goal. The most compelling discussion is one that I find myself having with people all of the time. The use of computers and applications is not a class or a one time project to meet the criteria set by the standards, it is an approach that should be using to drive the curriculum on a regular basis. Too often I hear teachers I would with state that they integrate technology in their rooms because their students do internet research or because they use Microsoft Word; this means that these two base and simplistic means of technology or on the fringes of their instruction and assessment, not at the heart of it at all.
I enjoyed the article by Andie Brown about her English class assignment on satire. Some points of interest for her article paralleled things I did with my English ten classes and media groups in the last few years. I would admit, timidly, that the coursework that they did was at a higher level than my students, but I would arguably say that my students gained many of the same positive results as hers did upon completion.
One quote I could identify with was “I was even more nervous that an administrator who happened into my room during the film festival wouldn’t understand what they were seeing.” Once my freshman class was breaking down Romeo and Juliet into a modernized parallel and spoof based on the fact that it would have never happened in modern day life, the Friar would have gotten a call on his cell and Juliet would have seen Romeo’s post of MySpace and the problems would not have occurred. It was an explanation of the story line, in order to understand why the tragedy happened it was easiest for the students to believe the story line was flawed and to tear it apart. As I had students armed with laser tag guns and cell phones in hand, and video camera rolling my administrator stopped in to get a student. I was met with a “come by later to talk to me.”
That afternoon as I went into his office I was well armed with my standards and lesson plans, he met me with a “I really liked how your class was engaged today, every student was on task and involved. What are you covering?” I was relieved and encouraged. That is not to say that I have not been met with trouble in subsequent years and been told my class was “too fun.” (Usually by other teachers). The question that arises for me and others is: How can we justify and use such wonderful tools and ideas in a classroom when the administration is ultimately concerned with test scores and unfamiliar with such technological tools to drive the interest and depth of instruction.
The article by Van Horn covers the idea that I see as Utopian. Wouldn’t we love to teach in a school with all of that technology? Does any school have all of that? I am fortunate to have access to a iMAC lab that is fully loaded with digital editing and animation software, but I am not the norm. We are in a time where computer labs are signed out and your days are limited in them. You must arrange for make up time for absences (usually on your own time) and saving materials for later work is difficult to say the least.
“Technology would become an integral part of the curriculum not a high-tech add-on.” There is that statement that I enjoy so again. YES. But with allocations of teachers limited to a bare bones scenario and one computer specialist for a building of 900 kids, how can we implement these plans and ideas?
He references the HCA (High Computer Access) model as an option. In this idea students are given laptops. In IPS this has been done with a few groups. The International Baccalaureate students were given iBooks upon entering the program, and at Crispus Attucks the students were given laptops as well. Sadly, it is an accountability nightmare. Students move, break them, and funding runs out so somewhere within the implementation you no longer have the funds or the tools. In addition, money is put into the students and the equipment but seemingly the professional development component so crucial for successful technology use by the teachers in left out of the equation and the personal computers are then used in simplistic tool ways within most courses.
I will state that the statement; “it does greatly improve student’s self concept with regard to academic ability and other non-achievement outcomes” to be very true. When in an urban setting the students frequently do not have a PC at home and often if they do it is outdated or not online. The laptop awarded students enjoyed the “status” of having a personal computer and used it frequently and openly around other students not in the program. I loved to watch the IB kids take their iBooks to wrestling meets to use the webcams to film so their friends could watch them. The laptop seemed to serve as a sign to them that someone trusted and believed in them and their abilities and for the most part the rose to the occasion. Sadly, this is less than ten percent of our building, and the incoming IB students were not given iBooks, as the grant funding ran out.
The overarching issues and questions for me are surrounded with availability and credibility. Further investigation and experiences will surely help me to answer questions such as: How do we get this equipment to all students in a fair and effective way? How do teacher approach administration with plans for use of technology that are seen as rigorous and not just fun? How do combat the transient levels of students that take off with equipment? How do we use with low achievers when those low achievers are the ones with poor attendance and questionable family lives aiding to the belief that they cannot be trusted with equipment? There must be some solution.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Me and Stuff

My name is Genevieve McLeish-Petty.
This blog will be filled with topics relating to my continued education and some fun stuff personally. Please come back and vistit and respond frequently.