I live in Gering, Nebraska with my wife Sarah and out beautiful daughter Sophie. We have two dogs named Jaya and Jerry. I work as a paraprofessional in a behavior program at an elementary school in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. It is a challenging but rewarding job. I am in my final year of getting my Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. I love working with kids and can't wait to have my own classroom. I enjoy spending time with my family, watching sports, camping, going to the lake, and golfing.
Is the English language dying? Is it dead? How can we tell if our students or children are able to use correct language when writing a paper? Carmen Lee’s Ted Talk goes into detail about how language is changing and if the English language is really dead. She points out a lot of great points about students that are starting to use text language and short handing more and more. She is quick to point out that it is not slang, because it isn’t. They are writing in this text language because they are using social media that limits their character numbers so they have to short hand some certain words. Teachers are fearing that the standards are falling, but whose standards are falling? Sometimes students are using this slang because they know how to use it and their spelling isn’t great. They might not know how to spell so they use text language to communicate when writing. Carmen even points out that we have been using short hand by showing letters to Winston Churchill back in 1917 where the term OMG(Oh my god) was use. Even in 1890 when it was used. Technology and the Internet use has younger children using this more often because it is easier for them. It is also a way to communicate faster and there is no one correcting them online so there is no reason for them to change in their opinion. This video was very interesting and not what I thought it was going to be. I have put in below so you can watch it.
While the English language might be not dying as much as we believe it to be, the language of emoji is growing quickly. It is growing quicker than any other language in the UK according to Professor Vyvyan Evans of Bangor University in the article the language of emoji: communication in the digital age. He notes that emojis have already surpassed hieroglyphics. According to the article #language: evolution in the digital age, Vyvyan mentions that the most popular word for children in the UK is hashtag or #. There are many different emojis and children are using them to communicate because it is quicker and easier than it is to write out full messages. People are even struggling to find emojis that look like them and it is causing them issues. They want to be able to represent everything with an emoji in today’s society and finding the perfect one can cause some people stress. Being able to visually express our words is an advantage that many generations probably would have liked to have. It is fun and can make certain topics that people talk about seem less or even more graphic. In the article why emojis may be the best thing to happen to language in the digital age, they mention how people believe the use of the emoji is taking a step back, but William Cummings is quick to point out how much emojis have helped clear up language in the digital age. So often when people are communicating on digital devices, it is more about how people read the text and not how it was delivered. This can cause confusion for both parties and the use of emojis can show the emotion that the sender is sending the message with. Emojis aren’t going to be around forever and it is only a matter of time before something else comes along and takes their place. They might even be on the decline as it is. It is important to understand how our children and students are using emojis to communicates because they might be trying to hide their conversations in clear sight. The most we understand what they are saying, the better off we will be.
Language is changing and the use of emojis, text language and other digital communication does not mean that the English language is dying or that we haven’t use this style of language in the past. The important thing is that we are teaching our students the right context of when and where to use it. It is important that we are providing them learning opportunities to know when they should be using correct English and not text language. There is a time and place to text language and emojis, but writing papers should not be one of them. We also need to ensure that our students are understanding fully how to read and write with the English language so they don’t have to rely on text language or emojis as often.
With all the technology around us, we need to be working on how we are teaching and learning in this digital age. There are so many great advantages that we have with how we are teaching and how our students are going to be learning in this day and age. We need to be making sure that we are using all these outlets that are around us to help the learner. In the article 6 Recommendations for Learning in the Digital Age, it mentions how we need to use this technology so that students and anyone can learn anywhere, anytime, and at any pace. We can stay connected and in control of how and what are learning are doing through networks that we can create. We can allow our students to learn at home what we are covering in class. Learning can be at any time and at a pace that doesn’t overwhelm them. Providing students to learn at their own pace is going to help them be comfortable and have a great chance of being successful. The article also mentions how we need to incorporate digital literacy in our instruction
Teaching in a digital world is going to require the leadership in the school being equipped and trained to handle a digital world. Teachers need to be prepared to teach a student with technology because the student has been surrounded by technology their entire life to this point. In the article School Leader: Guiding Teachers into the Digital Age, Anne OBrien talks about the advantages that schools can have when their school’s leaders are prepared and engaged. When teachers are engaged, then students have a better opportunity to follow. She talks about how the number of students who drop out are lower and explains how to start guiding teachers into the digital age. We need to meet our students who are technologically efficient. They are going to respond more when we are using terms that they are understanding. If we fail to catch up to the digital age, then we might lose our students as well.
There are many great advantages to teaching and learning the digital age, but the article Diane Ravitch: 3 Dubious Uses of Technology in Schools, she talks about how we need to be cautious about how we approach all the uses of technology. We should not depend on computers to grade certain material. Why they might be able to quickly grade essays, they are not grading them with a great deal of accuracy. The computer can not grade creativity, imagination, and determine where a student might be heading with their essay or written answer. They are depending on a certain formula to grade the student’s answers and the students are going to learn to write their answers according to that formula. They are going to miss out on elements of writing because their answers aren’t being read by their teacher, but being sent through a system. The teacher is also missing out on the student’s growth of their writing because they are reading through all their papers like they use to.
I was not sure what I was going to be doing when I first started this class this semester. I had talked with a few people that had taken this class, but all they told me was to be prepared to tweet a lot. I thought that the activities in this class differed from some of my other education that I experienced growing up. I had never had the chance to work on my own learning. It has always been someone telling me what to learn. I think that the article My Generation Essay: Refining Education says a lot about how some flaws that schools are facing. Emily Mitchum talks about how schools are more focused on learning for an upcoming test and then moving onto the next topic. When this happens we tend to forget the stuff we just covered because we need to cram in information for our next test. We struggle with be allowed to start studying too early because it might affect a test that we are taking before the one we want to get a head start on. We need to stop thinking about the numbers of what we are perceived to be and what we need to become.
Being allowed to work on my own project of my choosing was an awesome experience. Adding on top of that, tools in technology that are going to assist me as I move forward as an educator were a great advantage. The core classes for our major are usually the main classes that are preparing us the most because they are focused on what we will be doing when we graduate. They are helping us prepare for what we will be doing. I believe this class has done a great job of preparing me and teaching me tools that I did not know of before the start of the class. It has also shown me what a difference it can make when we are focusing on a topic or content that we are truly interested or passionate about. I want my future students to feel like they have options at times and that I am not dictating to them. Deschooling Yourself: Part 1 was a great look into why we need to rethink some of the habits that we gained in school. There were habits that we gained while we were growing up that we need to break. We, as soon to be teachers, need to rewire and unschool ourselves to stop thinking of ourselves as students and try to think about how we can impact our students. They are going to be looking at us for guidance so we need to make sure that they feel like they can speak up when they feel like something is important, to create conversations when there are opportunities, and making sure we are challenging students that are getting by on the bare minimum. Teaching them good habits to prepare them for a positive future is going to be helpful for them.
As teachers, older siblings, friends, coworkers, and parents we need to be constantly innovating to create ways to help those around and under us. There are so many resources out there that are trying to help us become better at what we are doing and finding ways to help our students, children, and others around us. The article The Mindset of an Innovator really hits the nail on the head that we need to be constantly looking for ways to improve. By the time we realize how to help this current generation, the next generation is going to be knocking on our door asking for our help. We need to be constantly trying to improve ourselves so we are better prepared to help those we want to help.
Looking back and reflecting on all the great articles we have read this semester and thinking of my personal learning, this class has taught me a ton. I want to help my students find passion in their learning, teach and use 21st century skills, and help prepare my students for their future. I want to provide my students with the best opportunity to be successful and to provide them an opportunity to pursue learning of their choice. This has been a great class and has taught me much more than I thought it was to at the beginning.
I think a lot of times it can be hard to admit an unwanted truth. Are we actually doing everything that we can in schools to help prepare our students for life after school and not to just pass a test at the end of each year?
The article 9 Elephants in the (Class)room That Should “Unsettle” Us was a great read and pointed out a lot of great points of issues that we are currently facing in schools. Will Richardson does a great job of pointing out some obvious flaws of our education system in the hopes of bringing the attention to issues that need to be corrected.
The fact that most students are bored and disengaged in school is a clear and obvious one. Many students, especially in middle and high school, are not wanting to be at school, let alone participate in a lot of the learning activities. 32% of high school juniors that were polled said that have a hard time staying involved and being enthusiastic when it comes to school. 17% of them said that they believe school is fun. That is a big issue when it comes to getting students to be active and participate. Even as adults, we are faced with issues when it comes to being involved and enthusiastic about an event or situations that we do not care for. We need to determine what is the best way that we can approach students to help us make learning more fun. If we can use student input on decisions like this, then we can have a better resolution to getting students to become more involved and enthusiastic when it comes to school.
Separating learning into designed time blocks is better for the system than it is the student. I had never really thought too much about this, but it is a glaring issue that we have in schools. We group students together by age and then teach them subjects for a certain amount of time. When it life, outside of school, are we going to face a schedule like this. When we get into the real world, we are working on a range of different topics at once with ages ranging all over the place. Do we need to group students together by their age or by their ability? Why can’t more subjects be intertwined so students are working on multiple skills at once? Can’t we teach problem solving skills in a lesson that will incorporate multiple subjects so we can prepare students to determine what skills they need to use for a certain issue? The way that it is now, when it is math class, they are going to use math and when it is science they are going to use those skills. When it comes to real life, problems are going to need critical thinking skills where students need to use both interdisciplinary skills and anti-disciplinary skills.
Is the education system adequately preparing students for life after they graduate, if they graduate? My guess is no. I agree with Will in the case that the education system is more geared to pass a standardized test. Our students are not prepared for college or work life outside of school. We need to rethink how we are approaching school to ensure that we are preparing out students for success in college and in their work life. We need to start thinking about how we can better prepare our students to be internet literate and how we can teach them 21st century skills that they are going to be expected to use in life after high school. We need to start thinking about what is best for the student after school and not just cased education on content knowledge.
Below is a link to my digital story that I created on Adobe Spark. It was a fun time creating it, although it will not allow me to directly embed the video on my blog. It was interesting thinking back on my entire education career. It was not the path that I thought I would have taken when I was growing up, but I am who I am now for the path that I created. I am excited to be this close to my degree and I look forward to many challenges and helping students who might be facing the same issues that I have in my education career.
I really enjoyed being able to have a reason to spend some time doing something that I have started to love. The independent learning project is something that I have never really experienced in schools before and it is something that I will certainly not forget. I thought that being provided this amazing opportunity is an idea that I can take into the classroom. Being able to provide my students with an opportunity to spend some time on something that they want to spend it on can help them also be ready to learn when it is time for the core academics.
I learned that I am not very good at golf and that I need a lot more work than I was able to put into it this semester. I really enjoyed being able to spend a lot of time working on my all-around golf game and having a reason to go out and do it. It wasn’t something that I would just do because I had the time or wanted to, but there a reason and purpose for me to and spend some time working on my golf game.
I really became better and more focused on my swing. There were a lot of issues that I had with my swing and with the research that I was doing on it really was helpful. I had never really spent a lot of time looking for advice on the internet because it wasn’t really something that I had a lot of time for. It was just more of a hobby that I would do when someone asked me to join for a long time. I saw a great opportunity to improve when I first read about this project.
I was still challenging to find time to work on my game with having a full-time job, online classes, and night class every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Add on top of that a one-year-old daughter that is all over the place and a wife that was a volleyball coach. It was quite the juggling act at times to pick up my daughter, do as much homework as possible, drop her off at the gym to her mom, and then make it to night class for those three nights. To say that I was ready for volleyball and this semester to be over would be an understatement. It was been a wild, hectic semester, but I am here at the end and not looking back.
The weather did a nice job of cooperating for the most part, but the past few weeks really created a challenge. I had to do some of my short game work in my back yard with the wife making sure that I did not do anything to damage anything within the back yard. Then, I had to move into the house to work on my cutting because I can’t put in the rough, snow, or my uneven driveway. Even with all of the challenges, I really believe that I have found many improvements in my game and acquired a great deal of knowledge about the game of golf along the way. This is an experience that I am very grateful for and also something that I hope I can allow my students to do in my teaching future.
I thought that the process of creating a comic was going to be fairly easy but I also knew that there was going to be a lot to it. I know now that there are millions of ways that we can create and use tech tools. I tested out a few of them but ended up using ToonDoo.com. I thought it was very enjoyable. I played around on the site for a long time and the longer that I played around the cooler I thought that it was. I think there are many benefits that we could use as teachers with these awesome tech tools.
Creating comics can be a lot of fun. At the school I work at, they have used the make believe comics website before. The students really enjoyed learning how to make comics and being able to have the freedom to create their won. I think that it is a great way for students to make their own stories, work on their writing skills, and also working on their 21st century skills.
I thought I would have some fun with the information that I included on my comic above. It has been a fun time working on my golf game and becoming a better student of the game. I haven’t saw a lot of direct results yet and it can be frustrating at times. Golf is an extremely challenging sport and I am going to continue to get better, but the results don’t always happen immediately. I am ready for next summer so I can get out every day and play more. With work, school, and the weather, it is hard to find time to work consistently on my golf game. The more I play, the better I feel. I just thought if you can’t make fun of yourself, then you need to lighten up and get to know yourself better.
I think that students would love learning with comics like these as a tool. I will try to incorporate these into lessons because I know that younger students can relate well when a cartoon character is telling them a story or teaching them a concept. It is also a great way to incorporate some humor into lessons. It is important that we have some fun when we are teaching and let the students laugh. I love using humor when I am teaching because when the students are having fun, they tend to be more willing to learn.