After participating in the course I can safely say that I have increased what I know about technology and will for sure implement various tools that I learned about. I think that when the school year starts and you are trying to get everything ready you tend to not look as much at new things that might be out there and then tend to go with what you know. This class helped open my eyes to new tools that will work great with my students and the way that I teach my classes. I was forced to read about so many different technology related tools that I would not have had to make time for in the past. This was a good thing because I know that the current tools that I use worked but now with these new things I am excited again to create more activities that will help my students. I had converted my website to a 100% flash site and after about 100 hours of work it was lost somewhere in the world of technology and outdated servers. I have learn that there are so many different things out there that can make what I did on Flash less time consuming and faster to implement. One draw back is that most tools are preset and you have to change them according to the templates that are given to you while with Flash you had complete control over forms, video, animations and data collection.
I have learn that working with others helped me learn how to use new tools a lot faster than when I had to learn on my own. I really like the group activities that put all the strengths of the group members in the presentations. I will not forget how we all had to Diago our web pages something that I have shown my students.
I purchased my own website that allows for the use of the Joomla web site program. I have already started to use the various extensions or apps to add different feature to my site. Students are now able to log in to specific areas of the site depending on the class they are in. I know that I will be adding more and using the Googledocs to collect quick feedback for grammar information we are going over. The ability to collect data is something that really kept my attention and I started to learn how to use it better. I don’t know about everyone else but all these tools that we were introduced to benefited me greatly.
I was asked before who should be the person that teachers ethical behavior to students. I think that its a difficult subject to address because this has changed from the time that I great up. I knew the difference between right and wrong and this was all explained and told to me by my parents when ever there was a good teaching moment but now days I don’t know if that happens that often in today’s world. I wonder what would happen if would teach something that we believed to be ethical but the parents of the students did not. Who would decide who creates the ethical lessons for the students?
Our School district will approve a code of conduct that we will have to follow and makes so much sense because it deals with us and being safe went commenting or have a discussion with students. I am working on adding different Joomla Extension that allow students to blog on my site that is protected and can only be used by them. I have created various quizzes and have used the free sites to enhance the subject matter being presented. Students have been told since the start of the year what the expectations are they will be held accountable for and any violation will cause them to loss credit and or privileges on the site. Students don’t abuse this because they know that the technology is there to help them. But there are other technologies that are not being used correctly by many teachers and that has caused them to step into the news because of miss use. Technology is growing at an exponential rate and teachers need to know how to use the technology in a safe and useful way.
I always explain to my students from day one the rules that must be followed in my class I cover everything from respect to expectations that I have for the class. This explanation is important because I cover ethical issues and why some of the rules are put into place by me and by the school. I have found that when this is done students conduct themselves in an ethical manner when we work in projects work with other students and work in groups. Students also gain a greater respect for me because they know that I am firm and fair. There are so many teachers don’t ever cover rules and expectations and then the ethical nature of the students change. They will try and get away with as much as possible and will always have issues in their class. In the 13 years of teaching I have not had an issue when it comes to student treatment of other students or ethical conduct in class.
I have found that when I give my students to many rewards that are physical instead of other forms they tend to expect it all the time. What I mean by physical is candy. I always have so much candy that has been inspected after Halloween and since I don’t want to ruin my kids teeth I tend to take three months supply of candy with me to school. I use that candy when playing review games as a price for winning the game. I also pit side vs side and the winner get candy as well as participation points. But when I run out and we play games for a simple review they will ask me after the game is done “Mr. R where is our candy” I guess I condition them to think they would get candy each and every time. I have other rewards when it comes to being able to choose their seat in the class. The person that has the highest score can change seats when ever want and bump out someone that is sitting in the seat they want. This a great incentive for the top students and always keep the competition high in the class. Over all I tend to use review games that use student feedback and immediate response to keep them engaged. I still used candy as a reward here and there and always buy a big box for those that have the top 3 scores in the class after a test.