Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Comment on Kohler and Mishra Article
It was almost 10 years ago when I started teaching in middle schools in Mexico. I had a hard time making my students engage on and learn what I was teaching. I decided to leave the textbook and use technology once a week. I had three options: A very old overhead projector, a computer lab with very out-dated computers and software, or the Smartboard. As I read the article, I was bringing all these memories back to mind. I loved using the computer and the Smartboard, I knew my students were excited to go to class when they knew we were going to use those two elements instead of the textbook and workbook. Honestly, I do not think of myself designing a lesson once week for making my students learn more or better. I was using the technology because it was more fun, the kids enjoyed it more, and because time flew when using it. It was something different for me and for my students.

Even though I was not able to deconstruct and analyze my practice back then, now I see some of the things that are mentioned in the article that are true in teaching, but that I was not able to take advantage of. When a teacher is able to use technology to solve or improve a challenging situation in his practice, a lot of good things could happen. The use of technology and the teaching design facilitate our practice, engage students in the content matter, and allow the learning process to take place in more meaningful ways. I also agree that the design and use of technology could help us have a more inclusive classroom environment. I believe that the model described in the article is a great tool to help us meet the needs of the different learning styles. Helping our kids learn should be one of the main goals as teachers. Learning about designing and learning about how our students learn could make a huge difference and impact on our students.

Looking for educational groups in the Internet
This page has many interesting links to websites and resources that could be helpful to different levels of education. My search started with phrases related to my current position and master program. I looked for groups related to the Migrant Education Program and groups for teachers or elementary grade levels. In my first experience on FaceBook looking for educational groups, I have to say I was not very successful. Many of the groups I searched for were not active or the content was not updated or simply not the best. However, I came across this group called Top Teachers Resources (http://www.facebook.com/topteacherresources).
This group reads “Top teacher/authors on Facebook sharing all their best resources, ideas, tips, tricks, and more!”  Even though I did not have the chance to explore all the different links, I found very good resources and links to different blogs and websites, however, some links were resources for free and some others for a low cost.

As I checked the website, I went to explore some of the different groups that are in there. Two of them caught my attention. The first one was about the use of cell phones in education. The second one was about downloading YouTube videos. These topics were presented as a Group Discussions. I liked the idea of posting a question and asking for an answer from the audience out there. The cool part is that the answers are related to education and by teachers or educators sharing their experiences and resources, not by “experts” trying to show off or sell something.

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