Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Teacher Panel Reflection & More

Last Monday's Class we had a teacher panel of four experienced teachers and how they use technology in his/her classroom. None of these teachers were using iPads, smartboards, or ridiculous technology but their ability to have students using laptops and computers in the classroom seemed to be very successful in these individuals classrooms.

When looking back on the discussion I felt very much like a fly on the wall. I was interesting to see how professional teachers spoke with one another and reflected on their classroom experiences but I'll admit at times I was a little lost. As a visual learner I would have liked to seen pictures of the classrooms or examples of wiki pages and I would especially liked to have seen examples of projects and lessons. I did however really enjoy hearing teachers say how much blogs have influenced their classroom. Being in this class at USD and having a blog myself I love seeing how my learning has changed since the first class, AND I'm able to store all of these experiences in one place. I think that if this is something that I feel so passionate about, I look forward to seeing how my students react to blogging as well.

Trinity's Mom is on the left. Do you notice my book?!
In the end I really enjoyed the teacher panel because we got to hear from people using technology, and not just imagining how we can use technology in our classrooms. This reminds me of my experience this past week while waiting outside of Nothing Bundt Cake. (Back story.. this past week a new cake store opened in Mission Valley and for the opening the first 50 costumers that bought a budnt cake received free bundtlette cakes FOR A YEAR! Being a huge cake fan I was there two hours before the opening and happened to be 4th in line.) While waiting in line outside, reading Disrupting Class, I started making friends with the people around me as they were very curious about the book I was reading. I mentioned this class and how amazing technology is in the classroom and how learning is very different from traditional teaching strategies. The person in front of me started talking about how her daughter (now 11) is dyslexic and how traditional teaching strategies have not helped her daughter. Back in the day her daughters administration at her old school wanted to hold her daughter back in 1st grade, but the mom was very passionate that if her daughter was held back that she needed new strategies in the classroom to help her cope with dyslexia (although she was not tested at the time, teachers and administration all agreed she probably had that learning disability). The administration failed to give any feedback on new teaching strategies if she was retained so the mom pulled her daughter out and put her in private school. Through our discussion she was saying how now her daughter, Trinity, is doing very well, maintaining a C+, B- average while maintaining a full workload because new strategies were implemented in the classroom but her confidence in reading is still very shaky. Having my Ipad, I asked the mom if she has ever used any reading apps on the Ipad. I explained to her how my brother's girlfriend, a 4th grade teacher, uses her Ipad so that students record themselves reading. She has increased her students reading scores and confidence because it is so engaging and they learn from their own voice, not a teachers or peers. I'm trying to remember which app we ended up using but she was so impressed that she went home that night and downloaded it for Trinity. 

We have been keeping in touch but so far she said that her daughter can't put down her iPad and that she records herself ALL the time. I was just thinking about how much one piece of technology can help individualize a students whole learning process. For this girl Trinity, her confidence can go up because she is in charge of her own learning. I think this echos the panels amazing journey they have had in their technology based classrooms and how differentiation is so much easier when students have the ability to go at their own pace.

If I hear anything else from my budnt cake friend and her daughter Trin I'll let you know. I expect to bump into her each month when we pick up our free cakes :).

Just thought you'd like to know!


  1. I am excited to hear that you are committed to blogging for yourself and ultimately with your students. I'm frustrated to hear that the teaching panel wasn't using tech in their classrooms and that they didn't prepare a PPT to share with all of you. That would have been my first request of them as panelists. Never the less you found the good in what they had to share and you are going to run with it. Bravo! I look forward to your on-going posts. Cheers!

  2. Thanks for your comment Lisa. The panel was using technology in their classroom but they weren't using trendy technology but did amazing things with laptops and internet sites. I definitely learned a lot. Since ware a new class our initial thoughts were to just have the panel discuss but I think next semester that a Powerpoint would be a positive addition. Nonetheless it was a positive experience overall.

    Thanks for your thoughts!