I’m back again in a class with new content and probably new memes. This class is all about technology in the classroom. I would consider myself to be pretty familiar with technology and new trends but since I am back in a different middle school, I realize that I am quite behind.
So many school now are one-to-one (one device to each student). This is completely foreign to me because this is something that I never personally experienced. I saw it with kids I baby sat and when I was student aiding in Blevins Middle School, but the use was limited. Now in Conrad Ball Middle School (arguably the best school I have ever stepped into) the use of each student’s device is much more prominent. The kids are reading books on their iPad’s, turning in assignments on their iPad’s, writing on their iPad’s; and I’m into it (except for reading books because I am a very strong advocate of actual paper books). The world is absorbed with technology and if we didn’t teach students to use technology in a healthy and safe way, it would be a disservice to them for their future and present lives. Using tablets or laptops in the classroom could eliminate the time wasted in computer labs (students mess around because they are no longer in a formal classroom), give the students time in class to work on assignments if they don’t have access to a computer or internet in their home, and journal for assignments or personal use. I personally love using paper and notebooks for class and personal use because that is what I grew up with, it’s what I know and what I’m comfortable with. But students now and my future students are from a completely different world when technology is constantly right at their finger tips and this is something I need to become more invested in and comfortable with.
I am becoming an advocate for Digital Citizenship. Digital Citizenship is using the internet appropriately and responsibly and I want this to be taught in my classroom. I want to first teach my students to be human beings and then learners of English. One way to teach them to be decent human beings in our society is to teach them Digital Citizenship. I see how much technology is integrated into the classroom now and in a couple years when I have my own classroom and I honestly can’t even imagine what technology will be next. I need to keep up and learn how to include whatever is next in my classroom. Even now, I see all these trends happening on the Internet and a lot of them do not exemplify Digital Citizenship. I remember when I was in middle school, there was this site called “ask.fm” I believe and it was connected to the individuals Facebook and the idea was that people could anonymously ask questions. But as you can imagine, that was usually not the case. I mostly saw friends going on other friend’s profiles saying how much they love them and very sweet things or I saw bullying. If something this is around when I am a teacher I would absolutely do research on this and try to brainstorm idea’s with my class about how we can make a positive impact using this website. A huge trend right now that I see is “Finsta’s”, basically a fake Instagram and the one’s that I see are either the individual drinking, doing drugs, or referencing obscene topics or just funny photos of the individual. I really am not interested in posting things related to drugs, alcohol, or anything else along those lines but I love the ones that are just funny photos. I think raising awareness in my classroom of the precautions to take and the outcomes that could come out of these trends will be absolutely necessary for me to guide them into the direction of being valuable Digital Citizens.