Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reflection: My Journey

                                         Reflection: My Journey

                  Looking back at the beginning at the semester;
                  I must smile.
                  Looking back at the beginning of the semester;
                  I develop a sense a pride.
                  Looking back at the beginning of the semester;
                  I think of how much I have learnt about technology tools.
                  Looking back at the beginning of the semester;
                  I must tell Dr. Watwood thanks!
                  For what you might ask?
                  For opening my eyes to the vast array of technology tools;
                  For making me more accepting of blogging;
                  For making a blank page now filled with information that will
                  last me for a lifetime.

                                                                  By: K. Bourne

               When I was asked to write a blog reflecting on this semester, I started to smile. I wondered where would start? What would I say? The poem that I have written above conveys exactly how I feel.

               One of  the first things that we were asked to do was to create our blog. Oh Lord I thought! We will be blogging. Nonetheless I did it. Then we had to create a delicious account, which ironically has also come to an end like this course. Lol! Seriously though, I had never bookmarked a page before. I didn't even have favorites on my personal computer. Now I must say that I am a changed woman. I bookmark, have favorite websites, and can't wait to find new information on the internet.

              For lesson three we were introduced to Vicki Davis' blog. Watch this video as Vicki talks about how she views what she is doing. Ahi Dios Mio (Oh my God!)! Here is a woman that is using mobile phones, mobile phones for her lessons. At my school they are so adamant that students should not take these phones to school. Students are being suspended on the spot when they are seen. Here was a blog that showed the use of cell phones in a positive way. Vicki is saying that we should be "transformers and not transmitters." We should teach, and not just stress test taking. Learning goes up, as she says in the video, when technology is used and used apporpriately. She describes the students as Generation V. We need as she reiterates to make school relevant for these students as we teach the curriculum and prepare the students for the 21st century. Please watch this video and see how her school and her class has progressed since she first used cell phones in 2006.

             Mobile phones: Should they be used in schools? This has been a topic that has been debated for years. As with everything in this life, there are pros and cons for the use of mobile phones in schools. I agree with Maya Cohen that "there are benefits to giving your kids cell phones..."

             Maya Chen also has a link on her website that was polling the responses of individuals and their views on the use of mobile phones. 85% of the 7328 individuals polled as of December 16, 2010 at 8:27 p.m. said that they would allow their child to take a mobile phone to school "if schools would control their use and impose limitations during class time."
                                           Teacher Using Mobile Phone for Instruction

                It has been said that the students are digital natives, and they are to be taught in their native "language". The picture above has the teacher telling the students to take out their phones and turn to a certain page. It should be noted that, ebooks are on the rise. One can read most books that are in hard copy digitally.

                 I found the views that Thomas outlined in his blog Open Education: Free Education for All that mobile phones have numerous benefits when used as a teaching tool. Thomas went on to state, "a partial list of the ways that teachers used the devices which included the following:
  • Timing experiments with stopwatch
  • Photographing apparatus and results of experiments for reports
  • Photographing development of design models for eportfolios
  • Photographing texts/whiteboards for future review
  • Bluetoothing project material between group members
  • Receiving SMS & email reminders from teachers
  • Synchronizing calendar/timetable and setting reminders
  • Connecting remotely to school learning platform
  • Recording a teacher reading a poem for revision
  • Accessing revision sites on the Internet
  • Creating short narrative movies
  • Downloading and listening to foreign language podcasts
  • Logging into the school email system
  • Using GPS to identify locations
  • Transferring files between school and home"
             Wow! Who would have thought that a mobile phone could be so useful. There are numerous schools that are using mobile phones to enhance the teaching and learning environment. As Thomas stated in his blog "the use of the cell phone technology in the classroom served as a great motivator for students. Almost all students reported greater enjoyment in projects and felt more motivated."

             Mobile phones can be used as a teaching tool for all subjects. Watch this video for an example of the ways in which mobile phones can be used for instruction. Now that you have watched the video I am sure you see that mobile phones are available everywhere. LOL. Seriously, its use as a teaching tool is numerous.

              There are definitely schools that are using mobile phones as a teaching tool as I have said numerous times before. They have all found that this mode of instruction is very engaging and as a result students ultimately do well. As Marc Prensky said "we must engage them (students) or enrage them". We must, as was stated earlier, teach students in their language. A student will be more interested in what is being taught if he/she finds the material interesting. As an educator we must use technology and adjust our teaching style as the situation may need. Watch this You Tube video in which Scott Moore is doing the same that I just mentioned. This shows that technology must be used appropriately in order to enhance the teaching and learning environment.

              It is a fact that students get into trouble at schools for using their mobile devices. Let's put these phones to use that will enhance the teaching and learning environment. Watch this video about Craik School that is in Mann District 11 where the mobile devices are being used as a teaching tool.

             For lesson five and six we were told to look at our school's technology plan and the National Education Plan. After reading the papers in discussion board I realized the disparity that exists. There is not a level playing field when it comes to technology that is offered at schools. My school has a laptop program with all students having their own assigned laptops. While some schools are no where close to doing something like that.

              Like the act of school yard bullying evolving to cyber bullying so too has the availabilty of technolological tools. As an adminstrator I will utilize many of the technological tools that I have been taught through this medium. The slideshare for example that we have used for our technology plan presentation is the first that I have used it. I am the kind of person that is a visual learner. I teach every child the way that I want my child to be taught. I think it is that caring side of me that has caused me to have so much successes in the classroom. I have the highest English 1 passes in my county. Thank God for leading me and opening my eyes to being so accommodating. I am always looking for ways to enhance the teaching and learning environment. I am sure that my school will be technology driven. Mobile phones will be a teaching tool not a means of suspension. New advances, like gesture based technology, which I see being used on Abc11News, will be utilized appropriately as the school setting will allow.

              I have learnt a lot that will follow me, and be improved on as I grow in this profession. I will actually miss this class and my instructor though we have only met in cyberspace.

             I will not be waiting on the fence where technology is concerned. As Vicki Davis had said in the video that I had outlined earlier "we need to stop waiting on SUPERMAN and be SUPERCAN" I will definitely be looking on what I can do. What do I have, as she said, that is inexpensive and will not put a strain on my school's budget. What technology tools can I employ and enhance the teaching and learning environment.

             Though I have not warmed up to the idea of social networking websites, I will use technology tools that will enhance the teaching and learning environment. I will vet and use techonlogically based tools and information that will enhance the students understanding of the curriculum. Which will ultimately prepare them to be leaders in the society as they boost the working class and the economy when they step into the world of work. I will, as an administrator, encourage my teachers to be technologically savvy. I will have various steps, as was outlined in my groups technology plan, in place to ensure that my staff is like our students, cognizant and able to use techonological tools to foster the teaching and learning environment.

              Without a doubt, I am stronger based on this experience. This journey, has made me a better person, a better teacher, a better administrator, and a better parent based on the new information that I have garnered. I believe that every experience can lead to a good or the opposite. In this case, my experience, my journey, in this class, was for a good. I enjoyed and appreciated every minute of it.

             Thank you Dr. Watwood for taking me on this technological journey that I have not only thoroughly enjoyed, but have also learned a wealth. Thanks to you Sir, I am one of the go to guys when teachers want creative ways to present information to their students at my school. Me! Whenever I am asked, I would chuckle to myself and think that this course was just in time. God never makes a mistake. The timing of this course was just in time for me. Thank you Sir. Until we meet again in cyberspace "walk good". (smile) Thank you Sir!

              Hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. I will miss you all. Oh.... wait... I will "see" you in January for two more courses guys! (smile)


  1. You are guilty of making me buy the idea of using cell phones in instruction. You have provided enough proof to make me be bolder about this respect. I enjoyed your post and hope to keep on reading future ones!

  2. I cannot do more than agree with your reflection Kerry, it has been a wonderful learning experience of up and downs, doubts and fears, but at the end we learned a lot from each other, and we are with the group we are meant to be, and I agree with Ancizar's comments too, so I can ask my students to make a rap song with the vocabulary in Spanish studied in class and use audicity. Good points.

  3. Lol! Ancizar you have tried and found me guilty of convincing you of the positive use of mobile phones for instruction. I am happy that you guys feel the same like I do. Noemi you are so correct. I agree with you. Thanks for the wonderful comments. Warms my heart when I read them guys!

  4. My dear I've learned so much from you during this course. I could rely on you to come up with some unique approaches to ideas and proven research to back it up. You epitomize the future of educational administration. Data and research are the driving forces behind school improvement and believe me you've got that locked. I will no longer wait for SUPERMAN because I know I SUPERCAN. Thank you Kerry and all the success in the future. Looking forward to meeting you in cyber-world!

  5. I agree with your poem.
    I startled and thought how?
    Through Doctor Watwood's guidance I could improve and succeed. I also agree with your idea of becoming a better teacher, person, parent and administrator. Although all of them are within "TEACHER"
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Neat poem! And neat you and your classmates. I appreciate the hard work you put into your blog posts...I could always count on you to have interesting and relevant reflections on the topic of the week. Thank you for that!

  7. Oh my God. Thank you Dr. Watwood. I am happy that you like my poem. Like I said it reflects exactly how I feel.

    I must tell you a special thanks. I can't thank you enough. There are not enough words to tell you how my life has improved just by having you as an instructor. The course matter was just in time for the technological changes that have occurred at my school. The relevance of this course supercedes all of my expectation.

    Have a Merry Christmas and Happy and Prosperous New Year. I will miss you Sir!!!!