Blog 3: What would your classroom look like? How would it function? How is this different or similar to what you would commonly find?

Welcome to my classroom! Although in many ways it may appear as a regular classroom, this area provides many opportunities for critical thinking, and encourages media literacy in many ways. When you stand at the front of my classroom, you will see many different grouped tables, where can pay attention to what I am saying, and also share critical information with one another as well (during the appropriate and respectable times of course!). Since I would prefer to teach in a junior/intermediate classroom, I would like to have a few IPod’s available to share among groups as well. At the front of the classroom, you will see a smart board along with the regular projector screen. Not only will the Smart Board accommodate and intrigue many of the students, but this will allow my classroom a direct link to differentiated learning (BlossomLearning, 2014). This will benefit the learning styles of many different students, and can also benefit many special needs. There are numerous studies to show that a Smart Board can help students with hearing impairments, mobility limitations, dyslexia, reading comprehension, writing comprehension, ADHD, autism, and students learning English as a second language (BlossomLearning, 2014). Can you now understand why it is so important to me to have a Smart Board in my classroom? Please check out the Smart Boards clip below to see how they can benefit your classroom.  It is clear that we are moving towards a technological world, and many students are taking great interest in these advances. As a teacher, I have the ability to use the growing interest in technology and media to my advantage. Since my classroom would ideally be equipped with a Smart Board, iPads, and computers for the use of students, I will use all of these tools for video streaming important topics (a great Minds On), playing interactive learning games, analyzing social media, podcasts, and many collaborative exercises for group work (Wainright, 2015).

Our students are becoming increasingly digitally literate, so it is important that teachers encourage and understand this concept. As a teacher, I would also like to incorporate various Web 2.0 tools to encourage multiple learning experiences. This allows students to become more interactive with educational tools, and therefore, they can better understand to how to assess their own work and assist their peers (NWT Literacy Council, 2015). Our students will be entering a workforce where technological skills and collaboration are critical for success and job opportunities. One way I will be promoting student learning is with our class blog. Students will be asked to research many different subject areas, and to reflect and analyze the information they have received. The students will then be posting their responses to our online class blog, allowing them to share their information with others and express opinions as well. This also provides parents with a great opportunity to keep track of what their children are learning, and allows for children to be excited to share this information their parents/guardians. I believe these blogs will be beneficial to my students as they can be worked on almost any time that there is an internet connection, and as educators, we will have the ability to create a classroom that extends beyond the boundaries of the classroom (NWT Literacy Council, 2015). This allows students to take a great deal of control over their own learning. Please check out the link below to get a better understanding about the benefits of classroom blogs.

So although you may walk into my classroom and think it looks like your “average” learning environment, we are constantly pushing ourselves to become media literate individuals who are able to think critically and encourage students to enhance their learning. As Downes stated, “to teach is to model and demonstrate, to learn is to practice and reflect.” (Downes, 2012). Although some classrooms are still lacking many of these resources and education tools, hopefully there will be more public funding available to give all students equal opportunity.  I have only scraped the surface of the uses for technology in my classroom, and will need to explore this concept deeper to help you understand why I want my classroom to function this way…

Smart Boards:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U05WeXPGlk

Classroom Blogging:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfJETK3am1M

References:

BlossomLearning. (2014). Smart boards and special needs students. Retrieved from https://www.blossomlearning.com/showresource.aspx?rid=56

Downes, Stephen. (2012). Connectivism and connective knowledge. Retrieved from http://www.downes.ca/post/58207

NWT Literacy Council. (2015). Blogging in the classroom. Retrieved from http://en.copian.ca/library/learning/nwt/blogging/blogging.pdf

Wainright, Ashley. (2015). 7 fun ways to use technology in the classroom to enhance learning. Retrieved from http://www.securedgenetworks.com/strategy-blog/7-Fun-Ways-to-Use-Technology-in-the-classroom-to-enrich-learning

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