Friday, December 7, 2007

Reflections period 2

What changes have you seen this semester in regards to your education? What role did technology play in that change? What role did the constructivist philosophy play in that change? (constructivist-students becoming producers of information, students in charge of their own learning)

Make sure to include specific examples and expand on each other's ideas.

34 comments:

amyw said...

I have seen many positive changes this semester in regards to my education. Mainly, I’ve found a better way to share my ideas in blogging because sometimes it’s easier to write your ideas and communicate via blogging than to say them out loud. With blogging, I’ve also been able to hear ideas from people that almost never speak in class. It’s also a faster way to communicate, almost faster than talking. I like the way we’re in charge of our own learning by blogging because we direct the discussion. And we can always look back and reflect on what happened that day if we missed class, or just need to remind ourselves what happened. Overall, this class has caused me to think much deeper because of reading everyone else’s ideas on the blog and sharing my own.

clarao said...

Throughout this semester technology has definitely helped my learning. I have never been able to use a laptop in class. It's very helpful because when I need to look up something we are discussing in class, like a word I don't understand, the laptop is right there.

It's also good to keep up with what's going to be used the most in future and with what's modern.
It's really good practice to use the laptops, because we will in the future.

The laptops are another way to create projects and presentations. With only written projects, choices are limited, so we can use the laptops to work on those kinds of activities in class.

I think it's great to have different learning methods like discussing and using our laptops. The more different experiences I get, the better I learn.

BrianC said...

At the beginning of the semester, I came in thinking that I would take notes and do homework like normal, like I had in past years. But now, I am able to take notes on paper, the conventionally way, or on the computer. I’ve learned how to type better, use Word and PowerPoint efficiently, and how to use the many Google applications. My range of learning has expanded to include such things as “Do it yourself” mentalities, sharing and discussing questions and topics, and using technology. As for creating information, instead of just absorbing it, the in-class and online discussions helped me develop that talent greatly. I find I can now reach my own conclusions on controversial topics and ideas and even persuade others to see things the way I do. I have really enjoyed learning and growing in this class.

meganu said...

This semester, my learning has changed greatly. While we read our books, I pay more attention to details and hidden meanings. I think more in depth about what’s going on in the novel. Also, the laptops have given me more freedom. I can organize my notes, my research, and even my text and look at them all at the same time. All the notes I take I can put on my jump drive and take home. This is useful because I forget a lot of things. Having laptops and a jump drive has made class easier for me.

The Constructivist Philosophy has a lot to do with my learning changes this semester. Now that I look more in depth with what I’m reading, I come up with my own solutions and ideas about the book without hearing the teacher’s opinion and basing my opinion on hers. Because most of our reading is done outside of class, I have learned to take my learning into my own hands. I don’t necessarily have to follow along in the reading but I do anyways so I can get higher grades in class. This has taught me to be more responsible.

josed said...

In regards to my education, I have really grown. Since I am a complete techie nerd, I enjoy being able to use computers. It's like my natural environment! It makes me so much more comfortable, to type rather than just writing it out (it has also saved my hand from an untold number of cramps).

The constructivist philosophy, however, is the real icing on the cake. Without it, the class is nothing more than an English class with fancy screens instead of paper. We're motivated to think for ourselves instead of just regurgitating previously learned information. Now I can finally think for myself. Instead of taking notes about what the teacher says and copying that down on paper in an in-class "essay," we are actually supposed to make our own ideas. This class is where we produce instead of consume information. We add to the sum total of the world's knowledge. Through having small quizzes at the end of important points in a book, we can get easy points that show we've been reading, and gives us a little cushion of points that allow us to experiment and try new things in our essay writings. Since it doesn't have to be perfect, we are less likely to go with a "tried and true"(in our essays) that just cheats us out of thinking. I honestly believe that Ms. Smith's class is the greatest class for people who want to learn.

I've had bad teachers, good teachers, and strange teachers throughout my learning career, but so far none have done so much as Ms. Smith. While other teachers have confined us with a certain writing style and set way of thinking, leaving us little "wiggle room," Ms. Smith provides a more fluid form of writing and discussion complemented with blogging that lets us bounce off ideas from other classmates. She has taken English to the next level

KatherineM said...

I feel that my writing, reading, and critical thinking skills have improved immensely over the course of this semester. I came into grade nine having barely any critical thinking skills. Through annotating, blogging, and fishbowl sessions I have truly learned to read between the lines. Annotating, although it can be quite a hassle, definitely helped me to have a better understanding of what I was reading. Blogging gave me a chance to ask any questions that I might have had and a chance to hear other people’s thoughts and points of view on what we were reading. Fishbowls were extremely interesting. They’re very different than anything I’ve ever done in school before. It’s fun to be able to hear everyone’s thoughts, and I also enjoyed just blogging in the outer circle. It was neat to see how the conversations in the inner circle and outer circle intertwined, making it into one huge discussion. I absolutely love being able to use a computer each day in English class. It has been so helpful throughout this past semester, and now it’s hard for me to even imagine being in an English class without being able to use one.

Louiseb said...

This semester my view on education has changed because of technology. Before this class all of my work was done with a pencil and paper with the occasional final essay that was typed. Because my use of technology was so limited before, getting used to this class took a little time. I feel that we have become more of producers through this because before most of us just looked at the internet to find information, and now we put information on the internet for others to look at. I have found that blogging is a simpler way to communicate my ideas with my teachers and also other students. Even after class we can still discuss what we were talking about because we all hove our own blogger accounts.

I also feel very differently about projects. It is not just your typical written report anymore, now projects are done with PowerPoint, word, and other computer programs which has given me a whole new outlook on researching and presenting different topics.

alexd said...

I have seen many changes in my learning by just this semester. I used to just learn to receive good grades but through being in charge of my own learning I think I have established that it is more important to learn new things that to get good grades. By using technology, I have made some changes in how I educate myself. By using technology, the learning process becomes the student’s responsibility. It makes me want to learn instead of being forced to like all of my other classes. Ms. Smith puts our learning into our own hands. She lets us explore learning by using the computers. In most classes, information is just forced into your brain and then you have a test on it and then it is gone. However in this class I retain more information because I am learning it in a way that is easy for me. We do projects that appeal to visual learners and non visual learners to further our expansion of learning. If one thing doesn’t work for you, another one will.

By placing the learning in our hands, this class has made me a better learner and a producer of information. It has made me learn for myself and not just for my teacher. By using the computers and blogging, EVERYONE can say something. If they usually don’t want to share their ideas out loud, then they can blog about it. Everyone can succeed in this class. Learning, not grades, is the number one priority.

SerenaL said...

I loved learning with laptops. Usually, adults don’t trust kids in computer classes and think that students will just mess around on the computer, and often because adults don’t trust kids, they do what they are expected to do. When given the opportunity to use a laptop during class and be trusted with it, I feel like I should live up to that expectation instead of the one where kids just mess around.

Technology is so much a part of life today, it is astonishing. I was more interested in this class because it allows us to use technology, so it feels more at home in the class room, while most classes you sit at a desk and listen to boring lectures, watching the clock. Because I am more interested in this style of teaching, I pay attention and learn twice as much. Also with the blog, I don’t have to talk out loud which is good because I find it easier and am more comfortable with expressing myself in writing.

I also like being able to learn what I want to learn. Ms. Smith gives us a focus question, or something to read, and then we take control from there. I can ask the things that I don’t understand, and tell people connections that I made. It is better to have to find the answer then it being told to me. In this class, it seems like we are the teachers while Ms. Smith guides us in the right direction.

nilec said...

My first semester in high school has brought a large change in my learning. I am way more dependant on computers and have a better understanding of them. Having the laptops in class really is something I would recommend. It makes me feel all independent. Also this class has helped me with managing my time like when we read multiple books at once. I feel more confident in my reading comprehension skills. And it helps to have the internet as a resource in class to clarify things you don’t know much about. I’ve struggled in this class but I still enjoy it and am glad to be taking it. Another part of the class that has sculpted my learning is the group work. I like to be able to work in groups and have everyone in the group express their thoughts so that each person gets a better understanding. And finally, The wide variety of projects, from podcast to creating our own book fair, is a large part of my new look on education. It really gives you something to forward to and prevents the class from getting repetitive and boring. I would say my learning style has definitely changed for the better.

Javonm said...

I have seen many improvements in many different aspects of my English education. Technology has probably affected my learning the most. It has made my writing and my learning so much more interactive than it was before this semester. The Powerpoints, the wikispaces, the Spresents, blogger, and all the other technological projects I have had the opportunity to work with this semester have really pushed my work through and presented my thoughts and ideas in a very creative way. The constructivist philosophy has helped to better my writing and reading within me because I am learning it myself and doing it myself rather than turning to the teacher to help do it for me. This class has also affected all my other classes in school as well. This class is my most demanding class of all, but it has helped me to stay on top of my schoolwork in all my classes because it has taught me to become more responsible with what I need to be accomplishing each day. Not only have I got the chance to experience all these new works and new ideas in an honors English class, but I have also applied my studies in English to my everyday life and it has helped to benefit me in and out of school. With strict requirements in this class has showed me that being late or having anything turned in late is unacceptable and unprofessional. I applied that to my life as well and I haven’t been tardy to anything in a very long time. From learning a semester of honors English I have learned that it isn’t just some other class, it is an institution that has bettered not only my knowledge and my schoolwork, but it also benefits me in all areas of my life. My English class has bettered me as a person and I can’t wait for another semester!

phoebef said...

phoebef-The first month or so of Ms. Smiths English class was going to be like my previous English class. We were reading the same books (LOF and Macbeth), using some of the same methods (fishbowl, blogger), and doing similar vocabulary. Although I enjoyed my 8th grade English class, I didn’t want to repeat it. After a while, I learned that this class would be much different. In middle school, I was able to get by with “A’s” by doing the minimal amount of work. But this year, instead of just doing some of the assignments, and passing tests, I had to do all of the assignments to the best of my ability, to be able to maintain a decent grade. I was forced to use my time more wisely, and learn how to organize myself. I also found that computers helped a lot in this organization. Because I had access to a computer everyday in English, I was able to do more of my projects with a computer rather then poster board. I learned how to much better utilize the programs such as power point, blogger, Google docs, and others. I found Google docs to be the most helpful, and Ms. Smith showed us how we could all work on the same power point at the same time, using different computers, and being in different places. Because we were all able to work together on these projects, we soon began asking each other questions, instead of always going to the teacher for help. Ms. Smith taught us to use our resources, and brains to problem solve through issues in both technology, and information. She would not often give us directions, but rather guidelines to follow while doing assignments. By giving me creative freedom, I began to think outside the box, something that I wouldn’t normally do. I soon began to frequently step outside of my comfort zone, especially in my writing. I felt more freedom to write what I wanted, and worry less about offending someone or getting in trouble. Because of the relaxed, but more equal atmosphere, I was able to share my ideas more in class, and felt more comfortable when someone contradicted them. This class has changed not only the way I write, but also the way I think, discuss, organize, and feel about learning.

amandah said...

There have been many changes in regards to my education. I have learned to make connections to the world, other books, and to my life when I read books. I have also learned how to manage my time and school work and to understand the things that I am reading much better than I used to. The role that technology played in this change was that it helped me ask questions and go deeper into the things that I have learned or are learning. Blogging allowed me to ask questions and get answers from my classmates and get their opinions and this gave me a deeper understanding. Blogging with my classmates also helped with making connections, we made connections to all the books we’ve read this year. I have become a producer of information because Mrs. Smith allows us to teach ourselves and find out for things ourselves. We have our opinions rather than her giving us one. Through discussions and blogging we produce information rather than just consuming the information through a lecture.

JohnB said...

In regards to my education, I’ve seen not many changes in my learning, except for using computers a lot more often. I’ve become accustom to sharing my ideas more often, I used to always be afraid no one cared about my input, or would strike down all of my thoughts or ideas if I was wrong. Reading with a thinking mind, not just processing the reading, but thinking deep about the reading. Technology is not only encouraged, it is very much needed. You probably as an average student would not do well on assignments that are given to you regularly. Teachers even have their own web pages for student’s assignments. I’m becoming accustomed to Arapahoe’s environment very much. I used to use off-hours as a screw-around time. Now I realize that off-hours are privileges, and to be used for academic reasons, like homework or the library.

josed said...

I agree with amyw in that blogging opens up the chance to see new ideas. However, I also think that bloggging is a more public form of a writing essay, that includes the nuances of writing with style, but gives it a back seat to the main ideas. This in turn helps us when writing our essays and removes the focus from writing with vivid, colorful language to a writing style similar to Hemingway's: simple and to the point. Really, the innnovation of blogging is to combine the peer editing ideas with critical thinking, then expands it to be a classroom full of simultaneous revisions that help take out the bias in correcting. With each new viewpoint, you get a clearer image of what you need to change in your ideas. Therefore, in larger groups, there is a smaller margin of error. Think of the applications in college courses! Put your essay up on a blog, and then have each student correct it. Take what ideas you think are best and you have a masterpiece!

chelseas said...

Throughout this semester, I have changed in a few different ways. I realize that we are extremely lucky to have an opportunity like this to be able to use technology. I feel very privileged to be in this position.

First of all, I feel that I am much better at interpreting texts. Instead of just listening to the teacher, we are able to make conclusions and interpretations on our own. We all lead the discussions, not only the teacher. I feel that we are learning how to be more successful in the future. Since we are growing up in a technological era, we should know how to use these devices. Also, when we have a word to look up, we can just go online and see what it means. I think that this makes our conversations more meaningful, and worthwhile.

I think that having technology in class is beneficial, and that we are able to communicate more with the whole class. A lot of the time, only certain people will talk. This way, most everyone gets their points across. I am happy that we have been able to make use of this technology, and that we are showing that it makes a difference. I also think that we are more creative in the ways that we learn and complete projects. There are very few limits that are put upon us, and we can take a project in so many different directions. I think that we have endless possibilities, especially with this wave of the future.

At first, I was apprehensive to be in a laptop class, because I had never been in one before. I later realized, though, that there are so many opportunities out there for all of to explore. I have really come to enjoy this class in the sense of being able to use the laptops.

I love the constructive philosophy of the class. We can express our own ideas and interpretations, and can engage in a conversation that is led by other students. We not only show other students our ideas, but we sometimes will bring up a point that Mrs. Smith had not thought of, and we will go off on a tangent on that subject.

I really like having a laptop class, and I feel that it has been very beneficial to all of us. I have especially grown in this class, and I hope this will be the same case in the future.

aaronw said...

Reality Check: This semester, I have learned more than I thought through the use of laptops and other technology. I am now more computer literate then before, and I actually know what a blog is and can make one now, which is an improvement… a major one. The fishbowls have been the most helpful. They help me see a passage of a book from other people’s point of view. I can understand the book better, make connections to class, the world and other books now and I can never look at a book the same again. Technology helped in so many ways besides the few I have listed here. I really hope that next year I get to use laptops in my English class. Heck, it’d be great to have them each year at Arapahoe. The books we have read have given me a new outlook on reading: I can now go to the library (if I want to) and pick out a book that doesn’t look like the best in the world but it could be amazing, like The Chosen. Then I can read and enjoy. Technology is great. It helps me and is still going to.
-Aaron

ZachH said...

Over the course of this semester, I think my learning has changed. I have become a more coherent reader by learning to analyze the text for recurring motifs and themes. I liked Fischbowl and how I could come up with my own opinions of the book versus just having to believe the way others have interpreted it.

I think technology has changed the way I learn also. I have become a more efficient worker by being able to type essays, create projects, and access the internet directly in class. I think the element of being able to type papers in class (instead of handwriting them in class, then typing them at home) is much more productive. Plus I have learned how to peer edit on the computer making it incredibly faster and easier than editing a printed copy of an essay.

Access to the internet really puts me in charge of my own learning. If I don’t understand an idea or want to elaborate on a concept, I can look it up in class and present my idea immediately.

I think being part of a 21st century learning program has made English class a lot more fun and productive than the usual spelling grammar and reading practice. Mrs. Smith is very open to suggestions and uses a lot of our ideas to make the class even better. I think all of my classes would be improved if I had access to technology in all of them. Maybe students should be issued a laptop for all their classes. I think technology could really change the way I learn, just like it has changed my learning and understanding of English.

elisabethc said...

During this first semester of my freshman year, my learning in English class has been greatly changed compared to last years. This class is centered on technology experiences and learning through using technology. It is so different from last year, because not only can I work with all of my classmates but I can interact with the rest of the world through use of the internet and the class blogs. Technology makes class a completely new experience and opens so many doors that might have not been available in past years. I have now been placed in a position where I have to take charge of my own learning. I can participate in class discussions through blogging or voicing my thoughts out loud. I can share information for projects over the web, and I can even work on a group project over the internet! There are so many new things that are waiting to be discovered by me, determined my now I take charge of my learning. With this also comes a great deal of responsibility and I have had to learn how to act for myself on some occasions. In other classes I find that I am much more dependant on my teacher for things than I am in this class. I have become so more independent with my learning because of how this class operates. One of my favorite activities to do in this class is called a “fishbowl”. It consists of two different circles, with the smaller on inside the larger circle. The smaller circle is where all of the people that want to talk sit, and the outside circle is where all of the people that want to blog their thoughts sit. That way, even if you are shy, you are still voicing your own thoughts. You are also allowed to move into the inner circle if you want to talk about something! It often becomes a giant conversation because of the use of words and technology to communicate. This class has definitely made me take charge of my learning and made me want to learn about different things and the literature.

Lukez said...

Reality Check: I think that I have learned a lot about not only using technology but applying technology to what I’m learning. I’ve learned to blog which sounds like its going to be very useful for the future (and a lot of classes for the next 3 years, I’m sure). I have also learned how to read in a new style. Before this class we would read books and talk about them, but not nearly as often or in the same style. From discussing just about every chapter I have learned to comprehend the book that I’m reading on a deeper level. Yet because of the style that we are reading in, I can still enjoy the reading. It has also helped me to form my own theories and ideas about the book because there are never any questions that are given to us to discuss. From discussing by blogging and doing fish bowls I learned to really integrate discussions with technology. I have even learned how to study vocabulary words better from the activities we did every Wednesday in class. That has helped me to study with technology much more then I did before this class.

MollyS said...

The thing I noticed most about this class when I joined was the relaxed atmosphere. I think it revolves around the fact that we are put in a position that we are comfortable in. When a classroom bridges the gap between the way we are as teens, and the way we are as learners then it has become successful. I think that by allowing each kid in our class a computer, we have grown as students. I come into class excited because I know that I will understand why we are learning the way we do, we are doing this because this is where the future is, and we cannot wait around putting off learning with computers forever, after all these computers are, quite possibly, the only way to prepare us for the type of jobs we will have when we are older.
This is the only class I am motivated to do good in not just because I know that it will affect my GPA but also because I owe it to myself to embrace these privileges I have been granter by getting to take a class that depended on technology and great literature. I have read Lord of the Flies, Fahrenheit 451, The Color Purple, The Chosen and Macbeth so far this semester, and picked them each to pieces through class discussion and blogging. There is really no antidote to the dry, dull courses that high school freshmen are forced to take, but by being in this class, this interactive, difficult yet highly rewarding, class, I know I have become a better student.

maddief said...

The first thing that I thought when I heard that we would be using laptops in this class was, 'uh oh.' The only time that I had used a laptop before was once or twice in middle school. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the rest of the class, because I am extremely technology challenged.

I eventually got used to taking notes on the computer. What I discovered after the first few weeks of electronic note-taking was how much easier it was than writing by hand. I didn't have to take the time to erase mistakes and then correct what was wrong. On the laptop, if I made a mistake it was only a matter of seconds to correct it.

Also, it's amazing how connected everyone in the class has become thanks to technology. We've done several group projects this year, and almost all of them required using the computer. When this happened, all that we had to do was pull out our jump drives and save our projects onto them. It was incredible because then everyone could work on the project at home, without having to take home some giant poster board.

The most useful thing that I learned this year was GoogleDocs. I enjoyed using this because other people could see projects that I was doing, and give me their opinion on my work. I think that this could be very helpful for people who want others to help them edit their papers.

I'm happy to say that I'm no longer as technology phobic as I was at the beginning of the year. It is obvious to me how much it influenced my learning, because I now know several new things about using the computer for assignments. I definitely prefer using technology in this class, because in the future it will be necessary for most jobs.

Technology influenced my learning, but I think what changed my learning style the most was building my thinking on others. Blogging was amazing, and it sent my thoughts flying in different directions because of others. My thinking affected others, just as their thoughts altered mine. I think that that is what education is all about, not just cramming facts down students' throats.

markg said...

After taking two steps into Mrs. Smith’s classroom I soon realized that this year could and most certainly would be way different. I now think way differently about learning than previously. We were all told that internet blogging was evil and nothing would come from it. A kind a brainwashing in which parents and teachers of the middle school level thought that we need more human interaction and that blogging is forbidden in school along with MySpace and internet chatting. They told us that we would be penalized for blogging but when we got home our digital world of words came alive. Our generation is built on technology. I cannot think of one kid who has does not have an iPod or a cell phone. Along with human interaction we all talk through text messages and MySpace’s invisible world. It is these things that make parents suspect that we will become reliant on and not have anymore human interaction.

However, Mrs. Smith is one that challenges that system. She turned our old learning world into one where we all get our own laptops and we all have the capabilities of blogging to understand concepts. She thought that if classroom discussions are good than why not have a discussion that would never end? If we grew up in technology and that is what we do best, than why not have a classroom that incorporates that? This is where are learning was turned upside down. Everything we do in class is done online. Sure we do everything that the normal English 9 Honors class would do, just in a more modern way.

I feel like I have grown as a learner greatly. I now know how to think in different ways from the traditional method. I can not only read a book but understand it to the fullest extent. I am now not afraid to pick up a Shakespeare and interoperate the meaning. My essay writing skills have been improved greatly along with my reading comprehension skills. This is probably the only year where I feel fully prepared for C-SAP. I’m sure that most of my fellow classmates that are sitting next to me feel the same.

Liap said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liap said...

This semester I’ve seen a lot of changes in the way I look at my education. Last year, we were given opportunities to discuss things that we were reading and our feelings on it, but every discussion was started with a prompt, and we were encouraged to stay on that topic, which always made the discussion boring and quick. Technology, mainly the blogging, really helped the discussions, because it was a lot easier for people who usually don’t talk that much to voice their opinions, which prompted a lot more topics for discussion. The laptops also really helped me. Note-taking was always really tedious for me, but with the laptop, I can get it done so much faster and take it home with me in my USB. The constructivist philosophy helped me understand and enjoy what we were working on a lot more. Rather than just having the teacher explain what was symbolic in literature and why, I got to express what I thought could be symbolic, while listening to other students’ opinions and processing those as well. Like when we were reading Macbeth, Ms. Smith pointed us in the right direction, and we came up with our own conclusions, which differed from one person to another. Also, when it came to Challenging the System, Ms. Smith let us come up with different ideas for who was challenging it. Having discussions like these really helped us get inside of the characters minds, which made them seem so much more real and gave the book more meaning.
However, when it comes to my writing, I really don’t think there has been much improvement. Though the guidelines for an essay really helped, I haven’t really learned how to improve my writing, and I feel like I am at about the same place I was with that last year.

alyssas said...

I have noticed a great difference in my learning this year compared to any other year. I believe there are several factors as to why this happened. Using technology has helped me a lot because as a new way to work, it has allowed me to use tools that I never would have been able to use it class before. In all previous years of my education, we were almost never allowed to use computers to do any of our work, including projects and essays. But being allowed to use computers, I have found that I spend less time dwelling on actually doing the project, and more time on developing and conveying my ideas. The in class discussions were also a great help to me because in my last English class, the teacher would tell us to read a few chapters and we would come in the next day and take a test on it. Learning that way, I never really understood the material and ideas that the writer was trying to convey, I just understood the plot. Another advantage to the in class discussions and blogging was that I was able to have my questions answered and was able to hear people’s different opinions on all of the books we read. Using blogging we were able to teach and help each other. Mrs. Smith is very against “regurgitating information” so she had us help each other by blogging and discussing many of the ideas, symbolism, and motifs in Macbeth, Lord of the Flies, Fahrenheit 451, and The Chosen. She had us answer each other’s questions and had us explain and debate parts of the books, to teach us to teach each other. I believe that if these strategies were used in other subjects, I would also see a great improvement not only in my learning, but also my understanding of the material. Like in history, I wouldn’t just know why world leaders made the decisions they did, I would understand why they made those decisions. And in math, I wouldn’t understand only how to do the problem but, why I solved the problem that way. I saw great improvement in my learning and also learned many valuable skills about using the technology we are lucky enough to have available to us.

NickB said...

I can confidentially say that I have learned more this semester than in any other semester of English in my life. If I were to go back to a normal, no technology wanted class, I think my grade as well as my learning would suffer horribly. For one thing, my work has been better because of my access to technology. Things like Google Docs and Power Point help organize stressful projects into manageable and interesting presentations. The ability to share information with these tools makes life so much easier. Not only that, but technology has actually increased my proficiency. If our teacher tells us to take notes, no longer does this class have to take five minutes to get out paper, but one second to pull up a new word document. If you like the conventional non-electronic notes, there’s nothing wrong with that either. Technology just increases the speed of working. A few years ago, you had to go to a library and look through thousands of catalog cards to try to find a book you were looking for. Now, you just type a couple of keywords into a search box on Google, and instantly you have hundreds of billions of web pages with the information you need. Technology is useful for those who don’t like to talk/are afraid of talking in class. In our fishbowl discussions, the people who want to talk can talk, and the people want to be quiet can blog. Either way, students are not regurgitating knowledge, but acquiring it. That is what technology can do for the classroom.

nicolek said...

My education has changed a lot over this first semester. I came in at the beginning of the year thinking, what can I learn from my teacher? But now I find myself thinking what can I learn from myself? I used to think that I could only learn from what the teacher taught in class but now I find myself learning on my own in everyday life. I have learned how to utilize technology so that I can use it to enhance my learning even when I’m not in school. I’ve also been able to make deeper connections to what we learn so that its not just meaningless information I only have to remember until we take a test, but its information that means something to me. It has helped me discover new things about myself and given me a know perspective. I know feel excited about learning everyday and confident that what I am learning I will use someday. Once we get out of high school there will be so much technology we can use but what good is it if we don’t start learning now how to use it? Now that we know how to blog to our classmates and find answers for ourselves we can learn new things whenever we want. Even after the day is over, if you have a question on a book we are reading or homework, you can just get on the blog and someone will help answer it for you. It is almost impossible to compare this class to my eighth grade English class because honestly, I don’t remember much about it. I only learned because I had to and the grade was all that mattered. When we read books, we didn’t get to discuss our opinions about them; we only got to hear the teacher’s thoughts about it. But now when we do fishbowls and blog we can talk about what we think and how we feel about the book. I can tell that just by discuss the books in depth it has made a great difference on how I read. Even now when I’m just reading for fun I find myself thinking so much deeper and finding themes in the book. I’ll ask questions and try to find the answers. I believe that this it the way learning is supposed to be.

kristenw said...

Reality Check/ blog

I think my way of learning or thinking has definitely changed since the beginning of the semester. I now actually use what I’ve learned in school and apply it to my actual life. Having laptops in the room has made the class more interesting and I am excited to go to this class. The laptops in the classroom opened a new kind of education for me, like blogging, I have never done that before (unless MySpace is like blogging). When we have fishbowls it allows the more shy people to get heir word out.
Arapahoe overall is a very technological school like with having textbooks online. Eventually I think all of our textbooks will be online and the teachers will just have one set in the classroom to use in class. Then we won’t have to worry about carrying books around and bringing them home. I definitely think technology is a really good thing to have in schools because we are entering a time of great technological advancement and if we don’t learn what we have right now we’ll never be able to keep up with the technology of the time and Arapahoe is definitely preparing us for what technology has yet to come. And will keep doing that if they can even further expand their technological use.

stefo said...

My education has been revolutionized since I began this technology-based English class. I’m not going to lie, before this class I didn’t really consider technology part of my education. Now if I don’t understand something I can just pull up the internet and look it up. Fischbowl changed the way I learned completely as well. Students who can’t get their thoughts out during a speaking discussion can then place their thoughts on the blog while others can speak out. The ideas all tie together and all the different perceptions of the subject helps me to better understand the literature and allows me to be able to share my ideas. Having computers in class has changed my style of thinking completely by opening up a new world for me to discover. Just think! There is a limitless amount of information out there for me to channel! Basing my learning off other students, the computer, and our teacher has helped me grow by leaps and bounds. I truly have become a producer of information. Thoughts aren’t fed to me, I can listen and blog with the ideas all around me and create my own understanding which is the better way for anyone to learn. Something we did early on in the year completely knocked me out. We began with Macbeth. Each night we blogged about questions in the text we had and answered each other’s questions. I have never thoroughly understood the text of a book more than with Macbeth. We also took an online text of Macbeth and saved it into Microsoft Word. From there we could take notes right onto the text and review them for tests and better understanding later on. That is what truly amazed me. Sticky noting books is messy and takes for ever, so if I am trying to write down ideas made in class I fall behind on what is going on. I wanted to do this kind of learning for every book we read in class but we moved on to a new type of learning with the Fischbowls and that helped/awed me as well. There is so much that can be gained from having a technology-based class Nicolek stated something that I personally can connect to. This class really did help me have new perspective on life, on school, and on people. Especially with the “This I Believe” essay and podcast. Elizabethc basically stated everything else that makes this class so life-changing for me. I love being independent and in charge of my learning. Next semester we are going to have multiple conversations with people all over. Maybe even the governor! I can’t wait.

rsabey said...

Mrs. Smiths teaching has truly been eye opening to me. At the beginning of the year I knew very little to nothing about technology in school and blogging. After messing up on about five blogs I went into her and asked Mrs. Smith what I should do. She taught me to blog and helped me back on my feet. I learned how to use the computer as a way of intelligent communication. I have not just learned more about, thesis statements, challenging the system, annotating, and reading in depth but I have also learned study habits, to ask your teacher instead of relying on yourself and most importantly to be more responsible. I love the way we would discus the books we were reading. Notice how I did use the word talk but I used discuss, this is because we would not talk about what happened but what those events mean, we wouldn’t talk about how the two boys are friend but what their relationship is based on how strong it is and if we have relations similar to the characters. I also liked how before reading a book we would get background information on it n order to help us to understand where the author is coming from. Even though my in class essays have not been to successful I liked how we had to think in order to get a grade not just memorize. I really like the way Mrs. Smith teaches and hope more teaches can learn the ways of the wonder women smith!!!

maddief said...

Almost everyone said that their learning improved thanks to technology. Blogging especially can relate to everyone, because we had to use it in order to discuss topics. Blogging was amazing, because it gave us the chance to talk outside of class. This probably spurred my "self-learning" the most.

BrianC said...

I agree with Maddie, most everyone talked about how technology has expanded their learning. Thay also talked a lot about learning how to blog and how it has changed their attitude toward technology. everyone supported the use of Technology in the classroom so it must be a good idea to have.

Javonm said...

I would agree with everyone on the technology aspect of our learning. It seems like everyone agrees that it has been a huge benefit to them to be able to use labtops each day and that incorporating technology into our learning has also helped everyone who isn't a public speaker to hear their voice.