Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teaching Paperless....Let's Get It On!

The future is now, and I am a part of it. On the first day of class I learned that not only am I behind technologically in thousands of ways, but by the end of class period, I would be behind in probably even more than that. Our world is moving at a fast, fast pace. Ever since Shelley turned me on to ways to use social media in the class, more and more social media has come under my radar, and at first it seemed too overwhelming. At first, I felt like a tiny ant trapped in a room full of different sized and colored computers that all had indecipherable code on them. Delicious, Diigo, Twitter, Pixton, etc. All of these new made-up words had me feeling like I was in my third semester of Calculus again when my Professor said the word "anti-derivative" and I just laughed because I thought he was making it up. But he wasn't....and neither was Shelley.

I cannot say that I have fully emersed myself in social media, but I can say that I am now a believer in the movement. With Hopkins work, TFA work, and being a second-year teacher, I do not have too much time to explore each new avenue, however, even in the last 2 months I have picked and chosen certain sites that I know regard as essential.

I love Pixton comics. It provides such a great way/forum to introduce new discussion vocabulary when learning a foreign language. I have used it multiple times to introduce new questions and answers in Spanish, and my students are normally very receptive to the comics. My goal for the remaining part of the semester is to have my students create their own comic on Pixton using most, if not all of the phrases that we have learned thus far.

In the beginning, I have to admit....I once called Twitter, "Ashton Kutchner's personal stalking website". However, after only 2 months on Twitter, I now find myself STRONGLY suggesting it to others. I love #edchat. It is such an amazing way to connect with teachers across the world. I even placed #edchat on my IDP this year! Also, once you build a good PLN, you frequently get links to tons of interesting articles, websites, and many other resources for your students.

While I have not used it as much as I would like to, I can see the power in Delicious. It is a great way to keep articles so that students may read them either for class or at their leisure. I may not have time this semester or even this year, but my vision for Delicious is very clear. I eventually ant my students reading an article every single week and blogging a response to that article every weekend. It would be such an amazing way to teach culture in a foriegn language classroom, and a great way to hold my students accountable for their own learning.

What you have read above, and what I have output for this course is just the beginning of my integration of technology in my classroom. I know that I must be graded based on my output, but if I were to be graded based on my attitude and stance, I went from a D- to an A+. And one thing I CAN say for sure, is that if you were to enter my classroom next year, you will see students engaging with the materials from so many different levels/venues.

In closing, as corny as it is to say, Thank you Shelley. It just proves that the latin root for education is educare meaning to lead, to guide to. You guided me to social media, and I have grabbed on!


  1. I LOVE delicious! I find myself still adding things to my library because I see it as a valuable resource.
    I too was a cynic in the beginning... While I can't just abandon my general stubborn attitude towards being non-right, I totally see the value here.
    I wish we would have spent more time talking about the educational implications of SM (like from day one). Oh well... I see that you have been converted as well. ha

  2. You have said it well. I could not agree more with what you have written! I find myself now constantly referring back to the resources that I have been given in this class and I somehow in the mix (without even realizing it) have convinced my students that our principal needs to get on board with the technology thing so much so that they wrote letters to him requesting more resources and that websites be unblocked! I feel as though a rock has been overturned with thousands of new worms exposed.

  3. The applications and programs that we have been presented with are great, but only when I am not in school. Overall, I have enjoyed this class. I have been able to take away a variety of resources to use in my classroom and that has made teaching a lot different this year.

  4. It is very intimidating to think about the responsibility we have to our students to prepare them today for a future we don't know anything about! I do appreciate so much of what we have done also, but I am still frustrated by the fact that our students, who are already behind academically, stand so small of a chance of being competitive in the work force when they leave. While some schools have the technology to train their students, ours are behind academically and technologically. They will be asked to use things they were never provided. Our students are just getting further and further behind and all I want for them is to stand a chance to be something more and to stop the cycle.

  5. Hola! I'm Also a Spanish teacher (3rd year) who is trying to incorporate SM into the foreign language classroom! Could I follow you on twitter to build my PLN/ share ideas?? My username is beckyjoy!!