Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are Today's Students Ready for the 21st Century?

While exploring the website "The Partnership for 21st Century Skills" I found myself very overwhelmed with the amount of information provided. I had a very hard time concentrating and thought the information repeated itself somewhat. It was useful however in the sense that it gave a good outline of what students today should be focusing on. One thing I was surprised to see was the very long list of sponsors. With so many major technological supporters, you would think this curruculum would be incorporated more so than it is, especially since the Department of Education is also a sponsor.

I agree that our students are not being prepared properly for the work place they are going to face when they graduate in five years or ten years. This website devises a good plan to allow educators and administrators to see where curriculum needs to be directed. As an educator, this site helps me see where education is heading or at least needs to head. Knowing this informaion allows me to "try" to get a head start to preparing my students for the 21st Century workplace.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Using Blogs in the Classroom

I have never really had the desire to blog before, mostly because I never really found the time to do it. I have a "MySpace" page and a "FaceBook" page, but unless it is June, July or August, I never look at them. Does it take a long time to post a blog? No, not really, but when there are a million things to do for work, and at home and soon with a baby, I find very little time to spend on "fun" things.

One reason I am enjoying this class I am taking so much is because I am being "forced" to make time to see and use all the resources available on the Web. As I was reading through "Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Pwerful Web Tools for Classrooms" by Will Richardson, I found something that really caught my interest. In the six years I have been teaching, I have wanted to start some kind of Webpage or something that I could allow my students to access to get notes they missed if they were absent, links to helpful Websites, our book is on-line so having one place where they could access that would be very beneficial. He brought to light something called a "Class Portal" type blog and I instantly thought, "this is exactly what I have been wanting to create for a long time now."

There are many different things I could do with this portal. One would be a daily homework calendar right in the center of the page. Parents especially would be able to look here to see what was assigned for homework everyday and there would never be a question as to what was supposed to be finished that night. Another thing I would like to use this blog for would be to post all the notes we take in class, any examples we do that go along with the notes and possibly record the lessons and post it as a podcast. We are constantly being told to "CYA" especially for legal reasons and this would pretty much take care of every legal aspect of 504's, I.A.T's, I.E.P's and so forth. There would be very little way to blame a teacher if all of this were available to parents and students.

Would it work? What do you think?


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Frustrated :-(

As I read more about using blogs, wiki's podcasts ect... in my classroom, the more frustrated I become. I see that it will be harder and harder to "keep up with the technological times" if my current school district stays away from providing the technology needed for every student. For one, not everyone of my students has internet access from home. How can I incorporate these new practices into how I teach if I can't have 100% participation from all of my students?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

First Time Blogger

This is my first time creating a blog, so I'm a little behind the times.

I hope this is easy to use and useful.