Main | Week 2-Justifying Media Studies »

First Entry...thoughts on week 1

Well, this is my first official shot at a blog. I'm sure that's how most people start too....

For starters I want to say that its exciting to be in class again. With every class that I take towards my Masters of Ed I get more and more pumped that I chose to be a teacher. Right from the get go I was wondering how I could start getting this stuff directly into my classroom.
--- I teach 9th and 10th grade at a charter school 30 miles from Minneapolis. The school's charter is to create college bound learns, high moral standards, and to pursue a community atmosphere. I have a love/hate relationship with my school. Love, because the majority of the kids are just absolutely amazing to work with. Hate, because there are many hurdles that get in the way of teaching material that will allow my students to think critically about the world around them. I could go on and on forever about the unique characteristics of my school, but for now just know that it's hard to get curriculum approved.----

Back to how I want to use the information from CI 5472 in my class. So right off the bat I'm thinking this is amazing and the good thing is, my school has a knack for getting the grants we need to provide for our students. The unfortunate situation is that we just built a new school building 3 years ago and are already at a loss for space. We have 2 computer labs....2!!! in a new school, that is ridiculous, and they are not quite what one would expect for a computer lab. However, at least there are computers, I should not complain. However, the tricky part comes in with the way my school works. And I fear that many parents/committee members/admins might put up a fight about the amount or type of technology that could potentially be imbedded in the curriculum.

I stopped worrying too much thought and I figured I better let myself learn a little bit more from the class before I freaked out. So I thought I would ask my students about how they use technology, just to get a little peak. They journaled; I asked them "please write about how you use technology in your life. Then I asked questions like .....How many hours of tv do you watch each day? Do you have a computer? Do you have internet access? Do you listen to the radio? MP3 player, podcasts? Have you ever made a podcast? Do you have your own email? Do you have your own website? Blog? Myspace? Facebook? and the list went on and students were to just tell me how this technology influenced their lives and to imagine what it might be like without that technology.

The responses to the journal questions were amazing. First off, I was so surprised at how interested they were that I was taking a class on technology. It seemed to spark quite a bit of interest (and on a side note, has helped me become closer to one of my struggling students who is extremely bright, just SO not interested in what we do in class...). Plus journaling is kind of hit or miss...some days its amazing depending on the prompt. Other days students finish in 2 minutes. Which is not ok as they are asked to write the entire time period (usually 3-7 minutes depending on the prompt). But they really went to town answering. And even better was the small discussion we had after the journal period. It was shocked to see a large portion of my 2nd hour raise their hands when I asked if they had TV's in their rooms. But even more shocked to see them keep their hands in the air when I asked if they also had computers with internet access in their rooms too!!!! This from students with ultra conservative parents!!! Yeah I was surprised...

So on we go...

I guess I didn't talk much about the group chat, or the readings or viewings....but can I save that for my discussion post? I think so---


I am backtracking to read and post feedback to your blog space, Laura. I really like the idea of having students journal about what they have used - blogs, myspace, and so on. I did that only verbally in my senior classes, and I was surprised to learn how little they have used - didn't know what wiki's were, had never blogged - thought it seemed odd for the English teacher to be talking about blogs "in the classroom" - and so on. Your comments made me think that I want to devise a simple "tech" survey (way back, I used to distribute a reading autobiography survey) to use at the beginning of each semester when I have new students. I think it would be a good way not only to find out what technology they have utilized but also to find out what they have (or have not) thought about with regard to safe spaces, authoritative spaces, biases spaces, etc. I think the results of the survey could be a good jumping off place for having a conversation about the pro's and con's of the technological world, a way to bring them into a conversation about tech. skills, using media carefully, being literate in such a way as to educate themselves (as well as protect) themselves from bias, erroneous material, identity theft, (well, I'm getting a bit far afield, I guess.) Until I read your blog, I had not thought about creating a survey. I like that idea, and I thank you. AM