Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Final Learning Log

When I took the quiz on blackboard to see how I thing people learn best I aligned most with Humanism. I am not quite sure what humanism is, but I personally think that children learn best using the theories from Social Cognitivism. Everything about Social Cognitivism promotes students in learning to manage themselves. In Social Cognitivism Modeling is one of the main components which I think is a huge teaching tool. I don't know that there is a more effective way to learn something than by watching someone model it for you first. I also love that this theory encourages a high self efficacy due to a large emphasis on reciprocal causation. I think reciprocal causation is something we need to be constantly aware of in our classrooms, because we can have a huge impact on that students life depending on what happens in the classroom. I also think that when students learn to self-regulate and self-monitor they will be that much more successful in the classroom. Those are great skills that will always help those students throughout life. I think humanism has something to do with caring about peoples feelings and I think Social Cognitivism does as well. I feel like everything within Social Cognitivism is very positive and is about building up a child's self-esteem and self-efficacy.

So What?
This theory will have a huge impact on how I teach my class. I do think that there is good in every theory and I obviously want to incorporate all of them into my own classroom someday. I think some theories work better for classroom management types of things and some theories work better for promoting learning. I like that Social Cognitivism puts an emphasis on reciprocal causation. As I read about reciprocal causation it just made me realize what a huge impact we can have on our students. I think because of what I know about reciprocal causation I need to always be mindful of my students that are struggling, and really try and understand WHY they are struggling and work through the problem with them. The last thing I want to do is add to the problem so it is important that I make my classroom a nice environment where that student feels good about themselves and feels like they can accomplish the tasks that are given to them, even if they do need some help. I also love the idea of teaching my students self-regulation. I think if I could teach my students that one concept than my school year would go so smoothly. A student that can set a goal and talk themselves through the process, observe themselves in action and make sure they are accomplishing the things they need to, and after they have accomplished the goal be able to reinforce themselves, is a student that will be successful! I am also a big believer in vicarious reinforcement in my own life so I do think it can be used successfully in the classroom. I think that with vicarious reinforcement it is important to make sure you are not being damaging to a student by announcing to the class something you observed them doing that you did not like. I think vicarious positive reinforcement is wonderful and should be used often. I would definitely use that in my classroom to help cue the students on what they should be doing, and what behaviors I like to see from them.

Now What?
The next steps for me to take are to just keep learning and applying things in the classroom. I love studying educational psychology and definitely think it is something I will continue to study on my own. I would like to learn more about the different learning theories, and am just really excited to get into a classroom and put some of them into practice to see what works best for me. I think I could improve in all areas of ed psych! There is so much to learn and I still know so little. I am grateful I at least now have a foundation to build onto. I would like to study more specifically about Erickson, Piaget, and Vygotskys theories. This whole semester in every class when I would learn something I felt like it always went back to those three theories so I would love to find out more about them and how to use their discoveries in my classroom more effectively.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I really enjoyed reading these articles on homework, especially because it was from a parents perspective. I agree completely with this article. I hope that when I am a teacher I always try to look at the educational value of assignments that are given to my students and I am not just assigning busy work. I also liked reading about the parent teacher relationship. This helps me understand even more how important it is more me to keep open lines of communication with the parents and work with them as a team to provide the best education possible for each student.

Learning Log Ch.10


Today in class we talked about Social Cognitivism. This theory was really interesting because it encompassed a lot that was contained in the other theories we have learned about these past few weeks. I liked learning about modeling and vicarious reinforcement because I think it is something so prevalent in our society today, and so many children learn that way. I know in my own life I have seen modeling be the most effective practice in teaching young kids. I don't know if it is necessarily the best way to teach children, but it definitely has been effective. I also enjoyed learned about the response inhibition effect because I think it is so true, and can be a good tool when used properly. I also think that if we can teach our students good self-regulating skills they will be that much further ahead in life. Self-regulation, self-talk, self-efficacy are all so important and I think I need to do everything I can in my classroom to promote those traits.

So What?

I think that this theory is important and can be put into practice so easily. I feel that it would be very useful in my classroom and can be used in a variety of ways. I do think that it is important to remember as we go into the classroom though that all students are not reinforced by the same thing. Something that works well for one student may not work well for another, and I will need to be able to see that, and change to a different method that will be more effective for that particular student.

Now What?

I just need to remember all of this stuff for when I get into the classroom! There are so many ways I can improve and be a more effective teacher, I just need to take everything that I am learning and apply it now as much as I can, so I will be able to use these skills later. I think it is important for me to decide now what methods might work best for me and practice using them in my own life, but remember to be flexible for when I am in the classroom.

Technology Research # 2


When I first thought about podcasting and how it can be used in the classroom I could see no connection at all but as I was doing some research and reading articles about the use of podcasting in the classroom I am totally sold on the idea! One thing I found in my research is that it really helps students increase their writing ability and creativity. When the students are writing a script for a podcast that they know is going to be on the Internet and potentially can be listened to by everyone in the world they tend to write more creatively and get excited and passionate about what they are writing, which increases the quality of their writing. Podcasting is also a really cheap way to incorporate technology into the classroom. There is not a lot of expensive equipment that needs to be purchased, and so it is something that can be used in every classroom by every single student. I think it is a great way for students to feel like they can put their ideas out there for others to hear, and comment on. One idea I found online was for the class to develop a weekly podcast together in connection with another school that is producing their own weekly podcast. The students can listen to and provide feedback on each others podcasts which makes it fun and exciting for the students. Another way podcasting could be utilized is students could listen to a lecture or the reading of a literature piece they are assigned to do a write-up on. If the students are listening to it as a podcast they can do it on their own time outside of the classroom, and I think students will be more inclined to be interested and listen if it coming from a podcast rather than direct instruction from their teacher. The possibilities with podcasting are limitless and it is a great way to get students excited about the work they are doing in class.

Technology Research # 1

Distance Learning:

Distance learning has been around since the late 1700’s and can be thought of in many different ways. Distance learning can be online courses that are taken from a university you are attending, attending a class through video-conference, or receiving a degree from an online university. I think distance learning is a great way to allow students who can’t take classes at a university or in high school because of work schedules or whatever can do some sort of distance learning and still have the opportunity to get an education. I thought in the elementary education classroom we could use distance learning for so many different things that would be fun and exciting for the students. Once a week or month we could have a video conference with an “expert” on a topic we are currently studying in science, or someone who has a job that utilizes the skills the students are currently learning in math class. By doing video-conferencing or distance learning we might have more access to resources or people that we normally wouldn’t if they had to physically be in the classroom. I also think for the older grades it gives students the opportunity to take courses in a subject they might be interested in that we might not normally study in class. It is just a great tool for giving students more opportunity to learn. I read an article online about two teachers from neighboring school districts who used distance learning. I thought it was a great way for students to share their work with others. One thing they talked about was having students from one school becoming experts on a subject and teaching it to the students from the other school and visa-versa via distance learning. Distance learning is a great way for students to learn and to be exposed to technology and realize all of the things that can be accomplished using technology!

My Beliefs

After watching these video clips and reading the articles I think my beliefs have changed a little bit. I always believed it was important for schools to have access to technology, but I wasn’t aware of, or maybe just didn’t realize the importance of actually integrating technology into our classrooms. These articles and videos helped me to see how we can utilize technology in every classroom, and that when we do that students are more engaged and retain the information they are learning better. I believe that as we integrate technology into our classrooms we can help our students learn at a deeper level and engage them more regularly in higher level thinking and problem solving skills.
I think that every teacher should be trained in integrating technology into their classroom before they enter the field, and have a passion instilled in them that teaching with technology brings countless benefits into their classroom. I believe that when teaching with technology we can help our students have a passion for technology and a passion for utilizing it in a way to benefit their learning.

Lessons Learned

The main thing I learned as I did this assignment is that there is a lot of expected of me that I can’t perform yet. If anything it showed me how much work I have to do to prepare to teach using technology in today’s classroom. I am concerned about not being able to meet the students needs when in comes to technology integration in the classroom. I definitely need to get more creative with my thinking and find interesting, fun, but useful ways for the students to be using technology.

I loved the “Why Integrate?” video. It helped me to see how much can be done with technology in the classroom, and also how we can teach the students with technology using real-world applications more than we could without the use of technology. The “new WWW” was really interesting to me because I never thought about educating students using technology for that reason or in that way. It is a very valid point that is being made that we as teachers should all keep in mind. It will be important to me to allow my students to learn and express themselves using technology in productive ways and create meaningful learning in the classroom.

Strengths & Weaknesses

As I went through the UNI survey and read through the NET standards I realized my biggest strength is that I have an idea of what all of these technologically rich tools are, but my biggest weakness is that I don’t know that much about them. I feel that if these skills will be useful to me in the classroom I will need to understand them completely in order to teach my students how to use the applications. Just knowing about the application will not be enough, my goal is to research the various applications and find ways that it can enhance classroom learning, and help students to more fully understand material that is being studied. I found a series of online workshops at http://www.nald.ca/library/learning/alt/basic/cover.htm that would help me to just understand the basic applications I will be using in my classroom. Once I have learned the basic applications I will be a more effective teacher and also know how those applications can benefit my students in their learning.

Another weakness of mine is that I do not have a very open or creative mind when it comes to incorporating technology in the classroom. As I read through the NET standards I understood how technology would be helpful when used in all of the areas that are talked about, but I was completely lost on how I would incorporate technology to perform those tasks. My goal is to learn how to apply the knowledge that I have about technology in the classroom and to teach effectively using technology. I found a website that is dedicated to just that at http://www.wtvi.com/teks/workshops.html. I think this workshop would be really helpful because it would be giving me examples of how technology can be applied in a real world classroom and help me see how I can integrate the ideas they give me into my own lesson plans.

One of my strengths is that I know how to communicate well using technology which I think will be a huge benefit in my future classroom. I believe that using technology as a communication tool makes me more effective and efficient. I will have to work on using more appropriate computer language though. One of the UNI survey questions was if I knew and used correct computer terminology which is something I could learn more about and practice in my teaching.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Learning Log


This past week I have been learning about Behaviorism. I really liked this chapter because I think it can be so effective and helpful in the classroom. It was a little confusing learning about reinforcement, and getting positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement straight. I think both of these strategies can be effective, but I think it is important that I am careful how they are used in the classroom. I think some times teachers might use behaviorism to kind of "bribe" the students and it takes away their intrinsic motivation. Once students are offered prizes or tokens for completing a project, their only reason for completing that project becomes to get their token.

So What?

I think as I go into my next field experiences and spend time in the classroom I should focus more on what types of behaviorism techniques teachers use to manage their classroom. I think that behaviorism should be used for classroom management but not necessarily the students learning. I also think that behaviorism techniques come naturally to us, and we don't necessarily make a conscious decision to use those techniques, but it will be important as a teacher in the classroom that we are using behaviorism techniques in the correct way.

Now What?

Now I think I need to find out what is the best learning theory for me to use in my classroom, and which learning theory I can be the most effective using. There are so many different ways to teach I think it is important to find one that I am comfortable with and works with my classroom. Obviously the different learning theories I use in the classroom will change from year to year and have to be adapted to the students in the classroom that year, but I think as I get familiar with each theory and how to implement them in the classroom appropriately I will be able to help my students using the best learning theory for them.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Integrating Tech in the Classroom

We have been working in class on preparing our webquest. Our webquest is designed for Kindergartners and focuses on site words. The students go through the webquest and listen to ten different site words we have selected. After they listen to a word, they write down the word they have just heard and draw a picture that illustrates that word. I think this is a great way to utilize technology in a Kindergarten classroom. I didn't really understand before that the point of using a webquest was to have the students use technology in a more interactive way to learn new skills. Once I understood that concept, it was a lot harder for me to come up with ideas for a webquest, but I thought that the webquest ideas were a lot more effective and the students would learn a lot more. The webquest has been easier to assemble than I thought it would be, and I can really see myself using a webquest in the classroom. It is a very practical skill to have as an elementary teacher, and I am glad that I finally understand what a webquest is, how to use one, and why they are useful. The great thing about webquests is that they can be used for anything. They would be a useful tool in math, science, reading, writing, even research projects. I think by using a webquest you are allowing student to familiarize themselves with the technology that is available to us, but it also helps them develop other skills, like time management, and self-motivation. I can't wait to use a webquest in my own classroom.