I read an article by Dwight Carter called “Learning is Irregular”.  The title captured my attention, so I thought I would give it a thorough read.  Carter states, “Outside of school, most people apply learning across disciplines, scenarios, and experiences” (paragraph 1).   This statement is the embodiment of my educational philosophy in teaching World Language.  It’s imperative that we make real-world connections to the learning so that there is a sense of validity to our instruction and content.  Every set of vocabulary and each grammatical unit has a connection to something that can be used immediately outside of my classroom.  It gives my students the answer to the looming question “So what?”

Carter continues with the notion that learning is a “messy process” that reflects the multiple influences in life outside of the classroom.  He focuses on technology and its usefulness in assisting students with learning.  Carter encourages teachers to embrace technology making learning easier on students who are already customed to this way of living.

I believe that this article would fit well within the Substitution category of SAMR Model. Carter is pro-technology giving examples of how seamless it would be for students’ learning in the classroom and connecting it to the outside world.

Future Technologies

The Maker Movement is a booming ideal in education.  I recently attended the MACUL conference, and there were several stations about the Maker Movement.  Though I believe wholeheartedly about its ability to be integrated into a science and math classroom.  I think that it would take a lot of planning to implement robotics in the World Language classroom.  I already use videos and voice recordings to create a technology-fused curriculum.  I suppose I could have students design and create their movie settings (ie. cardboard towers for the legend unit) or create a buzzer system for a review game.  But, for now, I think that I will help further the Maker Movement as a supporter and not an implementer. Hopefully, an idea can spark my curiosity in incorporating this idea in my classroom.

BYOD

Currently, Onsted Community Schools is a BYOD school.  Students are encouraged to bring a mobile device to every classroom.  Teachers have their own rules for their classes on BYOD.  Some use a stop-light system to let students know.  Others, like me, inform students on a day-to-day basis.

Pros – My students have English to Spanish translators and access to their email accounts and Google Drive for collaboration.  This makes less copy-work and a more green classroom.

Cons – Students feel entitled to do what they want with their technology at any given time.  I cannot remember how many times I’ve had to stop teaching to correct inappropriate behavior induced by technology. Students Snapchatting each other, tweeting, and commenting on Instagram are just a few of these classroom interruptions.  When putting specific policies on classrooms doesn’t work, I usually take them away.  It’s an ongoing process in a 50 minute period.  And, to be honest, I have better things to do than to police technology work.

Students will find a way to get what they want.  Even in my lessons that use technology, I have students unengaged and not on task.  Are these students an anomaly? I fear not.

In my opinion, I think that BYOD is a great concept for schools in saving money for technology purchases.  However, I do feel that there is “a time and a place” for its use.  And students feel that time is 24/7 because that’s what they are accustomed to outside of my classroom.  However, technology abuse and addiction are real issues for today’s youth.  Modeling acceptable usage and practices is key in educational settings.

 

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