It has been through blogging that I am reminded of how much I’ve learned, experienced, and changed in a matter of weeks. After a class at Warner, I reflect quite a bit in my head. How did the new information make me feel, do I agree, can I use this in my future classroom? Many times when I do this, I have a great idea come into my head, a correlation, or a question I would like to ask. I repeat it over and over in my head so I don’t forget the thought. However, by the time I get home, and I have 2 little ones wanting to play 500 questions, and I think about all of the work I need to get done, and how behind I am in everything, the thought completely escapes my mind.
Has blogging helped me with this issue?
The answer is yes! Of course it has. Keeping a blog makes me want to relate to everything, and I am constantly thinking, “should I share this?”, “would this experience help others if I post about it?”, “have others experienced the same thing?” It has also encouraged me to keep a notebook and paper in my car so I can quickly jot down a word to remind me of my thought, so I may later share them on my blog.
“The so-called ‘information revolution’ itself is actually, and more accurately, a ‘relationship revolution.’ Anyone trying to get a handle on the dazzling technologies of today and the impact they’ll have tomorrow, would be well advised to re-orient their worldview around relationships” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2006).
I look at my blog as a medium to share information, and build relationships. The previous quote really embodies that idea. I feel that at first, when the cohort started with each other, it was through our blogs we really got to know each other. I remember sense of humor really shown through at first, which helped me connect with certain individuals. Now, through Integrating Science & Technology, I see it as a support system for one another. It gives us a chance to complement each other on things well done, engage in debate if we would like, and offer suggestions, should someone be struggling with a specific thing.
My blogs allow me to see my growth as a teacher. This was very relevant as we blogged throughout camp. I blogged about my struggles, what was done well, and my interactions with the campers. The blog acts as a tool, which allows me to go back through and reflect. Have I fixed the things I was struggling with, and how? In fact, as a first year teacher, I may make myself blog a certain number of times a week, and then do a monthly blog, in which I go back through and read about the struggles, as well as the good things that happened. I could assess myself to see if I addressed the struggles, and in which ways. So the blog could be used as a personal teacher evaluation tool.
The blog has been an integral part of my time so far at Warner. I think it was through the blog that my mind opened up to creative ways to use technology to teach students, in ways that relate to them, and engage them. One quote comes to mind when I think about the role of technology in education:
“…all children can learn science regardless of age, sex, cultural, or ethnic background, disabilities, aspirations, or interest and motivation in science” (Barton & Yang, 2000).
Technology can be a tool used to help all students participate in science. One example of this is how technology is enabling voices to be heard, which were never heard before. One way this has been done, is through use of communication devices. Blogs are another perfect example. A student may be too shy to talk in class, however they feel comfortable to share ideas through a blog. Another quote I think about is:
“Hands-on inquiry tasks can range from capturing no features of authentic science to capturing many features of authentic science” (Chinn & Malhorta, 2001).
A part of hands-on inquiry usually involves some sort of technology; whether it is a probe, a projector for students to use to display findings, an iPad to use a specific program, or Microsoft excel. Like hands-on inquiry, if the technology is used appropriately, it will usually increase a student’s engagement and understanding. Some examples of technology not being used appropriately occur when a device is used to just use it, there is no relevance, or need for it. Also, if you do not have a strong understanding of how to use the technology, and capability to do basic troubleshooting, it is a sign you should probably not use it in your class.
Blogging for, and incorporation with, Integrating Science and Technology, has allowed me to see my growth as a teacher in just a few short weeks. It has also opened up my mind to new innovative ways in which technology can be a useful tool in the classroom, while keeping me aware of the negatives as well, so they may be avoided.
Barton, A. C., & Yang, K. (2000). The culture of power and science education:
Learning from Miguel. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(8), 871-889.
Chinn, C. & Mulhatra B. (2002). Epistemologically Authentic Inquiry in Schools: A
Theoretical Framework for Evaluating Inquiry Tasks. Science Education
86:175 – 218.
Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2007). Sampling “the new” in new literacies. In M. Knobel & C. Lankshear (Eds.), A New Literacies Sampler (pp. 1-24). New York: Peter Lang.