Tuesday, November 29, 2011

SmartBoard makes me feel dumb...

Ahhh, the trials and tribulations of being a teacher...

When I graduated college in 2005, the only tech course required of me was an Internet writing course where I designed a web page and did PowerPoint, which is considered archaic by today's standards.  Then of course I have had the pleasure of working in relatively poor districts with overhead projectors from the 1970s.  Now, the National Council for the Teachers of English defines 21st century literacy as the following:

  • Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
  • Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
  • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
  • Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
  • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
  • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments

Meaning, that apparently if students don' know how to manage technology like blogging, Twitter, Wikis, Glogster, Prezis, IPADs, etc....and share learning with a worldwide community (such as YouTube) then really, they cannot be considered literate.  Hell, by these standards, I am not even considered literate. 
As a teacher, and as a smart person, I was offended when the PHD at the tech seminar I attended said this to me...that I wasn't literate. 

But literacy isn't reading and writing by book/hand anymore.

I have kids who don't even know how to type.  Or open Microsoft Word.

I have only 4 laptops in my room.  How in the heck do I make my students global media extraordinaries if I don't have any technology that makes them "literate" by today's standards?

So I get Smart Board.  Smart Boards are awesome because they are a huge interactive white board that really gets the students into the lessons.  When I went to the tech conference, I specifically chose the half-day seminar on Smart Boarding so that I could learn how to use it- never had before.  I still operate on a 1976 overhead projector.

So I go to this conference, get all inspired...and when I get back, I move the Smart Board into my room.

I don't even know how to plug the darn thing in.  I had cords everywhere...when I went to touch the board it did something funky instead of something cool like I was shown at this conference....and the worst part was...it was all in front of students who I was trying to impress and make "literate" for crying out loud!

The kids told me to go back to training.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Time for a Change

Wow...I have really let blogging go.

Today I found myself really moping around.  I had some free time, and during that free time I did the same three things that I always do during my free time.  1) watched mindless television, although, Restaurant Impossible and Chef Hunter are incredible shows....2) folded laundry (completely miserable) and 3) lesson planned, at a half-assed level. 

Then I thought about all of the things that I would rather be doing (finally blogging, writing in Lulu's journal, organizing her photo album, actually lesson planning like the kick-ass teacher that I used to be, Christmas shopping/planning, etc).

See, I used to be a creative work-aholic, in all aspects of my life, until Gabriel. 

And now, even though I am completely happy,  I still can't get out of shut-down mode when I am alone.

Well, this ends.  Because of the cute little girl posted above, I am going to do everything in my power to just be better.  Starting with blogging.   Why is blogging important to me?  Well, I recently just went to a tech seminar for educators in which I was told that all sorts of technology, including the use of a blog, is important not only to read what others are saying, but to teach all sorts of learners, not just the ones in my classroom, but to anyone out there in cyberspace who just might stumble upon it, and think that what I am trying to say is interesting.  The world can be my classroom.

I believe I have something to say, not just to people who have suffered losses, but to anyone...anyone experiencing a hectic life...who can possibly relate to me.  Gabriel might have been the start of my NEW life plan, and now my blog has to reflect me actually living that new life...off of the couch.

So, now my new blog, which will remain the same name because Gabriel inspired me to write again, will be about all sorts of things....my teaching experiences, my learning experiences, funny stories, family laughter, thoughts on the nation, the world, my world, my life. 
Welcome to the Kosakowski classroom.