My 50


For my 50th post I wanted to do something special, something big, however, if you know me, that’s not me. I prefer my fireworks on July Fourth, prefer to give a gift rather than receive, think that confetti could be put to better use and wonder why we still have ticker tape in the 21st century? Can’t we just drop ones and zeros on a parade? I would like to distance myself, for the time being, from these celebratory traditions and focus on the reason I began this blog.

For this minor anniversary, I decided to focus this post on the reason why I get up in the morning; The reason I spend my days browsing twitter for new ideas; the reason I scour blogs; the reason I linked up (and IN) with a PLN; the reason I decided to get this blog rolling in the first place: my students.

My students motivate me daily, just as I hope to motivate them. When I see one of my students disinterested or not engaged, I get motivated. That student becomes my challenge! I want to motivate that student and I want that student to enjoy my classroom. I want them to leave my classroom and continue talking about how much they liked my class or continuing to seek questions and answers about the literature we are reading. I want my students to give me a shout out at our weekly student summits, not because I want the attention, but because I want them to enjoy school and I want them to appreciate what a grand opportunity education is! Like a proud parent, I want them to have everything I have but I want their time to be better!

Therefore, I will stop talking and focus my attention on my students; especially the students in my first and second period English class.

To my class: This is your shout out! This is your voice being heard not only by me, but also by the masses. All who read and comment on this blog will know your thoughts, desires and your wants for technology integration in your classroom. This is my gift to you. This is your voice reverberating around the globe.

Today I gave my students a prompt at the beginning of class. I asked them this…

We have been using various forms of technology thus far in the classroom – wikispaces, google docs, RSS feeds – what have you liked thus far about the technology integration in the class? What do you dislike about the technology integration? Do you have any suggestions for further technology integration in this class?

My goal was to give them a say in where we go. I wanted them to take ownership of their education. I am merely the facilitator. They are creating their educational path and they should have a say in how it is fostered and presented. Here are some of their responses:

I like how we use the Internet and I like the idea of having our own website it’s all a very great idea. I don’t dislike anything; it’s all a great way to learn because the kids pay attention more. I think we should make a part to this where the kids can make their own blogs and we should categorize it…example: sports history holocaust and all the stuff we are learning.

~Omar

What I like about the technology thus far is that instead of writing on paper – half the time having a hard time looking and understanding the handwriting – typing it out can make your writing easier for the reader to understand your writing.

But for some, others prefer to use paper and a pencil to do their writing. What I can infer, is that people dislike technology because they don’t know how to use it, and is having a hard time to get to there destination on their new technology.

For those who don’t know how to use this new technology, you can use a set up guide for them to go back and forth to use for their assignments.

~Devaun

I like that we have more access to our computers and not just pen and paper. I like that we don’t just have our computers sitting in our bags and lying around. I think that we should connect with other schools that use technology.

~Anonymous

I think using technology is cool for this class because technology is the future.

~Isaiah

Well I like the idea of using technology in class, but we could use some other web sites like twitter, like maybe we could come up with a Boys’ Latin twitter address or something like that. However like I said I do like the idea of using technology in class.

~Anonymous

The things that I like is that we can get on the Internet in the classroom. What I dislike is that when we are on the Internet we have people on are backs.

~Khalid

I like that we are using computer for technology an do most of the work. There is nothing I dislike about working with technology.

~ Jaron

Well being that I have just been transferred to this class I don’t know about most of the technology integration into this class, yet. Although the technology integration into the school is probably the best thing about the school. There is really nothing I dislike about the integration of technology. I think that technology should be integrated even more so that the classes can flow much more smoothly and faster.

Nakola

I like many of the things we get to use in this class. For example, I like that we get to use laptops in this class. This is something that I like because most teachers don’t use laptops in class and I felt that having a laptop was a waste to have if they weren’t used in class. I don’t believe that there is anything that I don’t like about this class.

-Jaylen

These are just a few of the responses I received from my class today. I urge you to give them feedback and motivate them by sharing your thoughts about technology integration in the classroom.

Finally, I would like to thank a few that motivated me and helped me become a better educator.

I would like to thank Ms. Stellfox who was my inspiration and the best teacher I ever had. She challenged me daily to think critically and inspired me to read beyond the back cover of a novel. She made Shakespeare fun and told us about her world travels in class. We all benefited from her teachings.

I would like to thank Ken Rodoff and Joyce Valenza. Without them, I would simply be 1.0. With their help and guidance, I became a more dynamic teacher. Ken and Joyce introduced me to the world of 2.0 and power points without bullets. They are truly inspirational figures in my career.

I would like to thank Donelle O’Brien. Donelle challenged my thinking and provoked me to become a life long learner. She always commented on this blog and opened the doors of my PLN.

I would like to thank Steve Anderson. Steve is one of my most influential Tweeps! He is a integral part of my PLN and although I have never met him, I feel like we have collaborated on one hundred projects. He is one of the founders of #edchat and has truly created a forum in which we all can benefit.

I would like to thank Lori Vanaman. Lori is not on twitter,doesn’t blog, but she is a dynamic, dedicated teacher and most importantly, she was my first fan. She inspired and motivated me to be an author (almost there) and to write this blog. She provoked my thinking in a way that made me a better teacher and person. She challenged me to write a book someday and expects to be one of my first readers. She is a true friend and without her, I would have never written my first post.

The list could go on for days, but those listed above, helped me see my true potential. They helped me get started and they are the reason iTeach.

Thank you to all who read this blog and those who have shared my ideas. You are all motivators and inspirations to my writing. I cannot say thank you enough.

This is my 50. I look forward to 50 more.

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