Future Teachers of Tomorrow

The future of technology in the classroom

The Future of Digital Children’s Books October 23, 2012

The article, “The Future of Digital Children’s Books,” actually came as a surprise to me, as I continued reading through because I just assumed that digital books, in general, would be more preferred than regular paperback books. With all the new technologies, like cellphones, tablets, laptops, etc. that almost every person in the world owns and/or uses, I was expecting to read about how the future of digital children’s books is rising tremendously. The two important points that Tara Lazar describes about the problems that come along with digitalizing books, are how poorly imagined they could be, meaning that one function could do two different things, which could frustrate a child reading, and the other focusing on how the timing of stories can change, due to the vertical orientation of e-readers. Digital books are very hard to promote and sell, and Williams-Ng warns, “You need a hardcopy book to sell the digital book,” because the classic books are the only ones selling, but if new publishers do want just digitized books, they must think about interactivity at the very start of their creative process. No matter what the future may hold for digital books, people are always going to continue to read and write, which will hopefully benefit, as long as companies continue making new technological reading gadgets. 

      Tara Lazar has a great insight into the future of reading and writing, and she would be a great person to follow and learn interesting new topics of today’s education world.


Reading Eggs: Where Children Learn to Read

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Technology is growing faster than we may think, and it is quickly moving into classrooms, anywhere from kindergarten through college. I am one of those who has always thought I understood, and kept up with the most well-known, and widely used technologies, but that all changed a few days ago. I was overlooking my fiancée’s five-year-old son, a few days ago, while he was practicing and learning his letters and how to read, on a program called Reading Eggs. The program, Reading Eggs, is a website that is used in the kindergarten classrooms, and continues on through Elementary school, which provides the students with a variety of different aspects of learning their letters and reading. The site uses everything from drawing, reading aloud, interesting reading games and activities to help engage the students, to motivating songs and rewards to get students proud to be learning. When the students first start using Reading Eggs, they are given a username and password to sign in, where they have their own account and a fun map that keeps track of their journeys and makes sure that the students are on their most suitable level. The students are given simple placement test that ensure that they are on the correct path and level for their age group.

            In conclusion, I truly feel that this is an amazing program for not only the students’ benefits, but to help teachers with the complications that come along with teaching how to read, as well. I am so glad that I am able to engage and learn, while helping my future step son continue his long journey of learning how to read and write, with Reading Eggs. I think that this experience will help me tremendously with my future career as an Elementary school teacher because it adds another technology, to the list of many, which will be very useful in my classroom. 


Why the iPad should be used in Classrooms

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Here is a blog that I wrote, on an article called, “Why the iPad Should be used in Classrooms,” by Vineet Madan. I know it seems a little funny to be a picture of my blog written on paper, but this is one of the requirements for a project in my Technologies and the Future of Writing class, in which I am analyzing a variety of different writing spaces, and of those spaces, I am composing 4 of my blogs in 4 different spaces. I hope that this picture and the text is legible. 


Changing into a Digital-Friendly Classroom October 8, 2012

Back in High School, I remember buying a $130 TI-89 calculator to solve my tricky Algebra problems, and I constantly forget to bring it with to class with me. When I found that the class required strenuous computed work, I was faced with making a hard decision; whether or not to use my iPhone as a calculator. On my iPhone, there is an application that performed the same functions as a graphing calculator with a nicer interface. My teacher at the time was a very sweet elderly woman who liked to handle Math the old school way, breaking down the logic in sections and adding jingles to expressions as pneumonic devices, so when the cell phone and lap top came around she found it threatening to her lessons. You can’t blame her, I know many people would take advantage of this opportunity and abuse the privilege of a cell phone, but how are we as future teachers going to change that behavior? In an article by Cindy Matthews on Snow.ocad.ca, she suggests a new format to the classroom experience. Imagine couches instead of desks. iPads, iPhones and laptops instead of paper, that students could use to respond in real-time to questions proposed by the teacher through their own device. The classroom would all be connected without the threat of destroying the true definition of education, but rather redefining it. The modern school system is falling apart, and responsibly inviting technology into the classroom can greatly benefit student learning.


Identity in Writing October 7, 2012

Filed under: Identity — stonej50 @ 7:16 pm
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Identity plays a big role in writing. Who you are determines what you write. Also, what type of space you write on explains your identity. If you are writing on a space like Facebook or Twitter, it can say that you have the identity of a writer where you want people to see what you are saying. The identity of a writer is important because it shows expression. Writers may prefer to specifically write about one topic. For example, as a writer, my identity is writing with emotion. I tend to write everything based of emotion and experience rather than factual evidence and research. Overall, a writers identity is one of the most important things that shines through in the work.


Writing Spaces – Bolter September 17, 2012

Filed under: Writing Spaces — stonej50 @ 10:42 pm
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In the contemporary writing space, writing can constantly be changed. Bolter states, “The continuous flow of words and pages in the book is supplanted in electronic space by abrupt changes of direction and tempo, as the user interacts with a web page or other interface.” This is to say that it is much easier to alter and change text using digital technology such as a computer, than it is to change text in a written out book. This changes our society because it makes things more accessible and convenient. For example, writing out this blog post right now using a word processor on my laptop is much quicker and easier than if I were to hand write it. When I make mistakes or typos, I can easily go back and change it without having to rewrite things. If I decide I want to add something into the earlier part of the paper, I can easily do that without having to erase everything.

In the same sense, Bolter talks about the behavior of the writing space becoming a metaphor for the human mind. Where does the mind end and the writing space begin? When we have ideas in our mind, we might write them down, whether it be on our computer, on paper, or in a journal. That is all the materiality of writing, but is that part of our thinking of writing? When I use Twitter, some of my thoughts come from other tweets and discussions that I view on the site. Twitter itself is a place to express thought, and that is when “the writer enters into a reflective and reflexive relationship with the written page, a relationship in which thoughts are bodied forth,” states Bolter. This means that wherever the writer chooses to express their thoughts- paper, stone, clay, computer screen- they fall into that writing style and it is a fine line between their thoughts and the materialistic aspect of the writing.

In conclusion, Bolter makes strong points about the writing space changing and being culturally more powerful than it has ever been. The writing space is defined by culture. During this time, the main writing space is digital technology, which shows we are a digital cultural society. For example, computers, cell phones, and tablets are used in everyday life. However, back in earlier times, Bolter talks about ancient Greece and Rome using papyrus and the inner surface of a continuous roll, divided into columns. He explains that papyrus didn’t have to be used that way, but the ancient culture made that choice. Therefore, culture shows to be a dominant reason behind writing styles and the writing space changing dramatically from ancient times to now.