Sunday, May 5, 2013

Digital Citizenship In Middle School

"In the future, your 'digital footprint' will carry far more weight than anything you might include on a resume." (Chris Betcher)

Digital Citizenship is how some one presents themselves online. When I hear the phrase I think of someone's personality that is portrayed online; basically how someone uses technology; right from wrong and uses resources wisely. Amy Borovoy believes, "It's the guidelines for responsible, appropriate behavior when one is using technology." (Borovoy)

There are several different categories of behaviors that can fall into Digital Citizenship such as protecting personal information, how to send professional emails, harassing, copyrighting, common sense, and overall manners.

Middle level students use digital resources frequently. "Fully 95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online and 80% of those online teens are users of social media sites." (Lenhart) Students are already using these resources for social network and other entertainments, school is supposed to teach students about the real world as well as book smarts. They should know how to use their digital resources right to be able to protect themselves form hacking, malware, and spyware that could harm their personal lives or expensive hardware.

Cyber Bullying
"In the past, gossip was limited to your immediate field of friends and acquaintances, but with the advent and uptake of digital technologies the potential audience for gossip and innuendo is global." (Crockett) This is always how middle school disputes always start one person talking about another; or even group.Cyber bullying is a main problem in middle school, some children feel like they need to make fun or pick on  someone up to feel dominant or "cool." With Social Networks open to middle level students (age 13+) middle school student can create Facebook , twitter, and instigram accounts if they did not already have one by falsifying their age. Some student being bullied at school now have to deal with the same stress and trauma at home because of other students bullying them over social networks. We should teach these children not to use these resources in negative ways for these reasons.

Phishing Via Suspicious emails
Suspicious emails are a threat to middle school children. Being young and nieave they will believe many things that an adult would know is not true. Around middle school is where I made my first email address and i assume that elementary level students do not really have email addresses still. With this said middle level students are drawn in by spam emails with dream fulfilling promises such as, You won the newest iPad!, Congratulations  you won $10,000. "Phishing email messages, websites, and phone calls are designed to steal money. Cybercriminals can do this by installing malicious software on your computer or stealing personal information off of your computer." (Microsoft)

Middle school students can find our about digital citizenship elements form many websites
  • Copyright information for kids Here students can learn about the importance or citing other people's work as if it were their own.
  • Brain pop offers many different subjects and categories to explore all about Digital Citizenship
  • Digizen offers games for students to help prevent cyberbullying and other problems involved with Digital Citizenship.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Learning to Unlearn

   After reading "Chapter 3 - Learning to Unlearn" of The Connected Educator, by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, I now have a better understanding of the need to unlearn concepts. While teaching, teachers must be prepared to unlearn their previous method of teaching so they can learn to efficiently teach their new class of students; this can be for the purpose of differentiation or simply to appeal to the next generation of youths.
   Humans understand concepts better when it is closer related to their interests. Why not make the class revolve around the students instead of the students revolving around the class. Classes should be more student oriented, students today rely on technology on almost everything (entertainment, social connecting, and other things).
   Unlearning sounds like a bad thing but is necessary when teachers have to unlearn what they learned about their last class to learn about their next class. Maybe students would do better with assignments different from the usual read a book and write a paper routine. Creating different types of assignments can keep the class interested or at least not bored. There may be some points where the class/teacher is bored. nevertheless, you truly learn when you are lost and you learn your way when you find it in the dark.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Interactive Whiteboards in Today's Classroom

The IWB or interactive white board has sparked many discussions since it arrived in some classrooms around 2007. Most of these discussions revolved around basic questions such as, do we need them?, Are they worth the money?, and most importantly, will they help students by increase test scores?

The Need
Stephanie McCrummen of the Washington Post wrote an article, "Some Educators" and explained some of the reasons she believes schools buy smart boards. She says some schools buy them for the soul purpose of claiming their school is "innovative" and just as smart as the others who have smartphones. Schools sometimes buy them to keep up with the competition schools. a better way to stand out is to have good morality and pitch "our school does not need so called "smart" boards because we have smart teachers" instead of our school is innovative because we have blackboards that we can plug our computers into.

Pricing by Dell
   I believe these new boards are not for every school. If a school can not provide books for every student to take home when it is necessary defiantly should not buy these boards. These boards prices average at $1,500 and cap around $7,000; it would be foolish to buy multiple boards if you do not have basic supplies while at the same time there is no actual purpose in buying one when there are more than one classroom in every school. 

Does It Help?
   In some cases students test scores did go up after a new smart board was introduced to the class. There were still a sufficient number of  test scores which did non rise of remained the same. This is enough evidence to mark smart-board's claim to raise test scores void. It is proven that student presented with the new concept of a screen everyone can interact with by touch will pay more attention to lessons. This claim is true to some extent, psychologists have proven that students (especially middle level and under) response to new concept and objects. After these new objects are familiarized they will fall into the same boring category as everything else that used to be new such as, dry-erase boards, computers, etc. It only takes one to three weeks for something to become familiarized after that students will be falling asleep again until the next $1500 tool is presented. A better way to teach is to get students attention by connecting to their individual personnel  or even their generations' interests. Repetitively buying short-term attention grabbing gimmicks does not seem like a good teaching method to me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


In School & Students...


  • Different- not alike in characteristic or quality.
  • iation- indicating an action, process, state, condition or result.

  • When people first hear of a term differentiation, it tends to break up in their head between "different" and "-iation". The first impression of these two words lead to students having different needs being approached with entirely different lesson plans. This is not true, the actual meaning is different students will always have different needs but will not need individualized lesson plans. Maybe some students require more visual examples, explanations, or even more real-life connections to grasp material and provoke self-thought. There are many ways in which the concept of Differentiation is interpreted in Rick Wormeli and Mark Pennington's, "Myths About Differentiated Instruction."
    Students are not mass-manufactured robots who are programmed or learn the exact same way. Students are people who grow up through different experiences and life lessons. Students will need to be taught at different paces with more or less one on one instruction, depending on student need.

    Differentiation also plays a role at home. In their home environments some students may have a more beneficial experience for learning than others. One student may be able to go home and research on the computer somethings that they do not quite understand or struggle with. One student may not have access to the same resources due to a wave of poverty in their family. This and other situations such as negative influences or role models can impact a students work ethics placing them in a lower learning category at school. Psychologist believe adolescents with a negative or no male role model tend to fall behind in school and/or are more likely to commit crimes in the future. 

    There are many types of differentiation workshops to help tailor lessons around a classroom full of needs. First educators must find the needs of the class. This can be done by the typical journal, student reflections, or even brief self introductions that teachers ask for on the first day of class. Being a student in k-12 I didn't even realize that my teachers were gathering information about us to build a in head profile of the students. In retrospect I now see how helpful that can be to get to get some background on students as well as introduce them to each other. Videos from The Teaching Channel such as the one below can reveal workshops aimed to find the needs of individual students.

    Technology and differentiation could go hand and hand depending on how they both are used. An arrangement of website resources could be made accessible to every student via their teacher: pictures and videos for visual learners, blogs and articles for linguistic learners, websites with video tutorials for math problems can be posted for analytic or mathematics learners such as Khanacademy.  Technology can be a very helpful resource for students especially to go home and research on their own, outside of class. Students could even create their own type of personal learning network to help study or even resourcing skills with all of these resources.

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    Me and Twitter

    I first started using Twitter for personal-social reasons. At first i didn't like it because I was used to Facebook's layout of posts, comments and pictures. Twitter at first seems like everyone's random thoughts with other people's comments all mixed up in one place. Even thought that is basically twitter people start to get used to it and then it seems normal. The battle between Facebook and Twitter for the best social-network is still going on. 

    In my education class SEDU183 we are learning to incorporate twitter and other technological help into the classroom for teachers to use.  These classroom twitter activities have helped me enjoy twitter more by interacting with the class and teacher via twitter.  It makes work more fun and productive learning how hashtags (#) and other things can connect people of a common interest. 

    For example the class had an entire group sessions at arranged times to talk about different topics by tweeting and adding #SEDU183 to every tweet.  This could be used by teachers in a Community of Practice.  Anyone who sees one of the tweets can join in if they want just by typing the same hashtag.
    *Join the Conversation here

    Today we took a silent group test to use test our twitter skills and group knowledge.  To communicate with each other we were allowed to talk within #SEDU183quiz1. This was entertaining in a way and very much thought provoking.  It lead me to think of ways to incorporate social-networking into my future classroom.  Maybe I'll have my class collaborate on project and homework over twitter or whichever new social network rises by that time.  Maybe ill even create my own website/social-network designed just for student collaboration through projects and other assignments.

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

    The Final Frontier

    Me and three of my piers were asked to research if technology helped classrooms based on Peggy A. Ertmer's article, "Teacher Pedagogical Beliefs: The Final Frontier in Our Quest for Technology Integration" Here is our final project.
    The article is about the effects of integrating technology into a classroom.  Many issues are discussed such as: the teacher's abilities to use these new technologies, Student's performance with technology, and even the student's attention span.  The most important issue is Teacher's not being exposed to the technology that the children of this generation are used to using almost all day long; for example cell phones were as ordinary to have for children 12 years old while teachers who have been teaching for a career for a while now (probably around 30 or more years or age) did not have a cell phone until they were grown up with their own job to pay for it.  The article also talked about collaboration vs cooperation.  A great point made was that in a collaboration participants all work together step by step in an combined effort; as opposed to cooperation where participants split up a task and solve each problem on their own, missing out on parts of the hands on experience.

    The collaboration was a great way to solve research this topic because as we worked together whenever one person did not know how to solve a problem or had question they could just ask a group member and 90% of the time the question would be easily answered.  A great way to say this, two heads are better then one but in this case four heads are better than one. I actually enjoyed working on this project and learning more on the aspects of teaching.

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    All About Me

    My name is Deondray Ivey. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I graduated from Philadelphia High School for Business and Technology; the name is very misleading because it sounds like a great school but it is not at all.  It had less then 350 students and a very low budget for school materials; we also shared a building with another high school.

    I am a second semester Freshman at Edinboro University. My major is Middle lv. Education major with a concentration in Mathematics.  I choose this as my major because I can see myself teaching children in a couple years. I also would like to be a part time firefighter.  I do not really know why being a fire fighter looks like a rewarding job and also has great health benefits.

    My main hobby is running.  I ran the Philadelphia Marathon (2011) (3:11:48). I ran in the AAU national meet in Houston, Texas (2012); I placed 5th in the 2000 meter steeplechase.   I have been running track for about three years now. I am a distance runner; my main focuses are the 800 (half mile:2 laps) and 1500 (mile: four laps)  meter races. I am still experimenting with different races since I did not have much of a high school track coach to actually lead me to the right event.

    Being a teacher I think I could help children academically and athletically; teach and a track & fields coach at a needed school.

    Unrelated, alot of people do not know what a steeplechase is so I posted this video...