Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Digital Citizenship Inside 2nd Grade

Digital citizenship is being responsible on the web and treating it as a community. You would not bully someone in person or give them personal information, and it is important to teach children the same rules to apply online. It is important to teach children this, because they are often not yet familiar with the web and can be taught safety and antibullying techniques. Students also need to be wary on online Stranger Danger (Willard) and online exploitation (Basic Internet Safety). My prezi goes over what exactly digital citizenship is, how how to use it to prevent cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is the act of bullying a youth or peer online (Wired Safety), and how to prevent it. See my Works Cited for more resources referenced in the Prezi. Prezi Presentation

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Learning to Unlearn

I spent a long time picking through "Unlearn" related images, and now the word "learn" looks really weird to me. Anyway, Since I hope to teach a very differentiated classroom one day, unlearning my own personal learning style is going to be a priority for me. It's going to be important that I understand where my students are coming from with their own learning styles, and being able to cater to that in a way that maximizes the effectiveness of my teaching. I best learn a task by watching someone else do it first, and then trying it myself. I'll watch the other person do it until I have memorized what I need to do (monkey see, monkey do?). Not everyone learns like that. Some do best reading instruction from a book, or in groups. I'm going to have to understand different learning perspectives so I can make myself the best teacher I can be.

Another thing I will have to be mindful of is following my role models. I have had some amazing teachers, and I remember some of my favorite assignments from them, or the way they taught that made me immediately understand the concept. I will be tempted to try to apply their methods in my own classroom. While there isn't necessarily anything wrong with doing that while I figure out my own teaching style, I will have to keep in mind that just because they were my favorite teacher, doesn't mean their lesson plan or methods worked as well for my peers. Contrarily, the teachers who I disliked were other student's favorites. Ultimately, I just have to remember that everyone is different, and try to work with that in the best way that I can.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Interactive Whiteboards in Today's Classroom

As someone who recently graduated from a high school that boasted technological prowess, my opinion of Interactive White Boards is that they're little more than an expensive way to show off what a great school system you have without actually improving the curriculum or learning techniques. As the article "Some Educators Question if Whiteboards, Other High-tech Tools Raise Achievement" states, there is little evidence to support that these boards actually improve student test scores, and are largely just a fad. I feel that they are a bad example of technology's usefulness in the classroom because the boards a more or less just large touch screens, and offer little that will truly utilize a teacher's lesson plan. Most of the classrooms in my high school had these white boards, and I only ever saw them utilized twice. They were used in my freshman year Spanish class, and we used the touch screens to conjugate verbs. We had done the same activity before, with magnets on our classroom dry erase board. As far as I could tell, the IWB did not offer anything the teachers didn't have access to through projectors and an little activity. Because of this, I don't really see how the IWB can help with a differentiated classroom. Overall, I think technology in a classroom is good. I take notes from power points every day. If I miss information in class, I can email the professor about it. Technology makes it easier to learn and acts as a tool for the teacher, and this is why it is useful. When we have it just for the sake of it, however, it become almost cumbersome. The IWBs were a chore, which is why my teachers seldom used them. They can be useful, but are not necessary in every classroom. What makes learning worthwhile is the student/teacher relationship.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I think differentiation is important in a classroom, and all teachers should have practice and experience working with it. A student's success can largely depend on how confident they feel about the subject and material at hand. So while they have the capacity to learn the information, it may not be taught in the way that best suits their learning style, and then they feel slow and lose confidence. Meanwhile, the kids who are being taught in their learning style are excelling. I think technology can be really helpful with this problem. It opens different avenues of education for students with websites like Blackboard and Study Island. Not only do websites like the ones mentioned offer different teaching methods, they're a good way to keep your students busy while you give others extra help. Depending on technology too much is dangerous- you need to make sure that your material is mostly focused around your lesson plan and not let the computers do the teaching for you. But as far as differentation goes, they can offer a big helping hand in making sure all of your students are getting the help they need.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Twitter and Me

These last few days have been my first ever experience with Twitter. I have mixed thoughts and feelings on it, but so far my experience can be collectively expressed through this cartoon:

I don't really like the way this website is organized and I hate the 180 character thing, both of these things are really frustrating. But I guess that frustration is valuable, because it gives me and idea of how teachers who are new to all of this feel. My mom is going to college online, and when she doesn't grasp things like how to use Word, it can be frustrating to teacher her- this is easy, why aren't you getting it?! This Twitter business is helping me understand the importance of patience, and also introduced me to a site I would have otherwise never used. Mr. Smith should teach us to use Tumblr next, because that baffles me too!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Final Frontier

I think the article and assignment fit really well together. Mostly what I took away from the article what the connection between at teacher's beliefs about education and how easy or difficult it will be to focus their teaching around technology. It made me realize how lucky I have been to be part of this generation- what I don't know already, I am learning in college. There's nothing for me to acclimate to. This was my first time using my Google account for anything, and I'm really impressed. The program was really easy to use and I thought the comment feature was awesome. The little bars of color that let you know who was working on what side were really helpful, too. Usually things designed to make communication easier are frustrating, but this really did the job. 4

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

All About Me

My name is Halle Styndl. I am 18 and in my second semester at Edinboro University. My major is Early Childhood and Special Education and this is my second education class. I've known I want to be a teacher for a while, but it took me a long time to decide what field I want to specialize in. I love learning, and I find almost everything interesting. I get really excited learning about the world. In high school I couldn't settle on a favorite class, just that I am bad at math. I loved learning about biology, sociology, and environmental science. I would get most excited in English and history- I love reading literary critism and poetry. I get really excited in museums- Every year in Cleveland, all of the museums are open for free are Martin Luther King Jr. day, and since I was 14 I have been going every year and trying to visit everything before they close at 5.

I got into special ed two years ago when I began volunteering at my local elementary school. The class I helped in had three amazing students in it, and I was still learning awesome stuff about things like sensory rooms and communication building, but it had the added element of seriously caring about the people I was with. Between volunteering at the elementary school and a vocational center, I have made real friends with students and teachers alike.

Spring 2012 at the special needs prom. It. Was. AWESOME.
 Technology is a big asset in the classroom, particularly a special needs one. I have known many students who are unable to communicate verbally to carry around small computers that they use to talk. Video games can also be really good for students with autism, or for developing hand eye coordination in students with physical disabilities.

I love the idea of teaching. Of giving someone information in a way that improves their life and helps them grow as a person. The name of my blog is What I Make, after Taylor Mali's poem "What Teachers Make". It is hugely inspirational, and every time I listen to it I am reminded of why the future is so exciting.