Upon observing the students in the 8th grade English classroom, the technology that is most prevalent is their individual chrome book laptops. These computers are used in the day to day learning process of these students all day long. Whether for school work, homework, classwork, test preparation or typing up assignments. Other classroom technologies that were present were projectors, an apple TV, and smart boards (math classrooms specifically). Every class uses Google Classroom where the teacher uploads assignments, grades, due dates and announcements. Some applications to go along with Google classroom are: Kahoot, www.activelylearn.com (testprep), www.commonlit.com, www.peardeck.com, www.newsela.com (support for classes, current events and test prep.) www.kimiape.com (gives teachers the opportunity to annotate on the board), google slides very prevalent (used almost every single day), www.edpuzzle.com (used in social studies), aleks (for math), and www.goguardian.com (which allows teachers to see what students are doing on their computer screens & close out tabs for them if they aren’t on task). Teachers allow students to use their cell phones only sometimes, seeing that it’s hard to monitor and make sure they are staying on task. One app that students use often in class is Kahoot because it informs the teacher if the student is logged on and actually participating. Technology though, my mentor teacher described, still sometimes impedes the conditions that make student learning possible. Unfortunately, a lot of students have a hard time staying on task. Students surf on Youtube when the time isn’t appropriate, listen to music, or play games which all pose as a huge distraction to turning in student work.
So far I have been able to witness a test preparation quiz with multiple choice answers and questions previously generated by the teacher on Kahoot. Upon the students logging in to the portal students are able to guess the answers with the other students in the room. After the allotted time runs out students are able to see if they got the correct answer. At the end of all of the questions the website generates a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner depending on the results of their correct answers. I loved this for a test preparation idea because students are forced to at least read the questions that may be coming up on the test, jog their memories of the things they are learning, or the text they are reading or learning about, and they are able to be involved in a friendly contest. This along with the use of google docs/google slides in my mentor classroom are both things that I will be taking into my own classroom. My mentor teacher uses google slides in a beautiful way to help students get their ideas on paper (in this case the google document). With this being an English class, students are always having a hard time taking their thoughts and being able to type them into paragraph form. My mentor teacher, Carrie, enters each of her students’ Google Docs and she is able to generate questions to help with the flow of the students’ paragraphs. It is her hope that when students answer the questions in order they can replace her questions with their responses then causing the paragraph to flow and contain all parts of the question. I believe that this is an amazing way for the teacher to dive into the students’ thoughts and learning and also a great way to use technology between a student and teacher.