I attended catholic school from grades K-12. I spent grades K-8 in one school, then moved on to the catholic high school for grades 9-12. In my first school, (Saint Frances Cabrini, or SFC,) all of the layouts of each classroom were the same. If someone were to walk through all of the classrooms without knowing which grade was taught in each room, they would have never been able to really distinguish which grades were which. (Well, maybe they would be able to distinguish kindergarten from eighth grade…) The classroom in this video differs greatly from the classrooms I was taught in. In the classroom shown, students sit at tables and do not have their own working space. In my classrooms, everyone had their own desk with a section to store your books and writing utensils. The classroom in the video does not have separate working spaces or books.
Yes and no. The physical layout of the classroom allowed students to use their technology in pairs by giving them the space needed for them to sit with their partner. It also allowed the students to see presentations when the teacher was explaining assignments and lesions via iPad projection. Because students were using iPads, which does not require wires or plugs to operate, students could easily sit anywhere with the iPad and do their work. If students had their own iPads, they could easily have sit in their own working spaces and complete their work via iPad separately.The students in the video really enjoyed having the opportunity to work with the iPad. In the video, two students in the video state that their favorite part of school is the use of the iPads. One states, “When I first came here I felt like I was going to mess up, but I got used to it all.” When students were asked about how they felt regarding moving up to the next grade level that does not have iPads, all students commented that they wish that every grade had iPads for the classroom.
Mr. Mitchell had a very positive attitude regarding the use of technology in the classroom. In the video, he stated that he would trade every classroom designated laptop and desktop computer for iPads for his students. He believes it is a more efficient way of learning, making it easier on both himself and his students. He believes that using iPads are the best way for students to teach themselves how to learn and engage them in learning. When talking about the apps and games used for learning in his class, he stated that most of the ones used are found by his students, not from him.
I did find some examples of differentiation of instruction in the video. Mr. Mitchell allows students to use technology to their advantage when it comes to learning. For example, one game he allows his students to play is a word game that gives the player a bunch of letters and from those letters, students need to create as many words as they can. He has them write down their words and if they don’t know the meaning of any of the words, they look them up on their iPad. This is a self-guided approach to learning new vocabulary words. Each student who plays the game is not going to come up with the same exact words. So when the class gets together to discuss the words they created, the students will be teaching one another new vocabulary words.
The technology used in this video was not at all what I had expected. When I was in school and in the elementary schools I have visited, technology was not as available to the students as it was in this video. I have seen teachers use smartboards, and computers in the classroom, but not iPads where the students governed their learning.
Honestly, I feel pretty comfortable teaching with technology. I can work the general basics of a PC, iPad, and iPhone. I’m not comfortable at all with MAC computers. The only thing I’m concerned out is not being able to keep up with how fast technology is advancing and updating and quickly becoming outdated.
Being a 21st century connected educator, in my opinion, means being connected with the latest trends in media. In a dream world, being able to get all the newest models at the current time and staying up to date with technology. Realistically that is not possible because the funds will not be there, as well as it is almost impossible to stay up to date because technology is changing every day. I think it the term 21st century educator means to be connected with other teachers, students, and resources around the world through technology. Using laptops, desktops, iPads and smart phones can help teachers to become 21st century educators. I really enjoyed the video of Mr. Mitchell’s classroom. As I was graduating high school, my school was beginning to start an iPad initiative. From what I have been told from previous teachers and students (my sister just graduated from HS this June) the initiative is not going as well as it should due to lack of management and leadership with the initiative. I would hope to be able to run a classroom similar to Mr. Mitchell’s because I think children in this century will get more out of learning through technology and aspects of their daily life rather than listening to a lecture or reading from a textbook.
21st Century Educators use this: