TELL ME MORE of this

When I started my practicum this semester my associated teacher told me that his students were doing something called “Tell Me More“. I was like what is that! I taught at the beginning that my teacher was the leader of a “Glee” kind group at the school and they were performing Grease Musical with “Summer Nights “..”Tell me more”..”Tell me more”. When he told me that it is a program used in their school to improve the students English skill, I was quite relieve to hear that. I did not want to show my (not existing) talents in musical. I will let Travolta do that.

When my teacher told me that it was a program to improve the student English skills I was quite curious so I decided to do some research about it. I found out that program is not only use in schools but government and companies use it as well. It is a program to learn a language. There are different skills that can be developed with it. It has the vocabulary, written, comprehension, listening and orally workshops that can be done with it.
It is through a program on the computer that students can achieve all of this. I witness the students using it. They had headphones with a microphone attached to it. Some of them were doing pronunciation. They were hearing one word and they had to repeat that word in the microphone. I taught that was a good way to help them with their pronunciation skill and they were learning at the same time new words and how to pronounce them. What a good way to kill two birds with one stone! However the teacher must stay or provide supervision while students use their Tell Me More because it is easy for the students to move away from the principal objective of the activity. Especially if you are supervising a group of secondary one last period before spring break…It is easy for them to find any other use of the pronunciation workshop in the program.

My associated teacher found a good way to make his students use Tell Me More efficiently. His students have to do a certain amount of hours on the program to get points for their evaluation. Michael (my associated teacher) assigns them time to do and if they do not do it before the due date they are penalized. To have a general idea of what the program Tell me more look like I found that blog showing picture and good explanations of how it works, so if you are interested to learn more go on that link.

As a future teacher I will definitely use it as a complementary tool. It is a good activity to do with students to links what I will teach them in class and how to use it in a specific context. They will develop their written, listening and oral competency with this tool. It will enhance their English skill and if they want to use it at home it will be possible for them to do so if they purchase the program. It might be possible that if they look at this add first they might do not want to purchase it on their own before even using it in class. That is why they have to try it in class first!

A program that allows students to improve their second language acquisition by using their computer skills, I’m in!

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Improve Teaching by Using a SMART Board

As a future teacher I expect to work with SMART Board and I hope I will do. This technology can allow teachers to go beyond what they could ever think of. It is infinite what can be done with that tool in term of teaching. To know better about SMART Board just click here and then you could have a better idea of what this instrument is about. There is a list of advantages and a list of disadvantages. These disadvantages for me can not be listed as disadvantages. It is more like inconvenient of the product because they are all related to the price and the technology of the SMART Board itself that can be seen as intimidating for a teacher used to a regular white board.

In my future class, I see myself using that kind of board to teach my students. I will plan my curriculum on the SMART Board program. I will be able to integrate images of new vocabulary that I will teach to my student. I will integrate actual video taken from the web to support subject that we will talk about. I will make my student interact with the board. This way they will learn better because they will participate in their learning. I will be able to save on a file all the new words, verb tenses and pictures that I will show to my students. After it will be possible for me to print copies of it and give them to my students. There is lots of video that demonstrate teachers using whiteboard. I watched one of them and it made me smile because I saw in that video how happy the students are. The kids raise their hands and want to participate to use the tool. This is the kind of class that I want to have!

This precious tool will help me to teach my future class. When I will start my career I am sure that a SMART Board will be my companion on this adventure. He will help me to structure my day, my week and my year. I will save classes on this tool and I will use these classes for the next years and then I will be able to add content if needed or switch it all over. At least it will give me something to start on. It is interactive. It is not a piece of paper that I will have to print over and over and if I want to do modifications I will need to redo other copies. I can save the class given on the SMART Board and I can send it to my students by mail. There are tons of ways to use that board. To know a few more look here.

Teachers only need to use it to improve their teaching. There might be some of them who can be afraid of using a technological tool like it, but they have to change their thinking. They have to be open-minded and get involve in the process. The more they use it the more they will be use to it and the quicker they can start to enjoy this tool. A good way to get started it is to watch video that demonstrate how to use the SMART Board. It is ok to be afraid at the beginning if you never used technology before, but you have to go beyond your fear and start to use it! To make a better use of a SMART Board we have to be creative and innovative and our teaching can only improve!

What Future School Should Teach

Today when I opened my Facebook page I noticed a video that one of my “friend” posted. It is called What most school don’t teach. I was attracted by the FACE-book of Zuckerberg and the face of Mr. Gates on the cover of that video. I was like with a title like that and people known as them it kind a caught my curiosity. I watched it and I realized that they were right about what this video was about. What this video was about you would ask? It was about teaching to students how to code what they use at least each day. Yes coding! The mystery behind web pages!

I actually tried it myself. Yes I did codes before maybe some of you did to. I taught it was fun to do and especially the part when I had to try it on a web page to see if it was working. That was the most exciting part. Obviously at the beginning I was frustrated because nothing was working. The block I wanted to put at the top corner of my page ended at the complete opposite. The color I wanted my text to be, ended up not being the one that I chose. So much fun, I swear! Seriously, I maybe had a hard time but after a few shots I got better and it was pleasant to do. I learned it in a school context in a programming course in my previous degree. Had it not been that course I would have never touched codes. In the education system where technology is expanding, I think it might be necessary to start to teach students the basic of what is technology.

Integrating lessons on how to code in the school system can only goes with the desire to add technology in the education system. It is something concrete that students can achieve. There are programs that exist to teach students basic knowledge about how to code. One of them that I found on the net is called Alice. It is a program that allows the user to make a character moves the way that the user wants it. Teachers could use that software to build a lesson to their students and start to teach them how to create web pages. They can use programs already on the web to help them to create their lesson or they can build them up themselves.

It will not be tomorrow that the implementation of the teaching of how to code in school will be achieved. School system has to integrate technology in mostly all of the aspect of learning before to think about programming. In a couple of years when (I hope) computers will be the tools of the students then we will be able to teach them how to do web pages. The video presented by Mr. Zuckerberg could be seen as a reflexion that teachers and students could have about the idea of the integration of the teaching of how to code in school. It is a good question that needs to be analysed. To do so and learn more about teaching how to code you can visit code.org. As a future teacher I can be the one who will show one of my students how to design web pages. This student could be the next Mark Zuckerberg. That is the kind of modesty that you get after designing your own web pages!:)

Use of Facebook in the Classroom

The first article I read about the use of Facebook in class was about the way to use it without really using it. The author was describing activities that a teacher could do using the interface of Facebook and how to integrate it in project at school. The author says that it is a way to keep the students motivated to do the tasks they have to do, but really? How could you really get them interested on their projects using a representation of what they use at least two hours per day back at home? Students have to use the real thing to be motivated and there is a lot of ways teachers can use Facebook to get students interested.

Some teachers must think that Facebook is useless, it is for personal use only and it should be outcast of a scholar environment, but they are wrong. This social media is a useful tool for education. In the article a 100 ways you should be using Facebook in your classroom, the author describes ways in which teachers can use Facebook for their classes. By creating a class group on Facebook with all the students in it, it gets easier for teachers to send them requests or course notes that the students will need. Teachers can even share video or link sites relate to class subjects. Students of these days are more comfortable to use Facebook to stay in touch with people than any other social media or e-mail addresses. It is the easiest way to reach the student and to deliver a message that needs to be heard by everyone.

Facebook can be seen as being a way to evaluate the participation of the students. The one who does not participate in class because they are shy, they do on Facebook. They can express themselves and ask questions on the class’s group and every student can exchange on that. The teacher can also evaluate their writing too. I think it enhances the collaborative learning aspect because students are more confident to respond online with a medium such as Facebook rather than in a classroom environment where they have to do it in front of the whole class.

One thing a teacher should always have in mind when using Facebook in class is that it is for class purpose only. The teacher has to set rules concerning the utilization of the Facebook group. The students must follow those rules set by the teacher. An example of what the teacher could set as a rule: “Student must not post anything personal on that group or any inappropriate pictures of them”. It must be professional. It is a good way to initiate the students to be careful on what they put on Facebook. The teacher has to make the group private using the Facebook settings. Click on that link and it will explain how to do it.

That we like it or not, Facebook is everywhere. Why do not we use it as a tool in class instead of presuming that we use it? Certain teachers already adapt their classes to use this tool and others will follow this path. The only thing that I wish for is that most of the teachers acknowledge the fact that Facebook has an educational purpose. That way we can evolve with our students into their virtual world. Using the tools that they work with each day it is only common sense for me. I will definitely use it in my classroom as a teacher.

sources

http://www.emergingedtech.com/2010/08/facebook-as-an-instructional-technology-tool/

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/igeneration/ways-to-use-facebook-effectively-in-class/15269

http://teacherstraining.com.au/how-to-use-facebook-in-the-classroom-without-compromising-your-professional-relationship-with-your-students/

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