My name is Jackasha-Janaee Wiley. I have a Masters of Education with a social studies certification from Rutgers University Graduate School of Education. I have a Bachelors of Art in History and Women and Gender Studies. I am currectly teaching two Social Science classes for the Rutgers Upward Bound program. I am looking forward to becoming a social studies teacher in an urban school district that is very warm and friendly with goals of educating their students to become successful professionals through student and educator mentorship to ensure further growth and development.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What is technology's position in the classroom?

My personal reflections on the Education Debate
Yes, I believe technology should be incorporated into the classroom to promote academic engagement and success. I think it is very important to reach out to all students by any means necessary.  During my student teaching and substitute positions, I incorporate technology, especially multimedia, as often as possible. At the same time, I find technology in the classroom to be a major concern of many educators with regard to excluding those who may not have access to it, or may not be able to use it (North Central Regional Educational Laboratory: Technology in Education Articles). Regardless of what research may indicate concerning positive effects of technology on student learning, technology will be of limited use in achieving the goals of NCLB if is not available to all students. Most technology present in students are only accessible to particular students like those in Honors or other advanced classes. That doesn’t allow all student access.  Midway through my student teaching, my cooperating received a new multimedia process system that was connected to his whiteboard. We were all excited about possibly being able to use it. Unfortunately, we were told that they cannot be used until the next academic school year.  That doesn’t allow student access. My school is filled with students who come from financially disadvantaged backgrounds that receive limited access to various forms of media and technology (at home) shouldn’t they receive what is lacked at school? (eSchool News, 2005a). What about achieving the goals of NCLB?

Statistics show that schools serving students living in poverty tend to use technology for more traditional memory-based and remedial activities, while schools serving wealthier communities are more likely to focus on communication and expression.  In the urban school, technology is being used as an "reinforcement of skills" and "remediation of skills," while in suburban schools, technology is used to "analyze information" and "present information to an audience" (Becker, 2000b). In our urban schools, we must redirect our primary focus for incorporating technology in our curriculums in similar ways as our counter parts in order to close the achievement gap.
Overall, I believe that today’s classrooms, media and technology are replacing the original instructional basis of many teachers’ curriculum. As a history teacher, my primary goal in the classroom is to encourage historical thinking by examining the World and American histories. Unfortunately, this is often seen as a difficult task when my students have negative encounters with history (which is often perceived as boring) because of the different interpretations displayed in the media and the standard textbooks. I feel that we must “look beyond [to find various] learning strategies that address the needs of the learners in [our] classrooms” (Stewart & Brendefur 2005, pg. 1). We must instruct our students in “way[s] that facilitate performance of the tasks necessary for [historical] success” (pg. 1). As educators, it is very important for us to change our students’ perspectives and perceptions of history being irrelevant and uninteresting. History classes should not fall short but provide students with the ability to approach historical accounts critically so they can accurately understand the past and the affects that it still has on present day. As we create lesson plans, we cannot “fail to capture [our students] understandings or modes of engagements” (Rubin 2005).  It is very important for students to develop the skills of historical empathy and perspectives so that they are able to see that there is a world and life outside of their respective town. Students must be given the opportunity to discover the difference and embrace it by expressing themselves through writing. We must successfully give our students a “direct window into what the past looked like, felt like, and what it meant” so they can better understand what was going on (Seixas & Peck, 2004 pg. 109).

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Post Bday Thoughts-Sry for the Delay

I remember taking a Measurement and Assessments class we had to create a unit that incorporated technology, information, and other tools into the curriculum by using critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.

I created an American  History unit that I evaluated the impact of the constitution and Bill of Rights on current day issues. As well as analyze the effectiveness of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendment to the United States from multiple perspectives. This unit also provided students with the opportunity to incorporate active citizenship activities for the 21st Century. The students (hopefully) acquired the necessary skills to become active and informed citizens  value diversity and promote cultural understanding by working collaboratively that to address challenges that are inherent in living an interconnected world.All students will acquire the skills needed to be active, informed citizens who value diversity and promote cultural understanding by working collaboratively to address challenges that are inherent in living an interconnected world.

Performance Assessment- Collect various assignments that have been completed throughout the marking period. The assignments will demonstrate “activeness” and promotional skills of diversity around the world.
Performance Assessment- Identify a problem and conduct research and present the information. Ex. Student Action Project
Part 6