My mind has been obsessively occupied this week with the special children at the inner city elementary school where I substitute teach. Outside of my own children there is nothing on Earth that brings me that much pure joy. It's impossible not to want to hug em all with the biggest most genuine squeeze possible. It's oh so refreshing knowing that their time with me today may be the only peaceful time they'll have. It's likewise so poignant knowing that I may just be the only adult to sit down in a non-threatening way to enjoy a wholesome meal with them just talking about random things. The teachers all said to me "You ate lunch with the kids?", to which I replied "is there anything else?".
These kids are what pushes me to learn everything I can to help them achieve realistic goals for themselves. To that extent this week was very technologically enlightening. Most school districts today have acceptable use policies in place for students and staff. I believe it is incredibly important to establish a framework in these policies giving boundaries without trapping students and staff in creativity. I have found that students quickly learned how to develop proxies that allow them to circumvent the policies. I almost believe it may be an impossible task to create a totally inclusive policy. I do believe that staff members would be wise to embrace the technological creativity of students and assign them to a task force for developing policies that make the most of the technology available to students. We have begun to do this at our local high school where we have a "tech on" and "tech off" policy. When the signs are posted in classrooms students may engage their cellphones, etc. only for academic purposes. Every morning, in an attempt to get the students to unwind and get ready for class we have an ACT practice question where the students can text in their answers. We follow the progress with a poll and students can earn something from the bookstore depending on their results. Once the "tech off" sign goes up, all technology must be put away. Headphones in all colors have become the latest must have accessory. Most students aren't listening to them but just want them to adorn their outfit and to be stylish in a non-threatening way.
Our lessons on online communication tools was very enlightening. I am enjoying the blogging process so much. Even more interested in online communication has been my husband and I jointly. We have now developed an avid interest in Glogging. We surveyed a website at www.glogster.com. Wow! We were overwhelmed. We immediately began playing around and now we are insanely hooked. I have recently become so enthralled in new technological adventures that I just may not have time for anything else. The glogging website allows one to go beyond the threshold of artistic creativity and allows you to create a poster of your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and/or expressions. That is truly freedom of speech. I cannot wait to use this to express what I am learning as I engage with exceptional children teaching them abstract concepts such as sacramental preparation, grace, and the Holy Spirit. It will be very interesting for me to put together a poster image of those feelings.
The topic of visual literacy loomed large this week. Visual literacy is a wonderful tool. I can find so many practical uses for presenting things to students using visual images. This can be very tricky with upper middle and high school students. It is very important that you incorporate projects and images that fit the lesson plan or you may lose students. There are so many practical uses for visual technology with students. This is a must do.
The week has finally culminated in my blog. I want to share with you how I spent my weekend. I was able to deliver my 19 year old daughter her third brand new car. She is so spoiled. I love doing it though. She's a great kid and she deserves it. Funny thing is that I was able to help her program her touch screen computer radio system. It has a speech to text and text to speech feature. What I learned over the past couple of weeks sure came in handy. Here are pictures for you to peek at.
I am so glad that you were a part of my week this week too. Have an awesome week.
Peace and blessings, Miss Bee
All Rights Reserved ©, Please Request Permission To Duplicate. Belinda Harrett, University of the Cumberlands.