Guilty…. I use Google often!

Google is something that has become normalized and used often in today’s society.   I am definitely guilty for using Google on a daily basis, not only for research and learning purposes but as a source of communication as well. I am a physical education specialist and was hired as that 6 years ago, however along the way I have incorporated some kindergarten and health into my teaching. I am not going to lie but during those times when I was stuck in an unfamiliar place and seeking assistance, resources and ideas Google was definitely one of my best friends. I had a question box in my health class and often time’s students would ask questions where I’d have a hard time wording it in terms that students would understand and sure enough my trusty friend Google was always there to help and support me. The debate presented in this week’s class really could have gone either way, like many things that involve technology I think our main concern is everything needs to be in moderation. I am all for supporting the use of Google, however it is essential that we teach students how to be digital citizens and use the technology wisely and effectively. Once we have presented guidelines and work in moderation I think that being able to Google factual information with credible sources is actually a skill.

The article “How Google impacts the way students think” suggests that if people who are using Google can search for answers then their questions likely aren’t worthy. This statement was frustrating to me because there are often times where I tell my students “If I don’t know the answer I will find it for you” and I often will google their questions. In saying that I don’t think there is ever a terrible question, however there may be terrible answers. Google doesn’t necessarily provide us with all credible sources therefore it is crucial to find credible sources that provide research/resources to support your question. This article also states that once something is Googled the “assignment” is likely finished or are ready to continue googling because that is much easier than thinking. I do believe when we are using Google your brain is working, you may not be thinking of the answers yourself however we are doing the work of going through the resources, picking out credible sources and rewording or taking that information to somehow fit it into what we are doing. I do believe that there is a valuable amount of learning that does go on with the use of google and once again moderation is key and there is a time and a place for everything!

The next resource that the group offered that I decided to dive into was “How the internet is changing your brain” . This video was actually quite intriguing and informational. There has been research suggesting that college students remembered less information when they were able to access it later. The research makes sense, there is no need to memorize information if you are going to be able to access it later. I know the debate would begin here, with the importance of memorizing information etc. The debaters actually brought up memorizing phone numbers rather than keeping them stored in our phone for later use. To be honest, I know my parent’s house phone number (not their cell phones) and my husband’s cell phone number and that is it. I am guilty of relying on technology (aka my cell phone) for the storage of my friends and families phone numbers. Is it really of great importance that I know their numbers off by heart? I know two of the most important numbers by heart and if I were ever in the case of an emergency I would call those numbers first. I am saying all of this from the perspective of an adult, I do however think it is of great importance for children/students to know emergency phone numbers, their name, their address etc. I think it comes down to as an adult I am better able to make safe decisions that will not put me in jeopardy, whereas children sometimes do not have this ability yet and could be put into a situation where they may need to know this pertinent information. This article also discusses how our brains do what we train them to do, once we open a browser our brain automatically prepares to skim rather than learn. This is reality however, are we able to take the information we are skimming and learn something from that in other ways, by thinking deeper and more critically about a specific topic. Is there a way we can un train our brains to skim and dive into internet browsers with full learning capacity? I don’t know the answers, however it would be an interesting topic of research and discussion. I am a huge advocate for finding ways to connect the curriculum to the lives and experiences of our students. This video suggests that we need to spend less time on factual memorization and more time making these connections for our students. I totally agree, I think students gain a great deal and have a more valuable learning experience when they are able to experience it and make connections with their learning and their real life. I often find ways in my own teaching or try to provide learning experiences where students can think critically and make connections between school content and real life, this is essential when we talk about building lifelong learners.

Luke made a great analogy in their debate. He was discussing Google vs. experience. He talked about someone going in for a routine surgery and how comfortable you would be with your surgeon if one said “I’ve Googled this, I know how to do it.” Vs. another that said “I’ve done this a ton of times before, I know how to do it.” After he provided us with this analogy I would much rather have the surgeon who has experienced hands on surgery vs. someone who has Googled it but has never experienced the actual surgery before. This was a great way to put Google vs. experience into perspective, thank you Luke!

I looked over one of the resources provided by the other group and this resource has several reasons as to why memorization would enhance learning and would be more beneficial to our students. The article suggested that once you memorize information it is always with you, you don’t have to rely on sources to look up information. This is true in some aspects, however I do feel as you move through life there are things that you eventually lose. When I was younger I had all my friends phone numbers, addresses, etc. memorized but just because I memorized it then doesn’t mean it is still with me. This is true with any information, I have memorized things for tests simply for the purpose of the test but now if I were to dip back into my brain somewhere I would remember reading or learning about it but wouldn’t be able to pull out general facts or things that I had memorized at the time. I do believe that memorization is a skill and the learning/memorizing needs to be continuous in order to keep these things with use throughout our lifetime. This article also suggested that memorization is exercise for the brain, it trains our brain to develop learning with enhances our learning in the future. Like I said before I think there is a time and a place for everything and memorization would also fall under this category. In order for us to teach our students to think critically, problem solve, and be successful citizens I think we need to combine memorization, curriculum and life experiences and this will provide opportunities for our students to be engaged citizens in and out of schools.

Both groups did an excellent job of providing valid points to support their arguments. It made voting for the winner of this debate really challenging as there were points of the debate where I’d find myself swaying towards one side then the other group would bring up a great point and I’d be swayed the other way. I don’t’ think there is a concrete answer or conclusion to this debate, I do believe it will be an ongoing debate for years to come, however I don’t think Google is going anywhere in the near future so I think if our students are going to be using technology and google is a part of that why not use it to our advantage and incorporate it into our teaching….. in moderation!

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Does technology enhance student learning from a physical education perspective

Whether or not technology enhances students learning will be a topic of debate for many years. There are many teachers that feel strongly about technology and positive student’s learning/engagement. However, there are some teachers who feel technology is more of a distraction rather than a tool to enhance learning.  Many teachers like me are on the fence; I believe that technology use can benefit student learning but it can also be a distraction for many.  Technology can be a useful tool when used in the right setting and when rules and guidelines are followed by all.

Ashley discusses a very good topic in her blog this week.  She discusses how we use technology to benefit our students and enhance learning rather than using it for the sake of using it.  This is a very good discussion topic.  I think many teachers use technology today because it’s available to them. However, are we using it in a way that students are learning and being engaged?  There have been many times throughout my teaching that I have incorporated the use of computers, was I doing this because it was of value to my lesson, the students learning and engagement?  Honesty, I admit that it wasn’t, it was easier for me to throw them all on their own computers and let them work rather than have to figure out a more creative, engaging, fun way to teach what I had to teach that day.  As a physical education teacher I have moved away from using technology in my classroom.  I have been neglectful of technology because firstly I personally am not a technology expert and I wouldn’t have much to offer my students.  Secondly, I don’t know if they (as in admin) would allow technology to be taken from classroom use to be used in the gymnasium classroom.  Lastly, physical education periods are short and I as a physical education advocate try to get my kids active for the full time they are in the gym. This way I know they are spending the required amount of active minutes each day being active.  Students often spend other portions of their day on technology or involved with technology and I want to make a point that their own health/well-being is equally as important as technology use in and out of the classroom.  Ashley also discuses having consistent expectations and I think as anything in life if you want students to be successful you have to have clear expectations and everyone needs to be consistent and on the same page.  If we as a staff aren’t working together, it makes the incorporation of technology in our classrooms and in our school more difficult.  Speaking from personal experience I find it very difficult to enforce rules within our school that evolve around technology.  We have a hat rule at our school, hats are not to be worn inside the school.  When a student is wearing a hat we kindly ask them to remove it, same goes for the use of cell phone devices, and they are not to be used at school so we kindly ask them to put it away or it goes to the office.  Just like the hat rule, the cell phone rule is hard to enforce as not everyone is consistent.  Some teachers turn their head and don’t make a point of bringing either up as it is a battle they don’t want to fight. However this makes things difficult when we are not being consistent and working/supporting one another.

Tayler addresses a valid point in her blog when she says not only does technology enhance student learning but does it enhance our teaching as well? Honestly I have never thought of this before until tonight.  Again, I admit I have been a failure at incorporating technology into the gymnasium, however I decided to do a little research to see what others have done in their physical education classes and how they have incorporated technology.  The first resource I found was actually a blog (how cool, technology talking about how to use technology) mind blowing for me!! The blog talks about capturing footage on an app and eventually being able to put it on Edmodo.  (Edmodo, something I learned in via twitter in our Thursday night ed chat session is a way of developing your professional learning network).  Students would be able to capture footage and analyze their footage.  Students would actually be able to see how they are doing things, or where they need to make changes/adjustments rather than always hearing it from me.  This learning tool would be valuable in a physical education class and would benefit/enhance the learning of many of my students.  The second resource that I focused on was mainly a site providing suggestions for apps that would be beneficial to student learning in the gymnasium.  This was great as many of my older students have their own cell phones. If we could download apps and somehow incorporate their phones into the gymnasium, then we would avoid always having the battle of “put your cell phones away you are not supposed to be using them at school”.  I think students would be eager and engaged especially if we were using their own technology tool in our classrooms.

Steve and I were thinking alike in regards to funds being spent on technology rather than on educational technology training.  Like anything, in order to use something proficiently it is essential that we train ourselves on how to use it best in our classrooms to enhance student learning and our own teaching.  I would be less hesitant to incorporate technology into my classroom if someone had provided me with training, tools and resources on how to use this in my classroom to benefit my students and aid in my teaching.

Andres does a phenomenal job of creating a real life situation for all of us.  I think we have all been in a situation where our lesson revolved around technology and somehow that day there was no internet connection or students couldn’t get logged on for whatever reason.  Then what?? I know we are supposed to have extra stuff planned just in case, but seriously who plans an extra hour? I for sure thought that project/outcomes were going to take at least three classes! The struggle is real for many and I think like anything technology will have hiccups along the way however we all have made it out alive and continue to move forward.

A few topics I pulled out from the debate that resonated with me were affordability, and is technology more of a distraction than it is a learning tool. Affordability is huge, not every school/division has access to the funds to be able to support an environment where technology is readily available.  In this case how do we use technology to enhance the learning of some but not all?  Is technology more of a distraction than it is a useful learning tool? I think this statement is unanswerable, however the article “Don’t give students more tools of mass distraction” would argue that.  This article suggests that students who used lap tops posed a distraction to themselves and others.  They also suggest that students who text message during class were less likely to be able to complete simple tasks. If everyone is using technology, teachers are consistent, we are following rules and guidelines, is it really a distraction or is it a useful learning tool?

It is hard finding people who are equally as passionate about physical education as I am. However this individual is equally as passionate about not only physical education but the incorporation of physical education into our physical education classes. Most physical education classes use music (this is a source of technology) however there are many other forms of technology that we can use within our classroom to enhance student learning.  Through research she suggests that technology motivates student learning, some ways in which we can incorporate technology into our physical education classes are: music, pedometers, video assessment, you tube (online demos), apps (coach’s eye).  These are all great ideas some of which I have already used and some that I plan to use in the future!

Overall I think anything technology can have both positive and negative impacts on our student learning and our teaching.  It is our job as professionals to determine why we are using it and how it is going to benefit our students and/or our lesson we are trying to teach.  If we all work together and collaborate I think technology will make headway in the future and I hope to be a part of that experience.

 

Technology tests my patience

#9…. I can do that, I mean I am doing that!!!

This is nothing new to me, I have never really been good with technology is the past.  I have been playing around with and figuring out this blogging thing, however over the past two days there have been several times I felt like throwing my computer at the wall. This class will be a challenge for me however I am determined to come out of it successful. I was very fortunate that we were able to meet in person for the first class to figure out most of the details, this was helpful as I have never taken an online class and am hesitant and nervous when it comes to the use of technology.

I was able to meet with my Ed Tech debate group  this weekend and they have already introduced me to new ways of teaching and learning when it comes to technology.  Please bear with me as I work my way through this whole technology thing, if you have any positive insight, tips or tricks that you’d like to share I always welcome them.  Hope you are all having a great weekend, look forward to chatting with you on Tuesday!

Me, Myself and I

Hi everyone,

My name is Jayme-Lee Lazorko.  I am a physical education specialist at Elsie Mironuck School.  This really has been my dream job, I have been in this position for the past five years and have enjoyed growing personally and professionally.  This technology stuff is all new to me.  I can say I am nervous and excited to learn ways in which I can incorporate my learning from this class into my everyday life as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher. I am very excited to start the blogging process professionally and hopefully once I get the hang of it I can continue to use it for personal adventures as well. I look forward to working and learning with all of you!