Where on the map?

 

iowa

As we learned this week in our online modules, the traditional classroom is changing.  The industrial model seen in most United States’ schools may not be gone quite yet, but there are options.  High school students living in rural Iowa are now being offered Advanced Placement (AP) courses that would have been inaccessible if not for a new online program offered through the University of Iowa.  This program offers free AP courses to students whose high school does not offer such courses.  Rather than miss out on the AP experience, students can log onto and participate in high rigor online courses that will prepare them for college. Talk about leveling the playing field for our rural kids! www.nationaljournal.com/next-america/education/how-online-learning-can-close-the-ap-participation-gap-20150127<http://www.nationaljournal.com/next-america/education/how-online-learning-can-close-the-ap-participation-gap-20150127>

 

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Stop Cyberbullying! There’s an app for that?

cyber bully

The playground bully that once tormented children at school has evolved.  Thanks to social media, bullies can find their target anywhere.  One actor, Quinton Aaron, is working to put a stop to cyberbullying.  He and a designer have created an app that parents can use to monitor their children’s social media accounts.  The app sends special alerts when key phrases are used in online messaging.  It acts as a buffer, never letting nasty comments post to a child’s account.  If you’re interested in finding out more about this app, take a look at http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/local/2015/01/22/the-blind-side-actor-fights-cyber-bullying-with-new-app/22178851/ .

Watch out for that tree! I mean sign.

george-oldx

This weekend I had the pleasure of accompanying my daughter to a rather large sports competition.  All the teams were well versed in stunting, tumbling, cheering, and dancing. The level of athleticism amazes me every time.  That’s why I found it so interesting to watch a young girl (around 15 I think) walk directly into a sign.  You guessed it, she was busy texting.  I am sure she could do back handsprings right down the block and yet I watched her walk into a sign and fall flat on her back.  Don’t worry, she never dropped the phone.  In fact, she popped back up with ease.

I also love my technology, but please put the device down while you are walking, running, riding, or driving.  It’s just not worth it.

Where’s My Floppy?

8-inch-floppy

 

Reading the text Educational Leadership and Planning for Technology by Anthony Picciano (2010), was like walking down technology memory lane.  Picciano’s text reminds us of how much technology in education has evolved.  We no longer think of joysticks and floppy disks as cutting edge technology.  In fact, my children will never even know the excitement of sharing a giant Apple computer once a week while playing “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?”, but that is progress.

I could have never imagined that I would give up my overhead projector for a document camera.  I would never have even guessed that my students would have personal devices.  All of these changes are good.  They are exciting.  They are creating opportunities for change.  As educators, we need to support this change.  We need to allow teachers to take risks and learn along with their students.  This is how we can change the classroom today.  This is how we can ensure our students are college and career ready.  For glimpse at technology of yesteryear visit http://www.edudemic.com/visual-history-classroom-technology/ .

What’s Your Password?

 

cyberbully

Bullying is an issue that has plagued schools for years, but these days bullying doesn’t end when the students leave campus.  Bullying can occur 24 hours a day with social media.  Cyberbullying has allowed bullies to continue their negative behavior outside of school and their victims unable to escape the situation.  Illinois has recently passed legislation that holds all bullying to the same standard for punishment (http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/01/22/3614168/illinois-schools-cyberbullying/ ).  Some schools are informing parents that students will be asked to allow school personnel access to their social media passwords and accounts if they are suspected of cyberbullying. Although I agree with the premise, I am afraid that this may be going too far.  What’s your take on student privacy?

The Blog

Blogging….. I find it uncomfortable. I don’t like it.  It’s putting myself out there a little farther than I prefer.  It feels a bit like talking politics or religion at the Thanksgiving dinner table while in the company of my in-laws.  There is this underlying concern that I may offend someone with my opinion or perspective on a topic.  To say that these assignments will stretch me is an understatement.

While researching what makes a good blog and how to write a successful blog, I came across a blog with some suggestions.  It’s called the minimalist. (http://www.theminimalists.com/blog/) They give 20 different suggestions for writing a successful blog.  Among many useful tips, they suggest to be transparent, honest, and to find your voice.  I can work on all three of these areas.  Who knows maybe it will become second nature. At least I can feel confident that I will have 15 followers.  I look forward to hearing from you Stockton cohort.  Let the blogging begin!

A little bit about me….

Let me introduce myself. My name is Suzanne Devitt and I have been in education for over 18 years. I have earned a Master’s Degree in Education and am currently working towards a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership. I have taught kindergarten through adult learners and have spent the last few years in curriculum and professional development. I have enjoyed every stop along the way, but most definitely find my passion in early childhood education.

This blog is intended to be an informal conversation about early learning opportunities for both classroom teachers and caregivers. You might be wondering about the peculiar title. Why would someone choose to pair learning and laundry? The answer is simple. Learning can happen and should happen everywhere. Parents and caregivers remain the most important influence in a child’s life and can set them up for long term success. Whether doing laundry or sitting in a classroom, learning can take place. Never miss an opportunity! Also, in my world…..learning and laundry are the only things that are never ever finished.