Teaching Screenagers

Teaching Screenagers
My life in the fastlane

Friday, February 18, 2011

Teaching Screenagers

 This is my new term of the month:


A term that combines two words to describe "teenagers who are online" and who are "always looking at the screen."
Also defined as: "wired teens or the much sought after marketing demographic of 18-24 year olds who grew up in front of a TV/computer screen."
See also : generation Y  mouse potato  

The cover of Educational Leadership 
http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership.aspxboasts  dedicates a full issue of their magazine dedicated to this concept. As I become more and more engrossed in this iPod adventure, I am quickly coming to realize these are difficult waters to navigate. Each day I evaluate not only who I am teaching, what I am asking them to accomplish, but how will technology enhance or deviate from my objectives for the day?

Daily I am inundated with articles about technology in the classroom. Here are links to just a few of the articles that appeared in my inbox this week.

Does Facebook inspire us or stress us?  Read each of these and decide for yourself.

Stressed out by Facebook? Study shows some users experience anxiety

 How schools should use social media to communicate


Is technology expanding or lacking in our countries rural areas?

Digital divide persists as Obama reaches out to tech leaders on innovation, education

Rural districts use technology to expand distance learning
Do we push forward in technology creating 1 to 1 schools or do budget restraints make that impossible?

Report sounds warning bell on implementing education reforms
An iPad for Every Student; Now What?

  What is our role as teachers of social justice and digital citizens? Oh, and by the way while we are at it, lets make sure we cover every standard emphasized on the California STAR assessment. Keep on pace, but innovate, that is the message of the day. And most days I think we do that pretty well.

As the CST looms over the next few months, I am coming to realize more and more that the children I teach and interact with each day are so much more than a single test score. Being part of this project has forced me to put my lessons under an entirely new lens. So the next obvious step, is when will the assessment we use to judge the success of our students match this innovation in instruction? If we put the world in their hands as a resource, and take it all away when we assess on paper and pencil, is that really an accurate reflection on what we have learned together this year?

So one answer is to have multiple assessments. Not wanting to wait for the next big thing to be created, our class has decided to create our own reflection/evaluation.
Each student will still take the  California STAR assessment, however, they will also create a digital portfolio, highlighting some of their best creative work this year. What that looks like remains to be seen, but I am sure I can find some ideas on line! 

Another interesting article and website

Closing the Achievement Gap Without Widening a Racial One - California Teachers Association

http://sdawp.ucsd.edu/  San Diego Area Writing Project

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