Learning a second language

1. Bilingual teachers are available, but budget constraints make it difficult for schools to hire them primarily to teach a language class. To make it easier for the budget, they need to hire for example a math teacher who is also bilingual and certified to teach a language class, therefore splitting the classes up. This of course however, would have to result in higher pay for that teacher. The Rosetta Stone has been credited the easiest and fastest way to learn a language, however that program costs about $700 and schools cannot afford a program for each individual student. However, buying this program for a single (already employed by the district) teacher, and paying to have them certified could be a better option for the schools. The translators online are not very helpful and can’t identify slang and most prepositions.

2. The best thing a teacher can do to feel helpful to their students who speak another language is to do a homework activity where the parents (who hopefully speak some English) can write down where they come from and their culture so the teacher can do some research to change their teaching style for that student. Many of these students find it hard to make friends, but if there is a student who speaks the same language it may be easier for the teacher to communicate with both of them and the two students can do activities at home together.

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Issues

1. In her article, Wohlwend says schools are “clamping down” in regards to being open-minded about bringing new technologies into the classroom. She means that schools are often scared to reinvent their entire learning plan around new literacies that may or may not be helpful to the students. However, if the school never “ramps up” in the use of these new literacies they could face falling behind in new learning styles. This may include using devices or practices that currently the school policy deems as inappropriate. The most legitimate reasoning for this happening is the increased use of cheating, and what is most terrifying, grade inflation. Cell phones and computers during a test time do in fact increase the likelihood of students cheating. To “ramp up” the schools need to take risks in implementing new policies, if they don’t work, they can simply change the rules back to what they were. However some parents will disagree and feel that this is not beneficial for their child. The school has to be ready to explain their intentions and goals. Here are some articles regarding schools “clamping down”.

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/article/445871

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/june01/2001-06-11-cheaters-sidebar.htm

 

2.  I feel that traditional reading and writing literacy is more important than digital literacy. This goes the same for learning mathematical problems by hand rather than by calculator, when it comes time for a standardized test and those items are not available the student will feel lost. This same thing happened to me, my middle school teachers taught us by calculator claiming that in high school we need to know this stuff, when in reality using that calculator landed me in remedial math classes until I could get the “working out the problem” down. If word is always “spellchecking” your sentences and spellings, what will the student ever learn? When an essay needs to be hand written and turned in the student will do poorly. Law makers should first consider standardized tests and the limited use of technology (the calculator to be exact) to work out the problems. Creative writing shouldn’t be titled “creative” if google is giving the students ideas to write about.

The role of the Internet

1.  Learning at a distance

Pros                                                  

a) Learning in your preferred environment

b) picking any time to learn the lecture

c) assignments are usually due by midnight

Cons

a) if you don’t understand a topic, you must email the professor, then wait for his response in written format, sometimes the tone an answer is said in can assist in its explanation

b) it is easy to forget about it, as attendance isn’t necessarily taken

c) the depth of remembrance of what you have learned when the class ends

 

Learning in a physical location

Pros

a) one on one instruction

b) if you do not show up, your attendance and grades suffer – forcing you to attend class

c) it is easier to ask questions and get an immediate answer – from peers or the instructor

d) when taking a test, it is nearly impossible to pass it off as someone else’s answers

Cons

a) time must be made and cut from your schedule to attend class

b) assignments are due as soon as you walk in class

c) many times if a lecture is missed, the only thing you can obtain is a classmates notes

I agree with Bill Gates prediction that place-based activity in college will be five times less important than it is today. I believe that this revolves around the convenience of online classes. Many students, such as myself, do not have the opportunity to live at home and have their parents pay their tuition.  This means that the student must juggle a full time job and being a full time student. It is very difficult to work a 40 hour week and find the motivation and time to drive to school and sit in class for two hours. Employers do not know whether these hours were in class or online, therefore the credits hold the same value. I believe that physical instruction is necessary for K-12 students. There is so much to learn in those early years and these children need direct instruction from educated professionals. As much as parents want to believe they know everything to help their child, it is best for them to attend school. This also builds their socialization skills. If attending school in high school was not required, nearly half of the students would not graduate.

 

2. The only role that I can see Facebook playing in education is the ability to have discussions with classmates on assignments, projects, etc. The last thing that parents, or even teachers, should want is the child to spend more time on Facebook. There are way too many distractions. I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve changed tabs from this blog to my Facebook page, putting me at least 20 minutes behind each time I do it. Facebook is available on phones, tablets, computers, iPods, etc. making it easier to students to cheat.

 

Learning Styles

To adapt to every student’s ideal way of learning is a seemingly impossible task. Hands on activities do not work for students who learn primarily based off of lectures and vice versa. Teachers should instead try to put their own learning style into the presentation of the material, but allow the student to execute and practice the material in their own way. Not saying to rid of homework assignments completely – but maybe give the students several options of assignments to hand in. Can a science genius shine if there are no hands on experiments in class to test? Challenging the students to attempt these different learning styles may also allow them to realize that one way is much more effective than he or she had thought.

It’s crazy that in a system that is meant to teach and help the youth there is no voice from the youth at all

– The Independent Project

The Independent Project, an idea formed by a high school student, is a project where students created their own learning materials and taught themselves and each other and teachers were just mere mentors. It is an inspiring and what I believe is very interesting as other schools have since adopted this idea.

Beyond the Basics

1.  What case can you make for keeping software tools such as test generators and worksheet generators in the classroom?

– Even though test generators can be viewed as “a way out” often times these questions are more advanced than those provided by the textbook. Time plays a large role in accomplishing things. With an advanced test generator, the teacher can save themselves hours by not having to hand write, then type, and copy tests to distribute. By saving time on creating tests the teacher now has more time to focus on the lesson itself.

2. What are the main points raised by critics about online and on-computer testing systems? How would you address them?

– Critics say that there is a large score difference in online versus pencil and paper tests.  In paper tests the writer is able to underline, cross out, and work out word or mathematical problems whereas this is not available online. On paper tests it is also much easier to skip problems or go back to look at a previous one, where online only one problem at a time can be viewed. A large problem with online testing is the truth in who is actually taking that test behind the computer screen. Students living in or slightly above the poverty line are unlikely to own or have access to a computer.

These problems can be resolved by making it a requirement that if the tests are going to be continuous (such as this course) that the student is required to show up with the others at a specific location once a month to take an exam in person (with ID of course). Access to a public library or community center with computers can be a way for under-privileged students to reach a computer. With online tests I believe there is less bias. Often times on a pencil test the scorer may have a hard time reading the writing which may make them give up altogether on trying to read what the test taker has written. When a scorer sees bad handwriting it creates an automatic bias.

 

3. What is a proper role for language translators in foreign language learning?

– Since a computer can only do basic commands and tasks, it only knows the basics of a language. The best and most useful way a translator can be used to learn a language is learning the basics. Take the language that you do know and try to compare. The use of online dictionaries are also a great way to aid in learning.

Webquest

Viewing and Media Literacy 

Introduction  l  Task  l  Process  l  Evaluation  l  Conclusion

Introduction

This project is to help student’s   understand and analyze media for stereotyping, how media expresses the values   of the culture that created it, and understand how messages vary by time   period.

 

 

Task

  1.   Research   current media across the world
  2.   Create a spreadsheet   on the income vs. content of media
  3.   In the   spreadsheet also include what the primary use of the media is (as this will   vary by culture)
  4.   Pick two very   different cultures and create a timeline of how media has progressed.

Process

  1.   May work in   groups of 2-3
  2.   Use the   following research papers to gather information: http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/samples/cam041/2003069684.pdf

http://www.robertpicard.net/files/econgrowthandadvertising.pdf

  1.   Create a   spreadsheet on income vs. content of media, primary use of media, and create   a timeline of media progression

Evaluation

                                                                                                                       

   

 

   

   

Beginning

   

 

   

1 point

   

   

Satisfactory

   

 

   

2 points

   

   

Accomplished

   

 

   

3 points

   

   

Excellent

   

 

   

4 points

   

   

Points

   

   

Content of Research

   

   

Content displayed is     minimum and does not have much detail about their income or lifestyle

   

   

Content includes at     least two different cultures and has some detail of income and lifestyle

   

   

Content includes two or     three different cultures; income is clearly defined as well as their     lifestyle. Research content touches slightly on the modern day uses

   

   

Content includes at     least three different cultures and describes in great detail their average     income amount, lifestyle, and the primary use of media in modern society

   

   

 

   

   

Spreadsheet

   

   

The spreadsheet lacks     the income per group breakdown and the use of media is not clear.

   

   

The spreadsheet states     average income but does not include all group breakdowns. The use of media     is stated but lacks any further detail.

   

   

The spreadsheet     describes the average income per family, but is missing some detail within     the specific group breakdown. The use of media is stated but is not     specifically clear.

   

   

The spreadsheet has the     average income per family, broken down further by age groups 20 &     under, 20 -40, and 40 & above and clearly defined is the uses of the     media for that group

   

   

 

   

   

Timeline

   

   

Timeline only includes     one culture; there is no compare and contrast.

   

   

Timeline includes two     cultures, but they are somewhat the same, the media progression does not     show much difference between the two.

   

   

Timeline includes two     cultures that are vaguely different and shows media progression that     differs slightly but does show milestone advancements in technology

   

   

Timeline includes two     cultures that are different in almost every aspect. The media progression     is clearly stated and the timeline shows a major difference in the     technological advancements of the cultures throughout time

   

   

 

   

 

 

Conclusion

At the end of this assignment the   students will be able to identify how media differs in cultures and what and   if any aspects of their life revolves around that media use. The student will   be able to identify how income affects a family or/and a community’s ability   to have access to some technologies that others may have. If the media that   this assignment is being read on right now, how would that effect the end   result and finished product of your assignment?