Technology in Education From the Eyes of a Millennial

In school I’ve studied millennials and their technology habits. I’ve researched that we are the most technological generation and all of that. Naturally I understood the limitations and realized that some industries don’t need to be as technologically advanced as others.
Before my education career began, it was common sense to me to integrate as much technology as possible in the classroom.  It is something all the kids are growing up with and are interested in.  And it isn’t going away. It is really less work for you as an educator to grab their attention when it is something you are already interested in.
Anyway, I went through these technology training sessions for teachers – which was great! – except I am the youngest faculty member, and was incredibly bored to the point of clawing my eyeballs out. Since I couldn’t focus on the actual material, because I knew more than what they were presenting, I focused on observing the other faculty members. So I learned: many teachers do not understand the inner workings of a SMART board, or that I-clickers exist or even the tricks of using a computer or user-friendly webpage. NO WONDER WHY THERE IS THIS PUSH FOR TECHNOLOGY AND ENGAGING THE KIDS. Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It was a serious realization. My middle school was one of the testing schools for the SMART board so that thing is like second nature. It is really weird to think that some people don’t know how they work or the advantages of this type of technology. I guess that’s just the millennial in me.

I’m the kid that pulls out a piece technology to look up something that people were wondering mid conversation. Why leave it to later when there is time right now? There is a higher chance you’ll forget about it- plus if you look now, it will give you more time to ponder that idea and ask more questions. Anyway, in my career as a student, I’ve become an EXCELLENT researcher. I can find so many things and I love it. Do you know how many looks I’ve gotten when I’ve pulled out my tablet and begin writing on it? Way too many. I find it extremely convenient and easy and really fun. I also struggle with handwriting notes because of fabulous carpal tunnel. Anyway, it’s also helpful in the classroom. But too many people believe that you as a millennial abuse forms of technology. So if I were to pull out my phone or tablet, people automatically assume I am up to no good until I pull the stylus out and begin writing (I loveeeee the Samsung note series).
image

I guess what I am trying to understand is their possible thoughts. If you are there for the kids and want to help them understand, wouldn’t you do as much as possible to engage them? Engaging them will open the doors to learning. Like learn how to use the technology they are already used to? I mean that even goes way beyond the classroom and teaching. This technology one day will be outdated; hell, the computers, no matter the type, are outdated the minute you purchase them. But, listen, if you learn this technology and become accustomed to it, you should have little to no issue “upgrading” – provided you know how to properly use technology, and there are a lot of other factors that only fellow scientists care about. If you choose to ignore the current technology, you are only going to fall further behind or even “off the planet” for lack of better words. If you cannot keep up with today’s technology, how the hell are you going to survive in tomorrow’s or next year’s? You won’t. That future technology is way more advanced than the technology you are currently skeptical of. To me, I see the benefits of learning all of the new technologies outweighing the cons.
image

It’s all just so interesting to me. I guess I am surprised and perhaps concerned that this topic just connected to the brain.

LZE

Life After College

Well if you ask me: do you feel like a college graduate?

I’ll tell you

no

 

It feels like any other summer after a grueling academic year. My job doesn’t require me to be there until August; perks of the education field. While people think that’s great, I think it’s boring. When something new enters my life, I want to explore it – take advantage of everything it has to offer. There’s nothing new here; I’ve already explored everything it has to offer. It’s the same old town with the same – if not higher – gas prices and the same people. While I love being at home with the family, animals, and friends, it gets boring after a while (and really annoying, but we won’t go there). Everyone talks about the same crap and does what they have always done. Well, no wonder why they complain about adult life being so boring…

I’m ready to move on.

In the process of moving on, I’m moving seven states away from where I currently am (one state from before). It’s exciting and wallet-burning all at the same time. While I am incredulously bored at home, I’m extremely grateful I don’t have to pay stuff right now, and then all the moving costs. But you can argue that those costs would be lower if I lived closer, but then I’d have to buy a lot of new stuff and it just gets complicated after that.

One of the things I have come to miss already in my twenty-five days post graduation are those student discounts. While these savings never really amounted to much, they still helped some how. 10% here, 5% there. IT ADDS UP LIKE PENNIES YOU PICK UP OFF THE STREET. Okay, so maybe not exactly, but it’s still satisfying.

What are you looking forward to most in the coming months? Furnishing my apartment in such a way that doesn’t scare off the boyfriend. I really want to paint my dresser in a girly manner – I mean it is my dresser – and have a lot of cute Pintrest-y things! But I also have a large tye-dye peace tapestry that has all my race bibs attached to it that I absolutely LOVE and well, it’s not being placed in the living room. I’m also looking forward to it just being me, the boyfriend and the cat. It’ll be so nice not to compromise with roommates that are just as fussy as you.

I am also extremely excited to start my teaching career. I’m terrified because I hold teachers to a high standard, and now I’m putting myself in that spot. Do I fit? We’ll see. I’m nervous because this is entirely new to me; I never studied education in school, only went through it for the last seventeen years of my life. I’ll make mistakes, but I also know how to learn from them. I also have a FANTASTIC support system that I know I can lean on if I need to. I’m just nervous because I want to do well, and give the kids what they want from a physics teacher – and no, not having class isn’t going to fly. I promise it will be fun. Do you really think that I would be that boring, old, grey, monotoned physics teacher? hell no. Physics is ten times better than falling asleep in class.

What are you looking forward to the least? Money spent. hahaha that’s pretty much it. Student loans kick in soon after I start getting paid. But it’s nothing budgeting can’t fix! I’m used to not making a lot of money any way. Hellooo, just graduated college. Broke College Student is nothing to mess around with when people pay their own way through college.

 

Those are the top three questions these days.

xo, LZE

What Teachers Make

Because I feel this is necessary. Because I’m angry. Because “You went 9 hours away from here to teach?” Because “Why the hell do you just want to be a teacher? You studied physics! Do something better with your life.” Because this is MY life.

Thank you. Thank you for thinking that I can’t do it. Thank you for thinking that education is some low life thing. Thank you for pointing out that you will probably make more money than me. I hope you realize that I CAN DO IT & I’ll be great. I hope you realize that without education and your fabulous teachers, you wouldn’t be where you are today. I hope you realize that it’s not about the money, but about what makes you happy – sharing the passion for your subject & helping kids see why you love it. Hoping that one day, regardless if they left your classroom knowing nothing about your subject, that you touched their lives in a positive way.

Watch this: What Teachers Make – Taylor Mali

Any act of poetry is usually better in person, but if you prefer for me to spell it out;

What Teachers Make, or Objection Overruled, or If Things Don’t Work Out, You Can Always Go To Law School

                    by Taylor Mali

He says the problem with teachers is,

What’s a kid going to learn from someone

who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?

He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true

what they say about teachers:

Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue – not his – 

and resist the temptation to remind the other dinner guests

that it’s also true what they saw about lawyers.

Because we’re eating, after all, and this is a polite conversation.

I mean, you’re a teacher Taylor.

Be honest. What do you make?

And I wish he hadn’t done that- 

asked me to be honest-

because, you see, I have a policy

about honesty and ass-kicking:

if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor

and an A- feel like a slap in the face.

How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best?

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall

in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.

No, you make not ask a question.

Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom?

Because you’re bored.

And you don’t really have to go to the bathroom, do you?

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:

Hi. This is Mr. Mali. I hope I haven’t called at a bad time,

I just wanted to talk to you about something your son said today.

To the biggest bully in the grade, he said, “Leave the kid alone.

I still cry sometimes, don’t you?”

And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are

And what they can be.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids wonder,

I make them question.

I make them criticize. 

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them write, write, write,

And then I make them read.

I make them spell

definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful

over and over and over again until they will never misspell

either one of those words again.

I make them show all their work in math,

And hide it on their final drafts in English.

I make them understand that if you got this

then you follow this,

and if someone ever tries to judge you

by what you make, you give them this.

Here, let me break it down for you,

so you know what I say is true:

I make a difference!

Now what about you?

There’s Value in the Struggle

What do you think of this article?

Changes to the SAT

A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook asking for thoughts; so I figured I’d do the same but expand a little more on my own take. 

Thoughts: People have become too reliant on calculators. I am a fan of ‘no calculators’ because they force you think about how to solve the problem rather than just punching in numbers to a device and expecting that answer to be correct. I can see how they will not allow calculators on only part of the math section because in the parts they listed, a calculator is pointless. As for the math and vocab changes, I feel they are lowering the standards because the critical thinking skills of today’s child are moderately low. They have to accommodate for how the child thinks today. This whole SAT change thing really is just a result of the standardization movement, and now they are trying to pick up the pieces of something they’ve profited off of for so long. While I think the changes they are making are fair, I wish this didn’t happen – I wish the standardization movement didn’t happen. It put us much further back than people probably ever thought, and now we’re forced to do things like this so the kid doesn’t have to suffer more than they already have.

With the pace of society, everything is almost given to kids today. Don’t know a word? Go to the dictionary and look it up. Google it. Don’t know where this country is? Look at a map. Google it. Can’t spell? Rely on spell check – because it knows everything. Don’t want to call to order a pizza? FREAKING ORDER IT ONLINE. What the heck people? Have some person to person interaction. Everyone craves it, but no one does it.

Back to what I was trying to get at; We don’t force kids to think for themselves. We don’t hold high standards because we think they can’t think. Just like men thought that women were “too weak to handle the public sphere” we feel “kids can’t handle critical thinking”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tutored students and they just want me to give them the answer. Excuse me, no. I’ve already done this. As much as I love working with children and helping them learn, by no means will I ever give them the answer. They can think; they can do it. There’s value in the struggle.

There’s value in the struggle. A common phrase around the physics’ floor by a well known professor. I believe in this statement. While you cannot gain anything from simply doing everything the easy way, I see more in this statement. I see that you need to find your own way out to succeed. I see that you need to struggle first before you overcome any obstacle. If you aren’t struggling, you aren’t thinking hard enough or in the correct manner. While I use the term “struggle” loosely, I mean more of a challenge. You can almost always get yourself out of any situation by thinking. There’s value in the struggle – don’t give up. As long as you think you can do it, you can do it. You can’t do anything if you say you can’t.

Challenge. As a teacher, if you don’t challenge your students, what are you doing? Surely you are helping them learn…By challenging them you are preparing them to face the rest of the world because one day whether you like it or not they are going to be pushed from the nest forced to fly. They have to be prepared to take any shit that’s given. Be prepared to create new ways to do things. Be prepared to pick up the pieces. Be prepared to provide innovative technologies to a very technological world. Be prepared to solve the hardest problems the human race has to face. Be prepared to battle fights they may not even choose to be fighting. Be prepared to face social stigmas. Be prepared to battle their own beliefs. A lot rely on teachers. That’s why we are all teachers. Regardless if you are in the education field or not, we teach people every day how we be us. How we choose to live our lives. How we choose to stand up for our beliefs, where our passions lie, how we think. The choices we make affect not only us, but others. They see what we decided to do or what not to do. While they agree or not, it affected them – even if it was as little as “oh, he just competed in a dance competition. That’s nice. I hope he enjoyed it.” Social media does wonders.

I could go on and on about these subjects. Even though I veered a little off topic, challenge your kids.

Teachers, parents, peers; challenge them & never think they can’t ever achieve the status you have or excel past it. 

xo, LZE

Image