Michelle Moses, Secondary Social Studies (Middle School)

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As a teacher, I hope to be approachable and engaging, yet rigorous. In my experience, I've found that it is easy to be a student's best friend or a task master, but it is a lot harder to be both at the same time.

In Social Studies, there are several ways to integrate technology into the classroom. During instruction, technology, especially through the use of videos and pictures (photographs, cartoons, etc.), can add an extra voice beyond the teacher. For students who have a hard time identifying with the instructor, this can give them another way of viewing the information. During one class period, I used a rap from youtube about political parties instead of lecturing, which not only gave students a rhythmic way of remembering differences, but also allowed students who have trouble focusing on my lectures another way to get information. Additionally, technology has great applications for independent work. Students can utilize the internet for research and programs like power point to create presentations. Teaching students these computer skills at a young age will help them as they enter higher education or the job market. Unfortunately, the unreliability of technology, especially in a networked school, is a key disadvantage. If you based your whole lesson plan on being able to show a video or interpret a cartoon and your smart board isn't working, then you are in trouble.

I hope to learn better ways of utilizing the resources available through technology, especially the internet, in the classroom. For instance, is it better to show several shorter movies in the coarse of a lesson instead of one long movie to keep students from zoning out, or does that lose their attention?