The moral of the Sorting game is that we shouldn’t judge people based on their appearance or traits. This also showed how stereotyping people can lead to negative results. Stereotyping means that we accord all people of the same race or group with the same attributes, which is wrong because individuals are really different and unique from each other. People would want to be known for who they are as a person and not for what their group or race is known for. Moreover, people usually perceive themselves differently from how we perceive them. As such, stereotyping them or judging them based on their appearance or race can be offensive to them, which in turn will prevent good relationships from being formed.
This applies to me as a teacher in that I should be sensitive to my students’ backgrounds – be it cultural, socio-economic, racial, or religious. This will enable me to keep an open mind about my students and their capabilities in that I won’t prejudge them even before they had a chance to prove themselves. By keeping a positive attitude towards my students’ capabilities, my students will also be able to do well in their studies and have better chances at excelling because they would know that their teacher supports them and believes in them. Moreover, they will feel that they are all treated as equals in my class, if not in the school, which will encourage them to be the best that they can be and not be ashamed of who they are.
As well, I will try to encourage the expression of these background differences in class through the use of culturally unbiased curricula. For example, I can ask the students to work on projects that will enable them to express their beliefs and traditions. This way, not only will these students feel that it’s okay to be different, but the entire class will also be able to learn more about each other’s backgrounds, which will hopefully lead to a better appreciation and understanding of each other and hopefully eradicate prejudice and racism, at least in my class.
Importance of Considering Students’ Learning Styles
It’s important for teachers to consider students’ learning styles because each student is different from each other and their differences include their ways of learning. Moreover, I believe that students have their own special gifts, talents, and skills, and these should be utilized in the learning environment. For example, a student may not be very good in reading and writing but is very good when it comes to art. In this case, rather than forcing the student to excel at reading and writing, it would perhaps be better to allow them to express themselves through art. This way, the student is allowed to develop their talents and skills and to excel in class. By being sensitive to each student’s learning style, the students will be able to learn more, faster, and in ways that they find enjoyable. As well, by helping them learn in the ways that are most effective for them, they are more likely to retain what they have learned.
Plan for Integrating Technology in the Classroom
Which technologies will you use and for what purposes?
I will use multimedia presentations for discussing the topics for the class, especially when introducing a new topic. I will also make use of a wiki page in order to facilitate discussions and the exchange of ideas, as well as enable project collaboration. For example, I can start a discussion on the wiki page regarding what the students learned from the story read in class. The students will be able to respond either by writing a paragraph or a poem that expresses their ideas or by uploading an artwork they created or a picture they took, which represents the lesson that they learned from the story. Having the students’ work uploaded on the wiki page also allows the students to comment on or ask questions about each other's responses. Moreover, I can initiate a class project where all of the students will participate and where we can all use the wiki page to communicate and collaborate.
How will these technologies impact you as a teacher, as well as the students?
This will impact me as a teacher in that the multimedia presentations will allow me to express my creativity and also allow me to engage my students in the topics that I discuss in class. The discussions via the wiki page, on the other hand, will enable me to get to know my students better, based on their responses. This will also allow me to identify some of their strengths and weaknesses based on the medium they prefer to use in their response (e.g. whether they prefer to write, draw, or take pictures).
As for the students, the multimedia presentations will help them to understand the topics more easily. It will also be a fun way for them to learn, which, hopefully, will be one of the things they will look forward to in my classes. With regards to the wiki page, this will allow them to respond to the discussions based on what their skills, talents, and interests are. This will also encourage interaction among the students and will allow them to get to know each other better. Moreover, by seeing their classmates’ responses, they will be encouraged and motivated to explore their other skills and to participate in the activity.
Which technology competencies will this plan require of you as a teacher and what will you prepare before using the technologies?
As a teacher, I will need to learn how to use multimedia software such as Power Point or Flash in order to create the multimedia presentations. I would also need to request the use of a projector from the school’s administration. As for the wiki page, I would need to sign up for an account. There are many wiki sites that offer free wiki services. Next, I would design the wiki page so that the students won’t have a difficulty navigating the page. I would also need to teach my students how to use and navigate the page. However, given that most of my students would likely be using Facebook then this shouldn’t be a problem as I will design the page to be as easy to navigate as Facebook. I would then need my students to set up an account, after which I’ll add them to the wiki page.
There should also be some computers that are available for use in the school for the students who don’t have computers at home. For those who do, I will also encourage them to ask for their parents’ assistance if they run into problems while accessing the wiki page at home.
Which NETs will your plan address?
My plan will address NETS-T 1, which is to inspire student learning, and creativity, as the use of multimedia presentations will enrich the student’s learning experience. The use of the wiki page for discussions and class projects will also allow them to express their creativity and will allow them to continue the learning process even outside of the classroom. Moreover, these online discussions will encourage student reflection and the class projects that are coordinated via the wiki page will encourage collaboration.
In addition, my plan will address NETS-T 2, which is to design and develop digital-age learning experiences and assessment. As a teacher, I will design multimedia presentations that my students can easily relate to and a wiki page interface that my students will be able to easily learn to navigate around. Moreover, the wiki page will enable the students to use their preferred learning style, which will allow me to assess their performance based not only on a single standard.