Monday, July 13, 2015

Media Journey

My narrative has naturally began from my parents. So when I was thinking of how to create my narrative for this project I reflected on my “This I Believe” statement. All of my “This I Believe” pre-statement words were linked to my background and upbringing. I am where I am today because of my parents. My support system is my rock and I want my students to have the same. As a Head Start preschool teacher, a huge part of my job is teaching my parents their role in their child’s education. This is why I created a Facebook group for my student’s parents. I wanted to meet my parents where they were and give them the opportunity to have an active link to the classroom. I can post anything from videos to files. My parents can post things and I can check them before it is view-able by the rest of the group. We can use messager to communicate. This accessibility is important to me because I believe in parents. This Facebook group has the potential to cultivate parent’s interest and involvement. It could raise my home activities participation and support student’s quality learning. Over all, it could make me a more a effective teacher.
In the past school year I have been a techno-traditionalist. I use the computer to document student work, my observations and students assessments. I use email to contact my boss and other school professionals. I have been resistant to letting my students use the computer for long periods of time. I have felt that preschoolers do not need any more screen time than they already have at home between television, tablets and cell phones; I just think it’s too much. After completing this class I believe I still want to limit student’s time with technology but I want to work on becoming more of a techno-constructivist. I want to use student’s time on the computer to question, make observations and talk about secret education as it is part of my student’s lives. I want to use the technology center as a place to form ideas, like any other center. I want to spend more time asking my preschoolers “why Elsa where’s a dress?” and “why is Spiderman only for boys?” I want to use the computer as another place to ask questions and push our thinking of “What is normal?”
My hesitation with technology and my students doesn’t explain my lack with my parents. I had no reason to not use technology with my parents. I just never thought to. I am so glad I have taken this course because now I feel ready to use the Facebook group with my parents. I am excited to see how my parents respond and where I am able to take it. This group will support my transition from techno-traditionalist to techno-constructivist. I want to allow parents and students to post on the group and learn from its resources. Before this course I never would have thought to create a Facebook group for my parents. I always compartmentalized Facebook as a personal pass time and school as something different. I recall being super uncomfortable last year when I parent tried to add me. I never thought I would be using it as a tool. This fall is defiantly going to be interesting.
This course has allowed me to question and rethink things I enjoy and my beliefs. I love Disney movies each and every time a new one comes out I scoop up the little people in my life and bring them to the movies. They may believe it is for them but very few 22 year olds want to go to the movies alone, less want to go alone to a children’s movie. I know there is nothing wrong taking the children I babysit or my godchild to the movies is a bad thing; however what am I doing to help facilitate their critical thinking. Am I asking about why characters act a certain way or why they look the way they do? I need to take the opportunity of a movie night and support it with conversations.

What are my beliefs about technology and social justice? Do I see my beliefs in my classroom? If not, why? Is yes, where? I can bring my iPad into circle time. I can ask why and hold students to answering the question to the best of their ability. I need to let students “do” and be comfortable with the fact that it may be organized chaos. Geralyn Bywater McLaughlyn reminded me the importance of social emotional teaching with my age group. She made each and every part of her day about learning to play, socialize and be children. My students are not little adults they are children that need to pretend and play to learn. Wesch reminded me to “focus on the quality of learning, rather than the quality of teaching,” the learning in my classroom is not about me it is about my students. 
Media Literacy, Popular Culture and Education has helped me find "my people," has helped me refine my beliefs and become more comfortable with technology in my classroom. The activists and literature I have come in contact with has taught me and challenged me. They have provided me with informed individuals that I can use to support my classroom. I was unsure of my beliefs of technology in the classroom, now I have had the opportunity to reflect and form beliefs that will adjust as I continue teaching. This course has also given me technological resources, as well as, peer resources, through the class blog. I am excited to explore more of the tools and hear from my fellow teachers. Happy teaching! 

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