I believe computers are critically important in the classroom due to the fact that we are in a technological era. Everything in today’s world revolves around technology and social media. Specifically for my future classroom serving students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, using technology as an aid will be a great benefit. I hope to be able to record my lectures and upload them for students who might miss that day. I hope to be able to reach out to their parents easier through technology and hopefully show the parents video clips of their students achievements. I do believe that technology could cause a slippery slope if misused. Teachers could promote an inapporpriate image of themselves which, through technology, could be much easier available for parents and students to view. It could also lead to teachers contacting students outside of the classroom in an innapropriate way which could lead to problems. In all, I feel technology is most a hinder when the user is being innapropriate. However if the teacher, or whoever is using the technology, remains appropriate and treats the technology the same as the classroom, then it will be more helpful than harmful.
I very much agree with the term digital native as used to describe today’s youth. A prime example comes to my mind: my mentor (who is 50 years old) did not get her first cell phone until she was 19 years old. My niece (who is now 6) got her first IPod for her third birthday, and now has both and IPod and an IPad of her own. Drastic difference. I believe incorporating technology into the classroom has been much harder for digital immigrants because they are not as familiar with it as us digital natives. I remember my favorite teacher in high school would always ask her students to help her hook up the computer to the projector to use it. Even the school required “Edline” which uploaded grades to the internet for student and parent viewing, was not something she could master. Therefore she didn’t do it. It was definitely a hinder for us students as we view technology as something so easy to master. I feel when I become a teacher my future students will have technology ingrained in mostly everything they do. However I’m sure that will bring up a new range of problems we have not yet thought of, but that comes with the territory of teaching. In all, the upcoming digital natives who become teachers will incorporate technology into the classroom much more than digital immigrants.
My understanding of a personal learning network is that it is a group of people you connect with online and use as a network to expand ideas in your professional field. I believe this concept just makes sense; we have Facebook to connect with friends, Match to connect with new lovers, and PLNs to connect with professionals. I believe the most important part of PLN is keeping it professional. One of my tactics is to use a separate email and username than I use on my personal social networking sites, that way it is not easy to connect from my professional page to my personal page. It is critical to keep everything professional and not mix pleasure with profession. I think a good idea is to have a universal profile picture that you use on all of your PLN sites to remain consistent and not appear to view socializing over networking. While on social networking it is often acceptable to type and submit without re-reading; however in PLN sites it is crucial to re-read before submitting. I treat PLN as though I were networking in person, and that keeps my presentation acceptable and professional. Use it as an aid, and don’t shoot yourself in the foot by posting something inappropriate!