Saturday, August 2, 2014

The internet - hurting or helping our education?

Hi guys! Today I'm talking about something very different on my blog today. Many of my readers don't know that I am actually pursuing a career that is not fashion or beauty related. Many of my friends wondered why I never chose that path as a future career. As much as I love fashion, I have poured my whole heart into my future teaching career. Being only halfway done with college, I feel that I have already learned so much about being a future educator.

 I think the biggest resource for my success so far has been the use of the internet. There are so many opportunities to better myself as a future teacher. Here are some of my favorite online resources:

I cannot thank my first professor enough for demanding all of her students to discover and create accounts on this website. In 1 semester I was able to upload all of my projects, essays, and even a professional portfolio to my account. Livetext includes a section to look up all of your state's standards in a drop down bar. Other educators even share their own lesson plans and page organizers for others to see and download. I was even able to share all of my documents with my other teachers with the sharing tools and group discussion areas of the site. This website has made my life so much easier the past two years!

Once I am employed as a teacher, I plan on having multiple means of communication to students' parents. Besides a weekly newsletter I would like to create a blog. I love blogs because they can be very casual but also extremely informative. EduBlogs is a great website for students, parents, and teachers to interact! Creating a blog will give me the ability to link websites that are helpful for students, share papers for activities that parents can download, and offer links to educational apps for phones and tablets that correlate to the lessons being taught that week. For students that miss classes, need extra help, or curious parents that also need help understanding the units and curriculum, I would love to record myself teaching a lesson, or solving a problem to upload to the site. I would never be able to share these ideas in a regular classroom newsletter. 

The most obvious reason I love google is for being a huge search engine. I'm able to find so many websites, pictures, and videos for my projects. Many people also don't know that they are able to use Google as a mini-version of Microsoft Excel. Google accounts are free. This is extremely helpful to students that may not have Microsoft products on their computers. Or if the student doesn't own a computer, they can use google at a local library to complete their assignments. Google lets you create spreadsheets, slideshows, and documents. My favorite thing about these features is that I can send them right away to another email address if needed. 

Search Engine Databases
Although I love Google, it can be unreliable when I need a trusted source for projects and papers. When I am writing a lengthy, important essay, I use search engines like ABC CLIO, EBSCO, and WorldCat. These databases have thousands of academic journals, articles, and pictures. If I didn't have the internet to access these databases I would have to drive all the way to the library, the closest one being at least 15 minutes away.

Although I love the internet, I definitely need to choose my resources wisely. Online resources are great, but I need to limit how much I actually quote from articles. When I do too much research, my essays start to sound too good, if you catch my drift. I also have found many answers to tests and quizzes online (don't tell me I'm the first to admit that! We've all done it!). It's so quick to take the easy way out and just type in the question into google then get an answer in under 5 seconds. I am guilty of doing this, but then have suffered on tests that I didn't actually know the answers to. The internet can be extremely helpful, but also extremely hurtful when I'm not careful with what I choose to use it for. I sound like the ending to a children's superhero book ;)

I hope these resources have helped at least one reader :) Even if you are not an education major, these are still great resources to turn to. Thank god for the internet!!!


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