Week One

My name is Sabina Avdic, and I am originally from Bosnia. I came here in 1996 with my family and have lived in Bowling Green ever since. I graduated from Bowling Green High School in 1999, and got admitted to Western Kentucky in August that same year. I got my Bachelor in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2007 from WKU, which was emphasized in education, but it didn’t get me my teaching certificate. I had enough credit hours and I took the degree. I worked in the school system for about 4 years, just doing different jobs including; Instructional assistants and aids, substituting long terms in FMD classrooms, but that was never enough I wanted to have my own classroom and do what I love to do, helping students grow and achieve the impossible, so I hope to do just that. Currently, I teach English Second Language in Elementary school here in Bowling Green. I work with first, second and third grades. This is totally new experience for me, and I am enjoying and learning with my students.

I am nervous to get back to school after so many years and excited as well. I just hope that I will fulfill my dream with this program and become a great teacher. I am planning to get ESL endorsement as soon as I get my teaching certificate as well.

I am a mother of three. I have 13, 7 and 3 year old. They are my pride and joy. I know with them this is going to be a challenge, but I am determined, very hard working and believe that we all can succeed. I am looking forward to meet all of you as much as possible, and hope that we can help each other through this course.

This week’s readings and all the websites that I got to visit made me look at technology from a whole new perspective. I realized that I have so much to learn about technology and the ways to implement in my classroom.

After reading and learning about the technology, the definition for the technology made more sense. Technology sure is complex concept and could mean different things to different people.

The first thing that got my attention was that there is so much useful information for teachers and new methods to be implemented in the classroom. I have visited PBworks.com/education website, which is great way to start collaborative learning experiences. It provides students with workspace within the classroom and requires them to think outside of the box, which improves their critical thinking skills. My ESL students could benefit from this site great deal. It will give them a chance to express their thoughts about their learning experiences with their peers. It will improve their writing skills, critical thinking, and speaking skills. It is a free membership up to hundreds students. I took advantage, and already created an account with them.

Another thing that I have learned about is podcasts. Honestly, I‘ve never searched or used a podcasts. I looked up podcasts using I tunes app store. To my surprise I found different podcast for ESL teaching and in different languages, so I can’t wait to introduce this to my students. According our readings for week one Podcasts are easy to use, and it takes only forty five seconds to scan a podcast to check if it meets school guidelines. One example that I found on macinstruct.com is a great use of podcast for ESL. Following is an example; Students in English as a Second Language courses are provided with iPods, which I do provide them with these, the podcast containing spoken material of existing written content to allow them to listen to the material while reading. This can be done in the classroom, on the way to and from school, and at home. With this lesson students gained comprehension and verbal skills, through a tool that is cool to have and they had fun.

Defiantly a great tool to use in the classroom, with an exception to what is appropriate for students, does it meet the guidelines and school standards, content needs to be evaluated if it applies to the lessons that we are teaching, and will my students benefit from the content of a certain podcast. Once all the appropriate steps are taken, stored and saved podcasts are just a touch away.

My hobby is reading and writing. So this week I fell in love with E-Books and TikaTok. E-Books is a collection of animated, talking picture books, which teaches student the joy and fun way to read. E-Books are created by taking picture book and adding a sounds, animation, music and narration, to produce electronic picture book. You can read this book, or it can read to you. Tikatok is great website for students to create books, add sounds and pictures to their creation, and to share with friends, classmates, and anybody around the world. I will look into this to make it part of my daily lessons for my writing and reading class. As far as challenges I can’t think of any right now, because, writing and reading is a part of content curriculum and it’s essential for all the students. If I have to do it, than I rather do it the cool and fun way.

Challenges that I might face with students might be maintain their interest and for them not to get bored with it. I might introduce PBworks as a new way to keep a journal to maintain their interests.

Challenges with podcasts might be that the content wouldn’t be interested or too short or long. I think it’s very important for teachers to take a look at podcast before being introduced to students, and if you find it was interesting, than it might be interested to them. Also, I want to learn more about the podcast in order to help my student enhance their learning.

In order to overcome my challenges I will take necessary steps to improve the above technologies. If the podcast is too boring, long or short, search ways to make them more interesting and fun for the students and this is something that I need to learn more about.  Working with third graders I’ve realized that they need to be motivated on a daily basis. Just recently, I let them use IPods in their mainstream reading class all they long mainly for their vocabulary, are so excited to have them; they love the idea of just holding them, they are definitely more motivated to do the work.

I want to take this opportunity and learn new strategies, methods, and approaches that will motivate my students and promote their  learning, and I believe that I can accomplish just that by using technology in my classroom.

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