1. What expectations did you have for this component before you made your observations? What was confirmed for you and what was different? As my first day of observations was nearing, I found myself thinking of what a classroom is, what it should be, and what I should be expecting in regards to methods and technology. Since I've graduated high school in 2012, I knew technology has taken an even bigger part in the classroom. But not as big as I was anticipating. Every student in each of the three schools I observed at had their own laptop that was REQUIRED. Every classroom had a SMARTboard. Nearly every teacher used the SMARTboard on a daily basis. As I said before, I knew technology has become a huge part of the classroom, I was just unaware of how big that part actually was.
2. How did these observations change your perceptions of this component? How do you imagine you will address this issue in your own future classroom? Explain. My observations of methodology and technology were enlightening. I'm much more aware of how I will be needing to use technology in my own classroom to capture a student's attention. But, it is also important to simulate a good routine for my students. Many teachers I observed showed a good routine. Most of them started by explaining what their plans and goals for their students were for the day and what the students should expect to accomplish. I think that is a really important component to a classroom, and I plan on presenting that specific information to my own future students. After observing this component, I learned that technology can be a teacher's ally when used properly. While observing an English class, the teacher used google classroom to manage his own classroom.
3. What did you observe that surprised you? Why? As we are all aware, cellphones rule the world. Now, I'm also aware that they rule the classroom as well. In each classroom that I observed cellphones always seemed to be used as a benefit for the students. Whether it was listening to music to help the focus or to look up information when their laptop was not present. Another thing that surprised me was how little group work or student interaction took place. Students, in the classrooms I observed, seem to be in their own technological world.
4. How was this component treated in each of the observation sites you visited? What was different and what was the same? Why do you think these issues were treated differently in the different sites? Which approach, in your opinion, is best? Why? Technology and methodology were treated identical between Normal West and Normal Community high schools. Most teachers listed what the students would accomplish during that specific class period and then the students would do independent work on the laptop. My observations at the Regional Alternative School was slightly different because each student has their own online instruction. They each take different online courses, so the teacher that is physically in the classroom is not teaching. The students are the Regional Alternative School are "trouble" students from other schools in the area (like Bloomington high school, Normal West, and Normal Community) so they are still on their "home" high school's curriculum. If I had to choose which approach was best, it would be what I observed at Normal West and Normal Community. At these two sites, they are still getting some type of instruction from their teacher, whereas at Regional Alternative students are receiving zero instruction.
5. What is the one thing you will take away from your observations in terms of this specific component? Why did this make an impression on you? How will this make you a good educator? The one thing I will take away from my observations about methodology and technology is that technology does not replace a good routine or a good educator. This will make me a better educator because I will be more aware of how I can utilize technology to the best of its ability without taking away from my own teaching methods and educational philosophy.