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Emily Rose Skirtich

GILT511
05-21-13
Field Experience
My Field Experience at HTSD Middle School
In Lisa Ferreros sixth grade math class, there is an almost equal number of boys as
there are girls- 11 girls to the 9 boys. This class is particularly lucky to house the newlypurchased iPads for the sixth grade class. Since these iPads are to be shared among all the
sixth grade classes, Ferreros class remains in charge of making sure that they are fully charged
at the start of each day, kept clean and properly turned off before departing school, and
updating any software on the iPads themselves that might need done before any classes use
them for the menagerie of projects that middle school students complete. Even though the
students have internet access on the iPads, there are limitations and firewalls in place by the
school to restrict their browsing to non-academically geared internet use. These students are
familiar with the Kidspiration software that we have encountered in our course, along with
iMovie, and a newer program called Educreations, which allows the students to create videos
with images, color, and voice on the background of an electronic whiteboard. This
aforementioned software is what I observed the students using in the lesson last week.
One of the things that I integrated into my seventh grade English classroom while
student teaching was the use of the iPads but for shorter, more succinct periods of time.
However, the instructional time of using the iPads required me to engage the students for every
moment that they had technology at their fingertips. One of the ways that I used this mantra of
more engagement less downtown was providing a Q&A sheet for the students to fill out while
they were using Educreations. The questions prompted them to use Educreations to find out the
various tools within the app that they could apply when they were creating their own mini
lessons later to be used for flipped classroom curriculum. By having the worksheet as a guide
for their use, it helped the students to succeed in their effective and guided use of technology.

I personally believe that Hampton Township School District is one of the most fortunate
districts around with countless technological resources as well as school personnel to manage
them. Technology seamlessly integrated into the lessons as if it is second nature to both the
faculty and students of the middle school. Not only do the students anticipate the use of
technology in the classroom throughout their daily lessons, they are masters of navigating such
resources and thus reach higher levels of learning that a technology-free learning environment
would not yield. These technological advances made in the world have significantly bolstered
the students attitudes towards the curriculum as well as their interest level in delving deeper
into subject that might come across as bland and uneventful. For example, in the lesson I
observed, Lisa Ferrero taught her students the importance of integers and their pertinence to
their study of algebra. Instead of preaching and directly instructing the students, Lisa utilized
the Educreations software to charge the students with a small in-class project to create a brief
presentation explaining the many ways in which integers can be encountered throughout
algebra. The technology allowed the students to use the resources available to them on their
school website of Mathletes and Numberations software with easy definitions and example for
students to study, as well as incorporate other teacher-approved websites that demonstrated
the importance of integers in the otherwise mundane world of algebra.
One of the only issues that I could foresee with this technology is that there is never
enough of the resources for the entire sixth grade class at one time. If Lisa Ferreros class
needs to use the iPads for a project, but the other math teachers would also like to join in on the
Educreations software to explain integers to their students, there are only 25 iPads at the sixth
grades disposal at one time. Even though it proves to be an amazing resource for the students,
the resource sharing issue can become a problem. Another obstacle for this particular school is
that the Instructional Technology Specialist for the middle school does not always have ample
time to assist in the exploration of new softwares that the teachers could easily streamline for
their curriculums and incorporate into their lessons. Since there are Instructional Technology

Interns, such as I, she has the help that she needs, albeit limited in time and resources.
Without over-exaggerating, the level of engagement of the students remained at a 10 the
entire lesson that I observed. I believe it remains this way for a few reasons, such as the
teacher instructed the students that they would be using the iPads, which instantly sparked their
interest and peaked their excitement. With hands-on demonstration by Lisa Ferrero before the
students produced their own learning and projects, they were primed to use the software to
create unique and appropriate projects. I believe that the effectiveness of this lesson was
overall tremendous because it played upon the various levels of intelligences that students
foster, such as visual learning, auditory learning, kinesthetic learning, as well as other learning
traits. By the students producing their own product after receiving instruction for a few days
prior to that lesson on integers and their importance to algebra, the students further increased
their level of understanding by creating the Educreations projects themselves and making their
learning more palpable and resonant.

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