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Stefanie Tippel

211 Erie Ave.


Hartville, Ohio 44632
(330) 807-5040
tippelsd@mountunion.edu


It is fact of life: people enjoy doing what they excel at. In a world where students
are sending over 500 million tweets per day, where their special moments are captured
and shared through Instagram, and where connecting with old friends has become simple
by using Facebook, younger generations are relying on technology to express themselves
more than ever. Students are bored of being forced to sit in uncomfortable chairs and
listen to lengthy lectures, all the while yearning for their technology. Why do educators
continue to put their students behind bars, taking away their rights to express themselves
freely? While some teachers have taken the steps in incorporating technology into their
classrooms, it is time for all future teachers to take a stand and allow their students the
freedom and privileges of expressing themselves the way they want to and the way they
can do it best. Long gone are the days of students hiding cell phones beneath the desks,
praying that the teacher will not catch a glimpse and take it away. The time has come that
technology be fully incorporated into the classroom. As a future high school English
teacher, I believe that technology is ever-changing, keeping us on our toes to continue in
constant learning in order to better our technology practices for the success of our
students.
When one thinks of a high school English class, technology is not something that
usually comes to mind. What usually is thought of are lengthy written papers and endless
books packed with difficult words. If someone would have asked me how to include
technology into an English class before I took the Educational Technology course, I
would not have been able to give an answer. However, because of my Educational

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Technology course, I have learned many ways to do the unthinkable: incorporate
technology in order to effectively communicate into an English class.
Communication is key in a classroom setting not only with just the students, but
also with parents and guardians. In order to effectively get across what a teacher wants
from his or her students, he or she must use a reliable way to communicate. During my
time in the Educational Technology course, I researched and even presented at the
conference my findings on an educational social media site called Edmodo. Edmodo is
innovative and fun for students because it functions basically like Facebook, one of the
most popular social media networks available today. Edmodo is also interesting because
as a teacher, you can create polls, quizzes, post assignments, post grades in an online
grade book, and leave electronic badges or prizes for students when they are doing well.
You can also post and communicate to parents. Edmodo is a free application and is easily
accessible for students and parents. This is a good way to make sure that the snow days
Ohio is known for will not take a toll on the students education. Students will be able to
get onto their Edmodo account and take a quiz at home or even complete and submit an
assignment from their houses. Edmodo will be my basic form of communication, and
from there I can basically post everything that the parents and students will need to have
a successful English education.
One important document that I will post onto the Edmodo account is the
classroom newsletter. Every Friday, I will send a paper newsletter home with the students
that tells the agenda for the following week. I will also upload the newsletter as a PDF
and e-mail it to all of the parents. Having a paper copy and an electronic copy will be
effective in case one of my students does not have a computer at home for their parents to

Stefanie Tippel
211 Erie Ave.
Hartville, Ohio 44632
(330) 807-5040
tippelsd@mountunion.edu


receive the e-mail copy or the Edmodo copy, and it is without question that most students
will forget to give the paper copy to their parents with their busy schedules. Classroom
newsletters are a great way to reiterate exactly what needs done in a week span. In my
newsletter for the Educational Technology course, I pretended to be a senior English
teacher and it was the first newsletter of the year. I began with a Letter from Ms. Tippel
section where I introduced myself and where later, I can include my thoughts for the
week. I then went on to create a Syllabus for the Week section that included the
assignments due for each day and the agenda for each day. With the first page being
basically classroom news, the second page included a School Spirit section which told
what sporting events were happening, what clubs and organizations had open positions,
etc. The second page also included a College/University of the Week section in order
to introduce students to different schools, an Inspiring Tweet of the Week section, and
a Pinterest Quote of the Week section. My newsletter included technology and social
media networks in order to attract the attention of the students and the parents. I would
make the first newsletter, and then as an assignment, I would have one student make the
newsletter per week. The student would have to research schools and write about them,
update the syllabus, find an inspiring tweet and a Pinterest quote, and research the
organizations at school that had open positions. This would be helpful for the research
aspect of English.
In English classes around the country, students are constantly bogged down by
essays that have to be perfectly formatted into APA or MLA formats. While knowing
APA and MLA is important, it is also important that students write from their own words,

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thoughts, and beliefs. Some web 2.0 tools that are exceptional for personal and
collaborative writing for students that I will use in my classroom are Glogster, Blogger,
and Wikispaces. Students will have fun all while getting their work done by using these
tools. These tools would be great for journal entries and homework questions based on
books we read in class. Although these web 2.0 tools are great for students, I still believe
there is a need for students to know how to format papers and write professionally. While
Glogster, Blogger, and Wikispaces are good for discussions and talking about opinions, I
will still assign my students papers that will allow them to learn the professional writing
skills they need for college and future careers.
Organization is necessary for all students in order to keep on top of their
homework and assignments and to get the grades that they deserve. One of my favorite
organizational methods was a web 2.0 tool called Live Binders. Students can post papers,
videos, pictures, and choose which sections they would like in their binder. In my high
school English class, I will have all of the students use Live Binders to keep track of their
assignments for the year in a creative way, and then turn it in to me at the end of the year.
I could use this as a grade for the students for their final semester to boost up their points.
This interactive way of organizing makes it fun for the students. Organizing no longer
has to be a daunting task, but can be interesting and use creation as well.
As teachers, we can never guarantee that all of our students will be present
everyday. It is difficult to keep track of the students who were missing and it is difficult
to remember to present them with their absent work when they come back to school. As I
mentioned before, Edmodo is great for students to check for their assignments, but there
are also a couple of other tools that are great for students who miss class to stay on top of

Stefanie Tippel
211 Erie Ave.
Hartville, Ohio 44632
(330) 807-5040
tippelsd@mountunion.edu


their school work. If we are working with anything on the computers, I could create a
Screencast for the students who missed class as a tutorial to get to where they need to be.
Another great tool to utilize for absent students or even when I am missing and there is a
substitute is a Voice Thread. With Voice Thread, I have the ability to record myself
speaking and the ability to create a slideshow presentation to teach the students while I
am not there, and the students have the ability to reply in a discussion based way. This
way, no day is wasted and every day is an educational one.
As a teacher, learning is a life-long process. With an ever-changing technology,
teachers must continue in their learning practices in order to master technology and
utilize it in their classrooms. Just like books and papers, students will get bored with
certain technologies as time goes on, so it is imperative to continue in our learning
practices to make school a fun and innovative experience for students as well as a truly
educational experience. I know, after learning from Dr. Capel in my Educational
Technology course, that incorporating these technologies such as Edmodo, Blogger, and
Live Binder into my classroom will provide students with better learning opportunities.
Students will be happy to be excelling at their school work, and we, as future educators,
will be happy to see the success emanating from our classrooms.