Tech Task #1: About Me

Hi, I’m Jen Ostapowich.

My family background is Ukranian mixed in with a little bit of German, Austrian, and Hungarian. I am the oldest of 3 kids. My younger brother is in his second year of university and my sister is in grade 10 at Winston Knoll Collegiate. I was born and raised in Regina, in fact even all of my extended family lives in Regina…we don’t get out much :). I also have a 9 year old golden retriever named Sasha and a year and a half old cat, which I rescued, named Porscha.

I attended St. Josaphat Elementary School and then moved on to Riffel High School. I am currently in my fourth year and last semester of Education! When I get my degree I have decided I am going to sub for a year and get move out of my house this spring. I want to sub because it will give me a chance to teach many different grades in many different school and school divisions. Therefore, when I am ready to get a job, I will have a better idea of what I like and don’t like, my decisions will be better informed. Currently I think I would like to teach somewhere in grades 4-7. I have always preferred the older elementary grades to the younger ones.

When it comes to hobbies…I used to have lots but university has kind of put those on hold. I was a competitive National level gymnast until I was 15 years old when it started becoming more of a chore and a strain on my personal relationships than fun. When I quit that I picked up sprinting but compared to gymnastics, that was boring. I took a few years off and picked up cheerleading but…due to internship, I couldn’t pursue that this year again. I plan on continuing that next year! Besides sports I love to cook and bake. I often make decorative cakes for peoples birthday or special occasions…or sometimes just for fun! I also love to read, watch movies, and drive.

Personally, I hate technology. I don’t understand it so I generally just get frustrated with it and, let’s face it, I’m a red head…doesn’t take whole lot for me to get frustrated. I find it is wonderful when it works but often times, for myself anyways, it doesn’t work. I have a hard time using my Blackberry as it is! I  barely touch my computer unless I am using it for homework or to watch a movie, I rarely surf the internet, my emails come to my phone and I think I check my Facebook account once a month. That pretty much sums up my interaction with technology. When I see new technological things come out on TV or in the stores I barely pay attention because I have no interest. I see it as, “I have a computer, why do I need an Ipod, Ipad,  and phone that all do the exact same thing as my computer?” People who LIKE technology see things much differently. During my internship I did try to integrate technology a little bit, however we  only have one computer lab to share amoung everyone and we did not have smartboards or anything like that. Plus, my biggest fear is that I would plan this big lesson and then the technology wouldn’t work and I would be panicking. It sort of happened once…the first Social test I was going to give my kids. I put the test on my memory stick and checked to make sure it was there. But, when I got to school to print it out, it wasn’t there anymore. I don’t think I have ever been so mad in my entire life, not to mention embarrassed. I had to go all the way back to Qu’Appelle to get my computer so I could give this test. Like I mentioned before, technology and I do not get along.

However, despite my issues with technology I do feel it is very important to integrate in schooling from K-12. Many students already use technology all the time at home, whether it is a cell phone, the  computer, the xbox or any number of learning games out for kids. Therefore, they are quite comfortable with it. On the other hand, there are some limitations to technology: for example, I do not feel it should take over other types of learning. For example, students should still learn how to print and handwrite, legibly, how to follow a textbook and answer questions or write a paper. That is not to say EVERY student because many students have other needs or exceptionalities. However, those students that can, should learn how to do things the “old fashioned way”, as well. Some benefits towards integrating technology into the classroom are: that students, of all ages, will be able to produce work, such as videos, that they otherwise may not be able to do, the students and teacher can learn together in an inclusive environment, there is the ability to share all kinds of findings on the internet or youtube, or classroom blogs/pages would be a great way to stay connected and get to know your classmates, creating an inclusive environment. Technology can be integrated into every subject. Some examples include math games on the computer, using Microsoft Word to write a story or a spelling test, looking up videos for how to learn a line dance in gym class, etc. I am not sure how I feel about websites such as youtube, myspace, facebook, etc. On the one hand I feel they can be very useful and fun, however, on the other hand there is an incredible amount of junk on them which would not be school appropriate, not to mention the amounts of cyber bullying that go on through the internet and cell phones. I think I would teach my students how to cypher through appropriate and inappropriate material, how to approach cyber bullying, and what steps to take if something uncomfortable is happening to you. I would also have very strict rules regarding what would happen if I caught anyone cyber bullying or looking up inappropriate material on school computers. I would literally have zero tolerance for that kind of nonsense. When it comes to learning student and achievement, I think these forms of technology can enhance them and hinder them at the same time based on the reasons I stated above.

I took this class because of my fear of technology. Through this class I am hoping to have more confidence to use technology and know what is out there for me to use on the web or even on my computer. I have all these things on my computer and I have no idea how to use them so essentially, most of my computer is useless to me. I am hoping that when this class is over I will have a much better idea of how to use technological tools on the internet or my computer. I would like to have more confidence to bring technology into my classroom and making learning fun for my students. I don’t want to be the teacher that hands out a sheet of paper and says, “take out your pencils, we are writing sentences today” which I fear I will be if I don’t learn how to become comfortable with technology. Basically, from my instructor, I am looking to be introduced to many different kinds of tools and how to use them so I may be able to reach my goal of being comfortable with technology. If there is anything my instructor should know about my experience with technology it is that I have zero confidence in myself with it.


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