For my educational trend, I’d like to talk about Chromebooks. I believe that the trend across the nation has been huge in the past few years. We are seeing more and more school districts buying large numbers of Chromebooks or iPads for classrooms, and it has been amazing to watch as they incorporate Google classroom and other technological tools into classrooms around the nation. I am very interested to see where my future district lies on the technology front, because I personally believe that the Chromebook trend is going to really help education for all ages, and I can’t wait to find all the different ways that I can use them in my future classroom. In Chemistry especially, Chromebooks are great because so much of what we talk about in our content area are things that we can’t see. We talk about particles interacting and bonding and colliding, but we can’t see any of it. Using computers, we can watch models and see pictures from Chemists who have the tools necessary to do it, and it can really help students to be able to see an otherwise very abstract concept. I am in total support of utilizing more technology into my chemistry classroom. When it comes to who this would benefit, I believe that all students can take something from the technology, whether it is used for teaching actual content, or for their to be able to research or present on some topic. I believe that students can have a powerful learning tool in their hands when it comes to Chromebooks.
One of the largest issues in education is bullying, and this is made even worse through the use of technology. Cyberbullying is such a large issue, and it really needs to be talked about more often than it seems to be. Cyberbullying is defined as “bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.” by stopbullying.gov. By this definition, this is a serious issue, because at the age students are in schools, their reputation means everything to them, and having that destroyed by someone else through the use of technology can destroy their whole world. I haven’t seen any instances of this in my teaching thus far, but my school had a huge sexting scandal last school year, and so this year all students have to put their phones in a caddy by the door before class every hour. When looking for statistics on cyberbullying, I found from American SPCC that 16% of high school students were electronically bullied in the past year alone. Also, 55.2% of LGBT students experienced cyberbullying as well. That is an astounding number, and to be honest, is just plain sickening. I don’t know how “fixable” this issue is from the perspective of a teacher, because so much of it happens outside of the walls of the school, which means we can’t influence those action directly. All we can hope is that we teach students to stand up for what’s right, and that they will help to reduce the problem by not being bystanders, but tackling the issue head on. If this can happen, then I think that the next generation can end the bullying trends as they are now.