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  • Final Reflection

    Emma Miller

    ENG 1103-23

    11/30/22

    In the whole class I have pickled up on many skills that I can use to enhance my writing skills. Throughout this course we have done many key assignments that have helped contribute to these skills. Some of the very important assignments that have helped me were my final essay and annotated bibliography, keeping a journal and limiting screen time as much as possible. I didn’t realize how impactful such easy tasks can really be in writing skills. 

    A big part of our grade was the final essay and annotated bibliography, and this assignment was a key point  in this class. In this paper we had to work together to put all of our thoughts into one place. This was such a big part of our grade so we had to do a ton of work and effort to get this assignment done. We also had to divide up the paper into equal amounts, which from my perspective wasn’t hard to do. It has always been easy for me to try and make everything as equal as I could so that everyone did the same amount of work. 

    Another thing that I have learned in this class is keeping a journal so that we have all of our thoughts in one place. I used to keep a journal when I was younger for fun but I didn’t realize that it has true benefits on our writing skills. I eventually stopped doing it as much and eventually stopped completely. Being in this class and seeing all the benefits I wish I would have continued on doing it. Keeping a journal has only helped us keep our thoughts organized and able to have a place where all of our writing pieces go.

    This class has also taught me that limiting screen time with the writing process is a good thing. Limiting screen time is an actual boost in creativity then if you have the technology. Being able to brainstorm all of our thoughts and ideas then type it out at a later time has made my writing is strong. This has also caused more time for textbooks such as Writing Analytically, which claims that summaries of a book “can teach you how to read for the connections, the lines that connect the dots” in page number one hundred three which has helped so much with writing away from the screen.

    Over the past semester in the writing course I have improved dramatically with my abilities to write and my understanding. In this course of page and screen all of our assignments we have done have shaped why our skills in reading and writing have gotten way better over this semester. Writing has never been my strongest subject but, with this class I feel like with all the new tools and skills that I have acquired I have greatly improved a ton. This class has taught me skills and knowledge that I can use even after this semester and onto writing and comprehension in everyday life.

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  • The Screens of the Future

    Why not replace a staid writing exercise with a medium that gives the writer the immediacy of an audience [or] a feeling of relevancy?” says Matt Richtel in Blogs vs. Term Papers. In his comprehensive article, Richtel covers the debate between blogs and term papers in the new age of technology, in writing education and learning. Yet, this represents a more significant debate that has only grown due to the pandemic: blended learning vs. traditional knowledge without technology. Many teachers feel this new wave of technology is going to hamper and change this generation, yet technology possesses the power to bring education to the masses in a comprehensive way. The new age of blended learning is unavoidable, and, therefore, individuals must embrace this new, expensive learning to survive in a more challenging, technological world.  

    In “Blogs vs Term Papers” by Matt Richtel, he analyzes how technology has improved students’ academics by composing blogs instead of extremely long term papers. Instead of students having to struggle to reach the criteria of making a thousand-word essay, they can simply make a blog post and express the same academic skills. The old style of mechanistic writing is a rigid structure as it can be viewed as a “disincentive to creative but untrained writers,” says Professor Davidson in her recent book. Davidson makes heavy use of the blog post to develop a feeling of relevancy for her students to help develop contemporary communications. This new shift in education philosophy can be represented in the shift to blended learningthroughout the United States from pencil and paper. Blogs will forever be a part of the new age of English education, similar to how technology is necessary for education for academic achievement, by giving students a greater opening to explore their academic abilities. 

     In the article, Technology and Education provided by Gale Opposing Viewpoints, the authors help readers learn and identify how much money is granted to school districts per year, and how networked learning benefits kids. The amount of funding going towards technology is increasing yearly: “Digital tools are increasingly seen as an integral part of learning. School districts in the United States spend an estimated $13.2 billion each year on education technology,” (Gale). Professionals everywhere are beginning to understand that technology is the new wave of the future and how it can benefit children. Students all over the United States are benefiting from technology and blended learning. The article states, “The MIT analysis concluded that, in terms of cost-effectiveness and learning outcomes, blended learning was the best approach for incorporating technology into K12 education programs.” This gives kids an opportunity to better express themselves and work at their own pace with more help and support around them. This research was able to display how this change might help students, The Gale survey analysis found that “Education software designed to allow students to personalize their experience and progress at their own rate could be as effective in helping students improve math scores as in-person tutoring programs.” This new type of learning allows kids to be more eager to learn and understand the content when they choose when and how to do their work. 

    An example of technology aiding students is the ability of virtual learning. Virtual learning broadens access to academic resources and can even provide more comfort in learning at your own pace. COVID-19 was the time when researchers discovered that virtual learning can actually benefit some kids. “Virtual platforms allow for approaches including at-home educational support and distance learning through online schools operated by states, school districts, and charters.” Not every child does well in the classroom, many students can actually benefit from working at their own pace and own space. 

    The development of educational software can be reflected upon to highlight the growth of technology as its uses and effectiveness have increased as time has gone on. Educational software is responsible for stimulating overall student growth in a way that can be measured using a more traditional, performance-based assessment system. This modern renaissance began brewing in 2001, as the No Child Left Behind legislation passed by the Bush administration opened the door for companies to provide learning assistance materials in schools. Many of the materials provided to students weren’t technology-based, however. Educational software started to slowly be developed through research and working with educators. Yet educational software has been closely linked with educators and dissemination since its inauguration. In the 1960s, The University of Utah, Stanford University, The University of Illinois, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology contributed to creating a solid foundation in the development and fostering of educational software. Many of the developers at these colleges have created software by working closely with students and teachers and analyzing test scores to help develop a solid foundation for growth. 

    Yet many blended learning basic principles have been infused in the classroom for years, as they help provide and develop an authentic experience for students. “Students write using a word processor, draft using CAD programs, and conduct research using database managers that professionals use,” says Roman Espejo. This set of tools has provided students with new ways to learn and express true knowledge and assess student learning.       

    A USDE study on Educational Technology Effectiveness goes into how using technology benefits learning. It has been proven that using things such as mathematical software has greatly improved grades and understanding of the material. The USDE law is promised that no child is left behind and able to access the same technology as other classmates. This law uses the national study that uses “scientifically based research methods and control groups.”. Teachers that want to learn more, and get the training needed for using new technology in the classroom maintain the improvement of grades and also students get the advantage of some real-world experience.  The vice president of the SIIA, Karen Billings is not surprised that this advancement  has been able to make such an impact on education and academic achievements. Overall technology for learning has improved the way of learning and when technology advances it will just improve for years to come. 

    An examination of the uses of technology in education divulges its effects in the classroom that have extended the reach of education. Education experts have collaborated to create programs and methods of assessment that have helped students gain traction in the ever-changing world. For example, the outside world is seeing a shift in how blended learning is being adapted in the modern classroom. Expensive digital tools have become a pivotal part in the advancement of education; therefore, blended learning will have a place in the modern age.   

    Annotated Bibliography  

    “Technology and Education.” Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2020. Gale In 

    Context: Opposing Viewpoints, link.gale.com/apps/doc/PC3010999175/OVIC?u=hpu_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=935ede6a. Accessed 26 Oct. 2022.

    Technology in the classroom is pricey, but it improves students’ engagement in the classroom. Students are able to personalize their experiences while learning. Blended learning has been shown to really help kids succeed in school and can help students manage their work. If a student feels as if they can manage their time, their chances of getting better grades and getting their work done highly increases. This doesn’t just apply to high school and middle school students though, this also applies to students getting their master’s and bachelor’s. Even a law was created to make sure that any school would be able to have access to the same new technology that any school has which makes everyone have the same benefits from learning with technology. The new choice of online learning has given many students the option to go back and graduate college through an online course. 

    Gale, from part of the Cengage group, from Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, is an academic database from Cengage Publishing Company. This article offers many facts about how blending learning can benefit children, it also introduces the expenses and how all of it is tied 12 together. The article had quite a few strengths when it came to backing up his facts, the evidence that readers saw in the paragraph above. The authors of the article used understandable wording and they made readers able to keep up with the information. This article was knowledgeable and interesting.

    The information in the article ties to the paper, readers are shown how technology is the new wave of the future. Readers are able to see how learning through blended learning has benefited students. This new age of technology is inevitable and students will be more adaptable if they learn from an earlier age. Technology is a crucial part of our future, so it is important to become educated. 

    Miners, Zach. “USDE study on educational technology effectiveness.” District Administration,              

    vol. 43, no. 6, June 2007, p. 20. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints,   link.gale.com/apps/doc/A164871491/OVIC?u=hpu_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=7e300820. Accessed 26 Oct. 2022.

    Technology in a classroom is a necessity for students to easily be able to improve their academics. The popularity of technology has risen in the past years for improving the way of teaching and education. With some extra funding and teaching, teachers can provide students with a more blended learning opportunity to further their education. Education with technology is greatly impacting the way that students learn and improve grades. The USDE law has helped students from everywhere have opportunities that they would not have originally. The law is very important for every student to have the same access to a better education. 

    In Gale in context, from the district administration and written by Zach Miners and published by the Professional Media group LLC this article has proven many points on how technology has helped benefit learning. Blended learning shown in this article shows its effectiveness on students. This article has shown over and over again how technology enhances the way students can learn.  This article states facts on how a law put in place for education goes a long way for education for students.

    The article proves to us that when technology is used for learning that it greatly impacts how students learn and understand. Evidence has proven that blended learning is better for students to learn and also teachers can easily go over more material. This article has given us more information on how blended learning has made educating students easier and also makes students have a better understanding of what they are learning as well. Also proves that the USDE law is very important so every child gets an education and that no child gets left behind if they don’t have access to the proper technology.

    Espejo, Roman. “Educational Software Can Increase Learning | Gale.” Gale In Context  

    Opposing Viewpoints, 2009, https://go.gale.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=Viewpoints&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=MultiTab&hitCount=19&searchType=BasicSearchForm¤tPosition=3&docId=GALE%7CEJ3010553214&docType=Viewpoint+essay&sort=Relevance&contentSegment=ZXAY-MOD1&prodId=OVIC&pageNum=1&contentSet=GALE%7CEJ3010553214&searchId=R10&userGroupName=hpu_main&inPS=true. 

    The article provides a contextual review of how technology has developed and created software needed inside schools. This article reviews many of these basic programs developed by colleges such as MIT and Stanford. Many of the beginnings of corporate development of technology came at the center of WICAT as they developed assessment methods on the computer that were able to comprehensively assess students’ answers in real time to develop questions that should follow. PLATO’s simple note system in the 1980s was the biggest success of the early educational software as it established the golden age for stand-alone software. The invention of the microcomputer and eventually the computer in the early 2000s opened the door for newer styles of technology programs such as Gertrude’s Puzzles and Muppets on Parade. While many programs flooded the market during this time they allowed for the technological learning environment to take shape. Although the power of commercial software companies has impacted the market structure it also created success stories in software with programs such as the Underground railroad. The development of educational software is reflected upon as a collaborative effort in the past decades as educators have worked and shaped software as the needs have changed. 

    Article author Roman Espejo is the author of many books and cited works and is most popular for his opposing viewpoints in a series of publications. The Greenhaven Press publication that publishes Espejo publishes viewpoint-heavy editorials and points of view collections. In his article, he cites Judi Mathis Johnson, a faculty member at Lesley University, who provides a review of the development of educational software over the last three decades.

    The comprehensive review of the history of educational software reveals the changes and specific methods that have been utilized to help build blended learning. The reflection on how technology companies entered the education world before covid-19 gives insight into how the level of technology in schools has been slowly achieved. This not onlyprovides background context but also develops the story and the total picture of the growth of technology as the realism of growth is wider than expected. The use of the article aims to provide further background information on collaborative development in creating programs that allow teachers to teach in a blended style. This gives readers a solid base when reading further cited articles that go into further depth about the functionality and effectiveness of technology in the classroom.   

    Richtel, Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers,” The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012,   https://ww.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/education/edlife/muscling-in-on-the-term-paper-tradition.html

    In his Review on the debate between Blogs vs. Term Papers, Author Matt Richtel describes the different theories behind teaching English education in the modern age. He reflects on the old style of rigorous writing as it provides many things specifically that may not be guaranteed by Blog based learning. However, Richtel covers the prevailing theory adopted by Harvard professors, adding blogs into writing to change the appeal of writing. Many of the positives guaranteed by Blogs allow students to exercise greater creative expression while still conducting writing at a high academic level. Students perform at a higher and more effective level without following the old style of discipline of writing. The term paper has been phased out to create a more exciting and promising new literacy.      

    Matt Richtel is a New York Times Pulitzer prize winning author who publishes for the New York times. He is a graduate from Columbia University and began working for the New York Times in the 2000s. He commonly writes complex editorials on deep human narratives around computer usage in schools, the rise of obesity around the globe, and distracted driving. 

    The argument between Blogs and Term papers contains parallels to the wider debate between blended and non-blended learning. This argument connects back to our piece of writing. Richtel presents many of the positives and theories surrounding blogs over term papers as they provide students with different ways to express knowledge at a college level. Many of the benefits students find in blogs over term papers can be translated to using blended learning as opposed to learning on paper. Students gain greater access to a fresher academic environment that allows them to succeed and learn away from the classroom. Technology helps to foster the feeling of relevance with  personal education in the modern world, similarly to how Blogs extend the outreach a student has according to Richtel. The changes in attitude away from long extensive term papers, to shorter blog entries represents the same attitude shift towards more technology in all levels of schools, changing fundamental education. The benefits of blogs can similarly be applied toswitching schools into more of a technological blended learning environment because both provide students with an effective hybrid in education.  

  • Analysis Assignment

    Recently Merriam-Webster released a brand new dictionary to help with the game of scrabble. It has striked some problems and every one has been talking about it. They have added some new words that are now playbale that were not available to use before. Words such as “ew”, “bestie”, “frowny”, “zomboid”, “qapik”and “beatdown”. This has been a conversation starter and has both negative and positive opinions. People feel torn whether the change is okay or to go against it. Even some people would rather just stay out of it then get into such a deep disagreement with scrabble players all over the world. This has affected more people who just play this game for fun such as educators and people who go to tournaments.

    Scrabble today is seen as an easy and cheesy game to play. The only thing you need to be good at to master this game is and to be able to succeed the key thing is memoration. This is viewed in the education systems as not helpful. Educators across the world are coming to this realization. In the past teachers loved to use this game in the classroom as a fun game to play while still being able to improve on spelling and creativity skills. Scrabble is more just luck and being able to memorize possible words then someone’s intelligence. Many teachers have made the decision to stop playing this game altogether due to its ineffectiveness on students and their education. 

    By adding new words it does keep people who have been playing scrabble for a long time still interested in the game and for people who have never even tried it this controversy can pique     their curiosity to try out the game. Some people have been playing scrabble for decades and they know that this game can cause tension and torn feelings. This game has a reputation of bringing out the worst in people and could lead to a very heated argument. This is another valid reason why changing some of the rules can cause even more fighting with people who have been playing the game for years and it is difficult to change something that has been a certain way for all these years. Especially with different generations playing the game the older generation may not know the new rules of the game and miss opportunities to make these words and win the game. 

    Teachers are now starting to see how this game isn’t based on how smart the student is. It’s based on memorization for the words they use to play. A teacher in Canada gave him in elementary school a list of words that started with the letter “q” to help them if they stumbled across it since they didn’t know many words that started with the letter “q”. Then it came to him that this wasn’t helping them learn or anything, just forcing them to be able to memorize it to master the game then not retain any of the information they were taught. The students were using this game as more like a “math contest” to see which team could score the most points to be able to win the game. It totally made this teacher evaluate his decision and made him change his mind about playing this game. He also came to the realization that memoration wasn’t even fun for him or the students. 

    All over the world they have scrabble contests that people participate in. One different thing about scrabble is you don’t have to just use one language to play. As long as you know the playable words and how to spell them correctly you can use multiple languages in the same game. “In 2015, the New Zealand Scrabble legend Nigel Richards got so bored by demolomolishing opponents in English that he memorized a French dictionary and won the French-language scrabble championships.” proving the point that all scrabble is memorization because that is the only reason that Nigel Richards got to win that game by memorizing the French dictionary. If you wanna win any scrabble game just memorize the playable words and everything should go in your favor. 

    In the article “Scrabble is a lousy Game” by Jonathan Kay it has made me look at the entire game of scrabble in a completely new way then I have seen it before. Both unfavorable and good thoughts have been expressed on this topic of disagreement. Whether to accept the change or resist it, people are torn. Even some people would choose not to participate than to engage in such a heated argument with scrabble players from around the world. All of the reasons come together at the end to prove that Scrabble is not the best game and it is only for people who can memorize. 

  • Overcoming a Huge Struggle

    Being a student for the majority of my life has truly taught me alot but also has made me struggle and helped me improve my weaknesses. Some students do not put enough effort in for them to succeed in what they want to accomplish. Even when an assignment seems impossible, with the right tools and a good work ethic it can be done.

    I remember all the way to elementary school I had to do a writing assignment. Back then that was my weakest subject, and to this day still is sometimes. I had to write about a fun vacation, which is not a hard essay to write, but I was very messy and disorganized. I would lose papers all the time and forget my homework, so I decided that I was not going to let this happen again.

    I was determined to become a better student, and I accomplished that by getting extremely organized.  I went through all of the work and separated it by subject and completed any forgotten or half-finished assignments. My mom and I went to the store and got a planner. After we got any homework assignment given to me I would write it down as soon as I could. 

    I also went out of my way and asked for tutoring on anything I missed and help on my paper since I wanted to get the best grade I possibly could. My teacher also gave me good writing tips and techniques to help me organize my thoughts before I wrote them down on paper. I also learned to make a rough draft before making my final copy for grading. 

    I choose to write about my trip to Grand Cayman since at the time it was my favorite place to visit. I wrote about all my favorite things to do there like swimming with dolphins, stingrays, and turtles. Every time we would parasail over the crystal clear water. Also how much I loved the beach there and how pretty and clear the water is and how fun it was to make sandcastles with my siblings.   

    In the end, I ended up getting a perfect score of a hundred. I could not believe how much putting effort in and being organized really made a difference in schoolwork. Also, with more challenging assignments being organized and prepared can really impact me and changed my school and studying habits have even continued on to the current day. Today I never miss any assignments and I am one of the most organized people I know. Also, that assignment always reminds me that anything is possible. Change is not easy at first but it can make an enormous impact. 

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