The Internet Effect with Ms. Diana Mitchell
Joseph L. Cantu
The rapid growth of the internet has created a discussion in regards to the way educators should teach their students. Due to the fact that educators must now consider the various types of learning style each student possesses, it is highly recommended that they use outside resources besides the traditional lecture style type of teaching. By interviewing Ms. Diana Mitchell, who has been teaching more than 20 years, information will be gathered in order to compare and contrast the effect of the internet prior to its popularity and now when it is at its peak moment.
Imagine being a first year teacher without any pedagogical experience besides what’s in the textbooks. Now add to that the start of your M.Ed. in Educational Technology with a plethora of experienced teachers. This is exactly how overwhelmed I felt. Trying to adjust to your students and vice versa, while at the same time managing your own studies, can be quite stressful and frustrating. However, the first teacher to approach me while I was preparing my classroom for the start of class back in August of 2013 was Ms. Diana Mitchell. From then on, it was Ms. Mitchell whom I would go to in order to seek advice from and receive suggestions in regards to the classroom. It is she who I have decided to interview for this assignment.
Ms. Mitchell was born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1954. She became a graduate of Lamar University in 1977 with a B.S. in Mathematics. She later pursued the teaching career and obtained her teaching certification. She started teaching in 1977 and has been teaching since then. During her teaching career, she decided to further her education and return to Lamar University for her M.Ed. in Educational Technology which she obtained in August of 2011. The following year, she took her principal’s certification in order to be totally certified (Mitchell, 2013).
The interview was a very nostalgic moment for Ms. Mitchell because, as she said, “I was there prior, during, and after” (Mitchell, 2013) the boom of the internet. I explained to her my lack of knowledge on the history of the internet and referred to some of the videos assigned from week 1 such as History of the Internet and Learning to Change, Changing to Learn. To add humor to the first video we observed, she clearly remembers when she used the big floppy disks and booting up the computer with DOS. She did stress that, just like everything, the internet as its pros and cons. For example, prior to the extensive use of the internet, students were obliged to actually learn their math facts, formulas, and problem solving steps. With technology and the use of the internet heavily increasing, it has hindered students from learning the above mentioned and thus affecting their progress within their educational career. On the other hand, she completely agrees with Amanda Lenhart, Maya Simon, and Mike Graziano in that the “internet’s ability [can] help [students] with their schoolwork.” Nowadays, every teacher has to consider the type of students they have and accommodate their teaching methods to fit their needs. For example, there exist students that are tactile learners, audio learners, visual learners, and kinesthetic learners. As professional educators, Ms. Mitchell states that it is our responsibility that our students receive the level of education they need by reaching out to their style of learning. This is done so by the use of technology and internet by providing online videos, online games and even songs. In addition, according to Douglas Levin and Sousan Arafeh, the internet has multiple types of uses for education. For example, Ms. Mitchell provides various projects inspired from YouTube videos, provides various notes (PowerPoint presentations) online for students to refer back to, and even creates sample tests and quizzes for students to take online in order to prepare for her tests.
Prior to the internet boom, teachers only taught one way and one way only. Ms. Mitchell definitely agrees with Mr. Keith Krueger, Consortium for School Networking, in Learning to Change, Changing to Learn in that our district policies are too antiquated with the banning of electronic devices on many campuses. Ms. Mitchell believes that we must allow our students to use electronic devices, with proper monitoring, to further enhance their education.
Administrative wise, technology and internet use has alleviated a lot of long enduring hours teachers faced after every grading period and academic school year. She mentions the transition from bubble sheets and having to set aside almost a whole day to bubble students’ grades to the digital way of typing it in on the computer. In addition, taking attendance has now become a simple task rather going through each roll sheet for the entire school.
Overall, Ms. Mitchell sees the effects of internet and technology in our society and how it affects the education system. She is a firm supporter of adapting to it and being able to manipulate it by monitoring how extensively students can use them.
1. Biglil, M. (Director). (2009). History of the Internet. Retrieved on November 17, 2009, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hIQjrMHTv4
2. Graziano, M., Lenhart, A., & Simon, M. (2001, September 1). The internet and education: Findings of the pew internet and American life project. Pew Internet and American Life Project. Retrieved on November 17, 2009, from http://pewinternet.org/~/media/Files/Reports/2001/PIP_Schools_Report.pdf.pdf
3. Krueger, K. (n.d.). (R. Traynham, Interviewer)
4. Levin, D., & Arafeh, S. (2002). The digital disconnect: The widening gap between internet-savvy students and their schools. Pew Internet and American Life Project. Retrieved on November 17, 2009, from http://pewinternet.org/~/media/Files/Reports/2002/PIP_Schools_Internet_Report.pdf.pdf
5. Mitchell, D. (2013, April 8). (J. L. Cantu, Interviewer)