My Final Evaluation of the Practicum:

To be perfectly honest, I did not use the resources of Tapped in as much as I could have. I found myself willingly and happily consumed by teaching, enjoying spending my time making plans and doing to research to help better my lessons for my students. As a result, I did not log onto Tapped In enough times a week to respond rapidly to the posts. By the time I read many posts, the discussion had resolved itself. Now, this is not to say that I did not learn from this experience; rather, I was able to read a fully fleshed out discussion on Tapped In which left little or no unanswered questions at that point, hence my lack of response posts. I found, also, that I had a wealth of resources physically in front of me in the school I worked with; I often spent time collaborating with both my CT and many other teachers on how to improve my lessons (both with technology and otherwise), and, in fact, I am splitting a summer school session with one of those other teachers this summer when I am licensed. I also connected with several individuals in the library who are wealthy in their technology knowledge, and they were infinitely helpful in answering a lot of questions, as were my students, mostly digital natives hoping to assimilate their immigrant student teacher. My students and I developed a great rapport, and, due to this, they were excited to show me what they could do with technology. I am actually applying and crossing my fingers that I can teach at GHS this fall, filling an opening they have, because I have connected so well with my school.
I would like to try to use a resource like Tapped In with my students because I think it would allow them to connect to different areas and cultures quite easily. Gloucester is an isolated and rural area, and I think the idea of connecting with someone a world apart might broaden their horizons significantly. Additionally, they could potentially collaborate with Young Adult or other contemporary authors via this resource, opening another means by which we can interpret literature together. I have high hopes that my students would benefit from this sort of work, and I think that they would, as they tend to, end up showing me a lot more than I intended to show them, making our work together all the more successful in its reciprocity. I also really enjoyed reading the variety of blogs link to our Tapped In site, and I think that this emerging “genre” or style of writing would offer some interesting discussion and analysis with my students. I would be interested to see if post modern literature is not followed by some sort of technology or internet themed period in the timeline of literature, and I would love to engage my students in literary analysis of this sort of work. Additionally, allowing them to set up their own blogs or Wiki pages gives them the sort of thing I hope to give them: an outlet and a voice. Adolescents, I believe, need that more than anything, and the internet is forum where they might be able to express their voices that previously went unheard.

Thank you to everyone who helped enriched my student teaching experience!

Helpful Link for teaching almost ANYTHING related to literature:

I am planning to use Project Poster to allow my students to create a web poster that will analyze a myth or fairy tale, similar to how George Bernard Shaw plays with the Greek myth of Pygmalion in his play... though he did not have the vast internet resources to showcase his work! Below are the documents for this project. I'm also compiling a list of resources for my students to use during their research, which I will have ready by the time I teach this lesson (late March).
--This is the final version that I will teach.
--This is the directions and grading handout for my students
I really liked this website, and I was intrigued by the writing topics, which panned out to be more like journal topics. This, however, is relevant for my students, who mostly work on writing in this format. I loved "The Raven" as interactive poetry, and I'm hoping to incorporate the Keats poem on Dante into my Romanticism Unit with a tie to grammar (as Dante is used on this site).
Project Poster sounded like a neat thing that allows students to showcase themselves, and I have been a fan of Rubistar already, so the prospect of using Quizstar sounds promising...
While this is a great resource for work betwen students and teachers, it's also a great way to share resources with colleagues and especially parents; this would possibly help to assuage some of their anxiety about web-based, student-directed learning, for they could access the sites themselves.
LOVED the ask a YA author section; I suggested this idea at several of my job interviews at the job fair and it was positively received. Also, access to online books would be great for my students at GHS, for they do not remove the Lit books from the classroom; this would be a great way to assign makeup work if a student missed a day of reading or for a kid who wants to read on his own.
I am seriously considering trying to incorporate the Frankenstein Mock Trial into my teaching this Spring; I think the novel raises significant moral issues, and the contemporary relevance of a Civil Suit would be perfect. My students would really love acting the parts...
I found numerous valuable resources for my Smart Start class (SAT prep) that I might try to use this Spring.