For my fieldwork, I have had the opportunity to conduct observations in two schools, Euclid High School, and North East High School. Euclid is a city school in Cleveland, and North East is a rural/town high school in North East, PA. At Euclid, I observe primarily the 10th grade honors classes of American History. At North East, I saw an array of classes, but primarily the 9th grade regulars classes of American History.
While observing at Euclid, I’ve noticed that the students have good standings with one another and the teacher. This goes for both schools. Since Euclid is a bigger school, and this can be seen everywhere, the cliques of the classroom are more obvious, where as at North East, it is a small school and most know everyone; therefore, they chat more with everyone. Also, at North East, the students seem to converse with those around them more than at Euclid. Both groups of students are respectful of their teacher. When it is time to learn they pay attention, and even when they become off topic they quickly listen up when the teacher brings them back together.
Both schools offer technology readily available to the students, and each have a smartboard in their classroom. However, I have noticed that cellphones are a much more prominent aspect of the classroom than at North East. While both schools have a no cellphone policy, it seems that the students at Euclid do not adhere to that rule. I have asked a few students about this, and they do admit that the cellphone is a distraction, but they do use it for spellcheck and to look up information they do not know. Both teachers have used power points and videos to relay the information to the students.
In social studies, multimodal literacy can be useful, and powerful. By showing an image or video can make the information being discussed real for the students. They are able to see it , rather than having to visualize it in their heads, or visualize the scenario the teacher created for them. Multimodal literacy can be a vital source of relaying information to students in social studies.