Sunday, September 29, 2013
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Learning continues to take place far beyond the classroom walls, and teaching students to ask questions helps prepare them for life in the real world. Questions engage students, encourage participation and make them think for themselves. Asking questions helps develop cognitive skills, and prepares students for a lifetime of learning.
Asking different types of questions ensures the students understand and retain the information. Before you decide how to frame your question, consider the desired answer.
Asking questions makes students think and helps them learn. Questions are not only valuable in the classroom, but also throughout life. Claude Levi-Strauss said it best: "The wise man doesn't give the right answers, he poses the right questions."
Thursday, September 19, 2013
iCurio and Discovery Ed are great resources for the 21st century classroom. These sites offer a vast amount of information, activities and resources for instructors and students to explore. They also allow teachers to tailor lessons to fit individual student needs. To use these sites effectively, it's important to take some time to become familiar with each site.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Technology is constantly changing and there is always something new to learn. That's why it's important, as teachers, we prepare students by teaching them the skills they will need to stay up to date and change with it.
Introducing technology, specifically podcasts, to children at a young age is a great teaching method. Children are exposed to media on a regular basis, so it's important to show them how to use and navigate it constructively. Podcasts are a great tool because most kids are already well-acquainted with technology, so they find it interesting and relevant. Learning with podcasts is hands-on so it's also a good way to promote innovation, engagement and enhance creativity.
Ways to Use Podcasts in the Classroom:
To gain perspective on this assignment, Dr. Strange recommended we listen to a few podcasts. In the past I have never considered using podcasts in the classroom, but after reviewing the material I understand how valuable they can be. The Flat Stanley Podcast was composed by a class of first-graders. As I listened, I could tell how excited and engaged the students were by this project. They were having fun and letting their imaginations run wild; all while learning.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Peer editing can be very constructive. The video, What Is Peer Editing?, offers a few helpful tips on how to effectively edit a classmate's work. The key is to stay positive and be specific about the corrections you're suggesting. Reviewing a classmate's work can make some students uncomfortable, but receiving feedback from a peer provides a fresh perspective and can be a valuable resource.
Keys to Quality Peer Editing:
Pick out things you like about the piece and be specific.
2. Make Suggestions
What specific things could they do to make it better? (Content, topic, organization)
3. Give Corrections
Point out grammar, punctuation, capitalization and spelling errors.
Tone is a very important factor in peer editing. It can be easy to misinterpret meaning of text comments, so it's key to be mindful of the way comments come across. Staying positive and aware of how your remarks could be interpreted is really important. Comments should always come from a positive place!
Generally, the method I would use to suggest revisions to peers would vary depending on the correction and the situation. If I knew that someone was particularly shy or had low confidence about his or her writing, I would make my suggestions privately. While I would never want to embarrass anyone, I also don't think I would be doing this person any favors by never critiquing him or her publicly. I think it's important to use judgement and find a balance.
While in EDM 310, my comments on fellow group member's blogs will mostly be public. We're adults in a learning environment and I think its helpful to other students to be able to look through the blogs and read reviews from classmates.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
This video made us think. What good is it to teach anything, especially dance, when the students are not required to honestly learn?
To learn is defined as knowledge or a skill you acquire by instruction or study, but it is really much more than that. We truly learn after we are truly taught, but what does that mean? "Mr. Dancealot" demonstrates the importance of hands-on learning. The instructor in the video is trying to teach the students (unsuccessfully) how to dance by lecturing using a power point. He then expects them to dance as their final exam. Many teachers use this method of lecturing and reciting facts to their students, and then expect them to be able apply and retain the information. The problem with this method is it does not engage the students. A better way would be to give the student the opportunity to learn hands-on, and make some mistakes along the way.
Well, unlike Mr. “undancealot”, as educators, we must get away from the basic PowerPoint presentation, and get our students involved! Let’s get those students dancing! Honestly, an open book and note test after just lectures? That is not teaching. To me, teachers make this common mistake all the time. We always wonder why students lack the motivation to do work, but we are not giving them much incentive when the only think we are teaching them is that they do not have to try.
This video brings out how to be a true “anti-teacher”, and I think that is great reason for Dr. Strange to show it to us. It reminds me of the quote we shared in class, “Never Tell, Always Ask.” We must break away from traditional teaching, and get the students involved! Students cannot absorb dancing by showing them on a PowerPoint presentation, behind your desk, or by giving them open book and note tests. STUDENTS CANNOT TRULY LEARN THIS WAY. We have to be proactive as educators and have our students involved in their own learning. We must stop spoon-feeding our students and propel them into active learning by being a part of the activity.
"The Networked Student" by Wendy Drexler
This video is a great representation of the countless learning opportunities available to students through technology. These days, many classrooms are primarily meeting virtually and don't even use text books. These students rely on the limitless possibilities of technology to find opinions and information from all over the world.
The author of this video, Wendy Drexler, describes herself as a student of connectivism, which is the theory that learning happens as a part of a network of many different technological agents and connections.
It's amazing how many educational resources the 21st century student has at his or her fingertips. The world's best instructors, limitless data and opinions-- all at the click of a button. Helping sort through this immense amount of material is one reason instructors are still such valuable assets to the 21st century student. Instructors connect students to new technological tools and sites, allowing the students to then make further connections. Skills like proper blogging and social networking etiquette are also best taught by an instructor. Quality 21st century teachers are those that provide motivation and guidance while preparing students for a lifetime of learning and building networks.
Teaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts (John Strange version)
To me, Roberts thinks in order to teach in the 21st century, we must venture away from standardized teaching and learn how to adapt with the technological changes happening around us. As an elementary student, I do not ever remember other kids having cellphones in school, but now, it seems as if every child has one! He sees teaching changing in a way like the world. The world does not stop moving and changing and neither can we as educators. He is saying we must change our forms of teaching according to the new changes in the availability and use of technology. Along with Roberts, I agree we must make our lessons engaging with the technology as well as challenging. Roberts’s point of view tells that we should change our teaching from “why is the sky blue?” to “why is the sky blue? Explain, justify, and evaluate your opinion and research.” We have to change our forms of teaching from objective to subjective, and get the children to think about the answers to the question instead of just finding the answers. I think Roberts’s point of view on 21st century learning and teaching is spot-on, and as an educator, I will have to think more critically about my lessons as much as my students will have to think critically about their answers because of this point of view. As educators, we are constantly learning, and I think acquiring this new skill set of teaching will improve the students’ abilities to learn. I think this, because they are so easily able to look up the answers to the questions that teachers commonly ask. With this new way of teaching, the students cannot just look up any answer. They have to think outside of the box and use their creativity. In conclusion, we must stray away from being just like the economics teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day off, and become teachers of engagement!
Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students Digital Smarts
Vicki has her high school level students really getting involved, interacting and truly learning. If I would have had more teachers who would have taught through technology and student interaction when I was growing up, I might have paid a lot more attention and learned much more information because hands-on is the best way of learning to me. In the video Ms. Davis talks about all the ways the students are learning and mentions how awesome it is to the students when they figure things out together and alone. I agree because when I work really hard and figure stuff out on my own it makes me feel great about myself. It makes you feel like you have accomplished something on your own instead of someone helping you and that is how this EDM310 class makes me feel. Vicki Davis states that "Not all students can learn with just pencil and paper." I so agree with her because I am one of them students. Not only does it make you learn and makes you do it on your own but students are also able to become comfortable with technology. I think making students think it out on their own and solving it on their own is an awesome strategy and other teachers should really try it.
Flipping the classroom - 4th grade stem
Flipping the classroom is a wonderful idea that I wish we had when I was in school. It gives children the opportunity to start their day prepared and ready to learn. Students can watch lectures online before the class so that they can learn and know what they will be learning about before they actually learn and talk about it in class. This opens up many doors for one-on-one learning at school. I think it is a great idea and would save a lot of time in class learning about it unless some students don’t watch the videos before class which means to me that really don’t care. This whole idea seems motivating, exciting and effective and I would love to use this in my classroom one day!