Sunday, September 1, 2013

Blog Assignment #2

Mr. Dancealot
(Kayla Christie, Anna Kern and Chelsea Hadley)

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.

Dancing in Sunset Art

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
(Anna Kern)

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.

Kids Reading

Teaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts (John Strange version)
(Kayla Christie)

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
(Chelsea Hadley)

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
(Chelsea Hadley)

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!


  1. From your section of the blog in "The Networked Student", "This prepares the student for a lifetime of learning and building networks." is a sentence fragment, be sure to watch out for those, they can be nasty.

  2. This comment applies to the collaborative part of this post.

    Why I and my in the first two sentences of a collaborative product?

    ..."of hands-on learning..."Or feet-on! :)

    Thoughtful. interesting. Well done.

  3. This applies only to your portion of the assignment: Thoughtful and interesting.