Friday, August 30, 2013

Blog Assignment #2


Mr. Dancealot Video


The teaching strategies in the comical youtube video, “Professor Dancealot,” communicates what NOT to do for our future students. In the opening, Professor Dancealot introduces himself and the purpose of the class from a power point. Power points are an extremely useful method for teaching, but the Professor in the video actually reads what is on the power point. A teacher should be so informed of the subject he/she is teaching so that they are able to put in their own words what they’re trying to convey to their students and give concrete examples in the lecture. The purpose of a power point should be a visual of information for students to summarize in their own words in order to use that information and apply it to actual reality. The fact that he’s supposedly been teaching this class for 12 years and can’t remember the objectives of the class is quite humorous. While he’s going through the power point he does demonstrate the dance moves presented on the slides, but there is a large podium and desk right in front of him preventing the class from being able to see what he’s acting out. One student actually attempts to stand, watch the professor’s feet, and carry out the presented dance move, but the professor commands him back to his seat. He assumes every student understands what to do, so he proceeds to the next lesson without further explanation leaving the class to fend for themselves. His students were falling asleep, talking to their neighbors, and completely uninterested in what he was trying to teach during class time.

By the time this class reached the final exam, which was not paper/question based, but performing the actual dances they had studied about, they had done no dancing throughout the course and were completely clueless when he told them to begin. As a teacher, you have to teach in ways you think your students can best learn. Obviously, teaching dance moves from a power point but never actually allowing your students to practice them is not the ideal class. This concept can be used in an elementary classroom. Fire drills are a great example. If you just gave elementary students notes on what to do when there is a fire, it would be chaos. That is why schools have fire drills so the students can have practice and know what to expect. Another example would be something as obvious as teaching math. If you, as a teacher, stand up at the board and work out problems all day but never give the students the chance to work them out on their own and ask questions when they struggle, they are never going to learn the correct way of doing the math problem. You have to give the student the chance to practice on their own and figure out their own way of learning and working through concepts and problems.

When students are complaining about material more than actually learning and completing assignments, this should communicate to the teacher that something needs to be done differently for positive results to occur. There is always a way to get students “hands on,” involved, and up and moving in the classroom, especially in a dance class. Teachers must be willing to discover different learning styles and carry them out. Learning in different ways ultimately aids in students being engaged in what they’re doing and helps them to actually learn and remember the material for future use.

Jordan Neely:
"Harness your Students' Digital Smarts" Video
and "Edutopia" Website

Children around the World
In a small school in rural South Georgia, Vikki Davis uses technology to connect her students to the world. She blogs on the “Cool Cat Teacher” blog and it has over 6,000 readers. It recently won a reward for being one of the best teacher blogs. Vikki teaches full time. She believes every student can learn but she says certain students can’t learn to their best ability when all they have is paper and a pencil. She accomplishes the curricular but does it by seeing how her individual students best learn. She is comfortable with about every form of technology and is teaching her students to feel the same. If she gives them an unknown term, she expects them to look it up on google and do the research for themselves. She is teaching her students to be “thinkers”. Vikki uses a program in her classroom called “Open Sim”. This program lets students host a virtual world. The students taught themselves and each other how to work this program better. There is also a project called “Digi Teen”. This allows students to post about different topics for other teachers and students to look at it blog about it. There is also the “Flat Classroom Project” this lets students interact with other students all over the world. In January 2009, Vikki and some of her students traveled to the Middle East to attend the “Flat Classroom Project” conference. She believes the idea of empowering students to share with one another can create a better classroom.

The Edutopia website has a vision of new world learning. This website allows you to browse by grade, view blogs, and watch videos. It also has a section labeled “Classroom Guides”. This tab has all sorts of downloads with guidelines on different topics for teachers and parents. When clicking on the blog tab, it gives you different categories of blogs to explore. One of the blogs is titled “New-Teacher Support”. These blogs give advice about the first day of school, time management in the classroom, and resources to look at. This website has information for new teachers to use that can be helpful when starting a new school year. Edutopoia is really about project-based learning and helping to encourage teachers to use different teaching strategies in the classroom.

I loved the video and the website. Vikki Davis’s way of doing her classroom and using technology is great. The way she shows her students how to interact with students all over the world is so exciting. This way students can learn about new trends, new cultures, and new technology in general. Vikki seems very passionate about teaching and investing her time into her students by the way she took a group to the Middle East. She proves that she wants to best for her students and to help them view the world in different ways. This form of teaching and technology helps her to be able to do that. When Vikki stated that every student can learn but some can not learn with just a pencil and paper, that comment made me think. Teachers always talk about how every student learns differently. For some, technology may be the best way for them to learn certain concepts. Vikki Davis is very serious about helping her students learn in whatever way possible and she also seems to be a firm believer in that technology is changing classrooms for the good.

Kaley McDonald:
Teaching in the 21st Century

21st Century
What does it mean to teach in the 21st century? Kevin Roberts is the Chief Executive Officer Worldwide for an advertising agency known as “Saatchi & Saatchi.” His Prezi presentation on Teaching in the 21st Century is very clear that the future of education is changing dramatically. Pencil and paper are now considered “old school,” while laptops and iPads in every classroom is becoming the norm. The world is constantly changing around us and with it, education. Students are no longer satisfied, if they even ever were, sitting still and quiet at their desks while completing in-class work sheets that relate to the topic of the day. Engaging students in current technology and information by teaching them how to use it properly and effectively has incredible results. Teaching them how to, in Roberts’ words, “remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create.” If teachers are not open to endless possibilities that technology can administer, such as a ginormous variety of information through blog posts, twitter and facebook discussions, which betters student’s communication skills, Google searches, you tube videos, skyping with other students around the world to learn different cultures and ethnicities, constant current events at their fingertips, and so much more, their students are going to miss out on numerous opportunities to learn skills that are essential in applying to real life situations. Learning is not memorizing facts in a textbook to be able to record those temporary memorizations onto a written test. Learning is seeking and gaining useful knowledge and remembering said knowledge in order to, dare I say it, USE it. This relates to one of our EDM 310 mottos, which expresses, “No more burp-back education!” Roberts emphasizes that “Teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge, we are the filter.” Students have the means to search for anything they desire and at the press of a button it is instantaneously in front of them. Metaphorically speaking, the teacher’s job is to filter or reduce their search results from 144,000 to 12. Showing them the skills they need to communicate information, problem solving, collaborating with others, making sure the information found is valid, and so forth.

Curriculum should be centered on skills rather than facts and content. Teaching them also, the dangers of plagiarism, pirating, copyrights, and what to do when certain problems arise. Technology haters often bring up the fact and question of how to control misbehaving students who bring laptops, iPads, and cell phones to school. Roberts says, “The tools provide temptation, but they are not the source of negative behavior.” Students only lack creativity when you rob it from them. They should be challenged to get up out of their seats and learn in new ways using new tools, while the teacher monitors whether it is relevant, challenging, and engaging.

Another argument is that students should not need to be entertained constantly. Entertainment indeed should not be the goal, but rather, engagement should be the focus. Students get enough meaningless entertainment throughout their lifetime without us adding to the madness. Engaging students is the key to long-term skills that stick. It is the way in which we will provide students the opportunity and skill to learn and think for themselves. Just as another one of our EDM 310 mottos states, “never tell, always ask.” Meaning, never give a student the complete answer to a question. Instead, always answer with more questions in order to get their brain gears going without the teacher manually turning the crank. Being told information isn’t nearly as effective as searching and discovering it for yourself. Usually, the more difficult it is to achieve a goal, the more rewarding that goal will be. All of this begins and continues with the educators. Change is, say it with me, “GOOD.” Never stop learning in order to never stop teaching. The world and its information doesn’t stop, people do. Keep running the race and never give up!

Brooklyn Rowland:
The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler

Network Learning

What is a networked student? According to the YouTube video "The Networked Student" by Wendy Drexler, a networked student is one who utilizes the Internet to learn about a particular topic. This type of student doesn't just use the typical search engine though, this student has subscribed to blogs, uses google scholar and is in contact with other students and professionals that blog, write, lecture or work in the particular subject of interest. Being networked helps students to learn on their own. Subscribing to blogs and other websites and using an RSS feed and a PLN, a personal learning network, to stay organized, helps the student to stay up to date with any new information on any topic!

In this video, the question "Why does a networked student need a teacher?" is asked. Simply put, the teacher is the student’s guide. While there are no textbooks and lectures in a classroom based on networked learning, the teacher is still a necessary tool. A networked teacher guides the students through the creating of their PLN. The teacher also gets the students started in their networking by linking them with people he or she may already know. While the teacher doesn't actually teach the students about the topics of interest, she does teach them how to find that information!

I love the idea of being a networked teacher some day. I wish I could have been taught to be a networked student earlier in my schooling. I think it is very beneficial to the students. It promotes lifelong learning! And I believe wholeheartedly that we should all be lifelong learners!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jordan!
    I had the same thoughts about Mr. Dancealot. Teachers should be helping students not only understand skills but also apply them. I also love the idea of the "open sim" program and the "flat classroom" project. I think it is great that students can learn from each other even though they are from different countries!