Saturday, January 25, 2014

Blog Post #2

In the Mr. Dancealot Youtube video the central message is that students need to practice and do what they have learned in order to really be successful at it. The teacher went so quickly through each of the dance moves without ever allowing the students to practice each move themselves. I think that people learn best through repetition. An analogy I like to think of is shooting a free throw in basketball. A free throw is one of the easiest shots to make as long as you practice. Just like with the dance moves, they would have been easy if the students would have been able to practice in class. Whenever the final came, the students were just thrown into it and the teacher walked out of the room. The students never recieved any valuable feedback during the class, so therefore when the final came around, they had no clue what they were doing. The author does a good job of making a case for this conclusion when the students are given the final exam. They are all so confused because they aren't even sure if they are doing the moves right. I agree with this conclusion completely. If we never practice then we can never improve, and if we never receive any criticism every once in a while then how do we know if we are doing it right or wrong.

The Prezi presentation by Kevin Roberts called, Teaching in the 21st Century, was very interesting. I think that to Roberts, to teach in the 21st century means to teach with technology. There is virtually limitless information out there. Teaching strategies have changed so much over the course of time. Teachers used to be (still are) adamant on using computers because of a all the temptation that it would bring about, but just as Roberts said, "the tools provide temptation, but they are not the source of negative behavior." Teachers just need to rethink. By allowing students to engage in the various things technology has to offer, teachers help them to gain skills, start discussions, and share things they discovered. I thought it was interesting how Roberts mentioned that creation today consists of things like blogging, programming, podcasting, etc.. Students can learn so much through the use of technology, especially in today's society. I think that Robert's is right on point with how teaching is changing. Whether I'm ready to or not, I think I should get used to technology in the classroom because that's where we are headed. I think using technology is great in a classroom setting, but in my future classroom, it won't be my main source. I want my students to use their imagination first and then use the resources available to them, like the computers and such.

computer filled with technology

In the YouTube video, The Networked Student, they are trying to answer the question of whether or not networked students really need teachers. They use a student that is taking a mostly online course with no textbook as an example. The student only attends class like twice a week, so what's the need for a teacher? The student is able to use multiple online resources like Google, blogs, social bookmarking sites, and other things such as his MP3 player in order to obtain all sorts of information. He is learning everything that he needs to know with the various technological devices. So does the networked student really even need a teacher? The answer is yes. The teachers job in the classroom is to help guide, demonstrate, and share knowledge. Even if a class is mostly online, students are always going to have questions. The teacher helps create a a sense of connection among the classroom and the students. The multiple ways we are able to get information with technology is truly amazing, but without a teacher, the students miss out on a whole other level of learning.

In Vicki Davis's YouTube video, Harness Your Student's Digital Smarts, it's all about teaching the kids how to use technology (reminds me a lot of Dr. Strange's class). The students learn how to use Google Docs, Wiki, blogs, and just about any technological resource. One thing that really stuck out to me was when Davis said, "Every child can learn, but where the children have trouble is when you have paper and only pencil." There are so many ways to teach children rather than just through lectures and notes. Working with technology brings about a whole new level of ways children can interact. I think it's so crucial to teach our future generations to be technologically savvy. In Mrs. Davis's classroom, she is using technology to teach the curriculum but customizing what happens according to a particular group of students. Not every child learns in the same way, and I think it's so important for teachers to realize that. I also think it's interesting how the children are able to connect with so many different people from around the world and work collaboratively with them. Like I said before, a whole new, but important, level of learning.

After watching the YouTube video, Flipping the Classroom, I got a better understanding of what it meant although I have heard of this technique before. As for "flipping the classroom", I hate the whole idea. I think that requiring the child to go home and teach themselves the lesson is insanity. I've had teachers tell me to "read the chapter before class tomorrow" or "try to look over tomorrow's math lesson and see if you can work any of the problems", but the idea of making the child go home after a long school day and learn a whole new lesson? No. Personally, I think this is somewhat of a lazy method on the teachers part. I think it's so important for students to learn in the classroom setting where are they are able to ask questions and get feedback. Flipping the classroom may be somewhat effective for older children, but not at a young age. Think about it: children sit in a classroom for 7 hours a day, participate in any extracurricular activities, eat dinner, do homework, play, and go to sleep. There is so much to be developed at a young age, and making the child go home to learn a new lesson would be way too much to ask. So as you can probably tell, I would not find this approach useful as teacher. I'll keep my classroom right side up, not flipped.

1 comment:

  1. Great job. Remember to include links to the videos/ articles.