Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Read the following post: http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2012/07/5-reasons-to-allow-students-to-use-cell.html I always like to delve into articles or posts like this since it is always a learning experience. I graduated public high school just before cell phones became really common in the classroom so it's not a topic I have dealt with first hand. The first of the five points made by the author I think is the most obvious. Almost every profession can utilize smart phones or will find a way to in the near future. It makes no sense to try to totally restrict students' cell phone use in school. I really liked the comment "we never banned paper" just because students passed notes and it is definitely very relevant to this argument as well. The point on how it can save schools money is a no brainer as well. If we have access to such a great resource, we may as well utilize it as much as we can.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
I agree with some of the author's points in the article especially his closing statement saying that Powerpoint has essentially replaced presentations. Part of a compelling presentation is keeping the interest of the audience and a poorly designed presentation will not do that. It still has relevance to learn the skills though because as the author himself points out, being able to create solid presentations is required in many business circles and positions. In my opinion, a lot falls on the public speaking skills of the presenter and how they can support the information presented in an interesting way.
I read about a lesson called "Digital Life" that is designed to test students' prior knowledge of digital media and also learning some statistics on the subject. I liked this lesson because it has the students pair up and work together. This also allows them to combine their knowledge. It gives them a glimpse of how digital media affects each of their peers' lives in different ways. The lesson itself is not overly complicated and entails two handout questionnaires and an intro video.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Podcasts can be a very effective medium in the classroom and a tool I will definitely utilize when I am teaching full time. I feel especially at the high school level that students are ready to be challenged with unconventional projects and a podcast assignement would be ideal. It allows them to use something familiar to them while also allowing a high level of choice and creativity. It is still important to provide clear guidelines however so they are not thinking too much or trying to do too much with their podcasts.
The classic question of "do what your told" vs. allowing students free range of creativity in the classroom. This seems to be a huge topic of debate in almost every course I have taken in my time at Marymount. Chris is obviously a knowledgable and experienced professional and his prose is excellent as well while presenting. I love the line "schools should help us learn to live". That summarizes a lot of what is currently wrong with the education system. This is all a valid argument to make classrooms more student centered than teacher centered.
I completely agreed with the author's opening statements about current day curriculums. The argument is that no matter how sophisticated the tools used, the school curriculums do not adequately prepare students to be productive after they finish school and enter the "real world". This is a sentiment I have agreed with since I was an undergrad and felt totally unprepared for college. Using PBL to set up scenarios focused on "students as workers" is an idea that must be embraced. I also agree with the assessment that PBL takes good teachers to actually make it an effective method. It is all meant to teach teamwork, communication, and collaboration which are essential skills in todays working world.