Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blog Post 2: What Will Teaching in the 21st Century be Like?

A Collage of 21st Century Teacher Tools

According to Professor Dancealot by Kari Johnson

      This is a video of a professor teaching a dance class by using PowerPoint slides and demonstrating the dance moves himself. However, he doesn't allow the students to participate. The main message of this video is that you can't learn how to do something by being shown how to do it. Simply being shown how to do something will lead to boredom and not paying attention. The video ends with the final, and the students are required to dance the moves taught in the class. However, since none of the students had practice with the instructor helping them, they didn't know what they were doing. I completely agree with this conclusion. You need to practice and experience things first hand in order to truly learn them. Imagine a math class where the teacher has a PowerPoint showing the steps to solve a problem, but you are not allowed to practice. I'm a math major, and I know I would fail that course!

According to What Does It Mean to Teach in the 21st Century? by Kevin Roberts (John Strange Version)

Outline of Roberts' Argument

I. Since information is everywhere, a teacher’s job is to teach students how to validate and use this information to solve problems.
    A. What steps and skills are used to solve problems?
      Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, and Create
    B. Creation is important, but what does it mean today?
      Blogging, Podcasting, Designing, etc.
    C. What other skills are needed for these?
      Paraphrasing, Editing, Experimenting, Searching, Integrating, Networking, etc.
    D. What about Bloom’s Taxonomy?
    E. Where are they learning about responsibility, reliability, integrity, and professionalism?
      Plagiarism, Slander, Copyright, Confidentiality, etc.

II. For the classroom, this means we need to rethink tools and problems we ask students to solve.
    A. Gather and discuss data via:
      Twitter, Facebook, Online Surveys, RSS Feeds, etc.
    B. Talk about reliable sources using:
      Google, Delicious, Wikipedia, etc.
    C. How could struggling students benefit from:
      Audacity, Video Lessons, Dynamic Graphic Organizers, etc.
    D. How could students in many areas of study create an e-portfolio to save and show their work?
    E. How could students be challenged to solve problems online?
      Gain skills through researching process and create many good discussions in the classroom.

III. We can manage technology at school just like we can pencils and paper.
    A. Anything can tempt bad behavior, but they are not the source of it.
    B. Lessons and tools in the classroom need to be:
      Relevant, Challenging, and Engaging
    C. Technology is not strictly about entertainment anymore. Students need to be engaged, not entertained.
    D. Entertainment: passive, for enjoyment, short-lived, doesn’t require relevance, allows escape from problems.
    E. Engagement: active, for learning, long-term results, meaningful and applicable, solving problems.
    F. We need to provide meaningful and powerful engagement that is fun and exciting.
    G. It starts with us:
      See what’s out there, start small, collaborate, and take a risk.

      Roberts thinks to teach in the 21st Century we will need to revamp how we approach teaching. Overall, I can see where Roberts is coming from in this video. He makes several good points! Information is easily accessed, and because of that a teacher's job needs to change some. However, just because the information is there, doesn't mean that the students are using it. Most students don't go online to learn what is needed for school on a regular basis. So, the teachers are the main source of information that is being taught in the classrooms. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of information out there and students need guidance as to how to use it respectfully and effectively. I also agree that there are benefits for students if we use technology in school and at home to further their engagement and ability to learn. However, teachers still have to tell the students to access that information and hold them accountable for it. If Roberts is correct and everything that he suggests needs to be done, then it change the way I teach in the future. I will have many resources at my fingertips to share with my students. It may not be the way I envisioned teaching, but it is not a downgrade. This change will require a lot more effort on my part, and I'm okay with that! It's all for the students anyways, and this gives them a lot more opportunities.

According to Networked Student by Wendy Drexler

      This video is very simple, but it shows the concept of collaborative learning using technology. The majority of the video is explaining this process, but at the end, a question is asked. "Why does [the networked student] even need a teacher?" (Networked Student. 4:12.) The teacher is there to help the student get started, to help them learn about the connectivity process, and to help the student figure out how to solve problems along the way. I agree with this completely. It is very important for students to actually do the work themselves if they want to retain the information for future use. I know that the little bit I have learned so far will be much easier to remember than if I were just told what to do.

According to Harness Your Students'Digital Smarts by Vicki Davis

      Vicki Davis believes that if you empower and encourage students, they can learn to learn. Davis states "every child can learn, but... when you have only paper and only pencil then only certain types of children are going to succeed." I believe this is true! It is unfair to those students who don't learn the traditional way. When I was in high school, I ended up helping many of my friends understand math because they couldn't understand it the way the teacher was teaching it. I just approached the problems from a different angle(pun intended) and with different words. That is what made me want to teach math. Since that moment, I have been saying that everyone can learn math; they just need the right teacher. Now I understand that it's not just the teacher, it's the method, and maybe that's why it is important to bring technology into the classroom.

According to Who's Ahead In The Learning Race by John Strange

      In this video, Dr. Strange is going over different ways technology is used in the classroom. While he is doing this, he is comparing elementary, undergrad, and grad to see who is using technology the most. So, who's ahead in this race? Here's my tally:
      Elementary: //// //// //
      Undergrad: //// / Coming Soon: ////
      Grad: /// Coming Soon: //// //
It is obvious that elementary students are using technology more in their classrooms, but I would like to point out that undergrad and grad are catching up! Now the question is who will win the race? And is it ever truly over? I personally don't think so, but that's a good thing, right?

According to Flipping the Classroom by Ms. Munafo (Uploaded by Lodge McCammon)

      Flipping the classroom is somewhat new to me. I think the term is throwing me off. In my math courses at the University of South Alabama, the teacher gives us sections to read and problems to attempt as homework before he goes over the section. He also puts these on Sakai in case we didn't have the chance to write them down in class. This is the same concept as flipping the classroom. I just look at it as homework to prepare for the next lesson. I think that this approach is extremely useful, and I have personally benefited from it as a student. As a future educator, I look forward to flipping my classroom! This will allow my students to figure out what they are having issues understanding. When they get to class, they can ask me specific questions that are tailored to what the student needs individually. I think this is great! Otherwise, I would spend all class simply explaining it on a basic level instead of being able to delve into the problems to help students truly understand.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!
Jennifer L. Cole

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Blog Post 1: What About EDM310?

1. What are the things you have heard about EDM310?

      I have heard that I need to take this course when the rest of my classes are super easy. Unfortunately, I heard this after I had already taken all of my easy classes. I also heard that it takes up a lot of your time and that you need to be able to learn on your own.

A Distorted Clock

2. What fears do you have about EDM310?

      I fear the steep penalties for late work. Although, I do understand the reasoning behind them. I'm also afraid that none of my group will be able to work with my availability to get together. I know that the course has a solution in the requirements since everyone has to be available during class hours, but I just don't like feeling like I'm restricting others. I also fear not getting an A in this course. I am also afraid that one of my daughters will get sick when there is either a class meeting or a group meeting. My husband is in the military, and it is nearly impossible for him to get off when they're sick.

3. Compare and contrast EDM310 with other courses you have taken in college or high school.

      There are a couple ways this course is similar to other courses. First, this course is a mixture of online and in class. Second, and lastly, the professor informed everyone up front what was expected of them in this course. There are many ways this course is different from other courses. First, this course doesn't meet every week. Some students may like this, but I prefer more time in the classroom. Second, you have to learn on your own. I know that I can learn on my own, but it takes me forever to look up information sometimes. Third, a computer is required for this course as well as a blog. Fourth, and lastly, you have to work with others on group projects. I personally love working in groups, but I rarely find that trait in my fellow group members.

4. What do you think will be the most difficult thing for you in EDM310?

      I think the most difficult thing is making sure my work is creative enough. I know that it will be difficult to come up with something that hasn't been done before. I want to make sure I exceed the creativity expectations for this course.

What it takes to be creative

5. What is the best way for you to address this "most difficult" aspect of EDM310?

      I'm a pretty creative person, so I suppose I'll just do some brainstorming on ways I can make my posts and projects unique.

6. What questions do you still have about EDM310? What ideas do you have about how to address those questions?

      How are groups going to be decided? When will we find out who our group members are? The only way to really address my questions is to ask Dr. Strange.

Thanks for reading,
Jennifer L. Cole

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Practice Blog Post: All About Me

Practice Blog Post Outline

I. My Past : Locations and Experiences
      A. Mississippi
      B. Washington
      C. Alabama
II. My Future : Education
      A. Why Education
      B. What Educators Do
      C. My Passions

All About Me

      My name is Jennifer Cole. I grew up in Mississippi and graduated from Pearl High School in 2006. I am very blessed with a caring mom and cool dad. I have two sisters, and I am in the middle. I have gone through rough patches with both of them, but I am close to both of them now. I had my first daughter in February 2008 and married my husband in May 2008. My husband joined the military in January 2010, and we were stationed in Seattle, Washington in August 2010. I had my second daughter in August 2011, and I shared this experience with my younger sister who had her son July 2011. Even though we were over three thousand miles apart, I was able to visit during and after our pregnancies. After three years of only seeing my husband five to eight months out of the year, we were stationed in Alabama where I started the next chapter in my life.
      The next chapter in my life is in education, but why did I choose it? I have known that I wanted to teach since I was in the eight grade. When I was in high school, many of my fellow classmates were having issues understanding math the way the teachers were saying it. Therefore, I ended up helping them understand math by explaining it a different way. This made me want to teach math. I look forward to being an educator because they help students learn how to learn. They teach students how to analyze a problem. In today's world, educators need to incorporate technology to enhance their teaching. Plus, in my personal opinion, all students can learn math. They just have to have the right teacher. I know I will love teaching because my passion helping others. I am currently teaching the three to five year-old missions class at my church, and I am also helping the youth by being their drama instructor.

This is a picture of a couple of kids from my missions class:

A Couple of Kids in my Missions Class

Thanks for reading,
Jennifer L. Cole