Sunday, February 27, 2011

Project 9b: Instructional TimeToast

Blog Assignment 6

Interactive whiteboard at CeBIT 2007Image via WikipediaWendy Drexel’s Networked Student Blog and Video

After watching Wendy Drexler’svideo and reading her blog, I have several questions. The most important of which is, “Did it work?” The blog was written almost 2 years ago, so assuming she was able to start in the fall of 2009 there has been ample opportunity for her to give this a try. I would love to see her blogs during this experiment and an updated list of things which did and did not work.
One thing that caught my attention about the video was it talked about a college student, not a primary student. Richard Howell’s blog response shared his concerns about still needing a teacher to teach and technology not working in a lot of situations. I understand his concerns, but I do not think Ms. Drexler’s idea was for teachers to do no teaching. I am all for guided, collaborative and independent learning, whether this includes technology or not is a separate matter altogether. Whatever technologies students have at their disposal should be used and shared. This is especially important in schools where budgets are hard hit or many students do not have access to technology outside of the classroom. I have attended and worked in schools like this, and address my concerns below. I feel a 21st century teachers’ job is to give students what will benefit them most. It is not nearly as important anymore to be an expert at something as it is to be resourceful, creative, and flexible. Now this does not mean I do not feel students will need to know facts or unchanging things such as 2x2=4. Simply that it is more important for students to understand general concepts and how to find the facts they need when they need them. The best thing my parents ever did for me was to not tell me how to spell a word or what a word meant. They would make me get the dictionary and find out for myself. While searching for the word I needed I would spend numerous hours learning. Because of that, I was ahead of many of my peers for years in vocabulary.
I love that she chose a science class to do this. I am not certain what her background is, but mine is a B.S. in Biology. In all of the required blogs we have had to blog about so far, this is the first one that really talked about using technology in science. This is really strange considering science often gives us technology. I do worry about how rural or inner city schools are going to handle the increase pressure to incorporate technology. I know where I grew up there really was not much of a science lab, much less computers in every classroom. We did have one computer lab with about 30-40 computers that over 500 students shared. Although the local phone company offers internet access, it is dial-up still for most of the county. The number of people with computers has increased, but I know a lot of students would have to use class time or stay after school in order to work on projects. Staying after school for most students would not be feasible since they have to ride the bus home given they are bused in as far as 30 miles. For inner city schools, often the schools are overcrowded and therefore over taxed simply because of the sheer number of students serviced.

Personal Learning Environment

This student’s PLE was impressive! I like how she had everything organized, and that she addressed several concerns I and others have mentioned this year about students misusing the freedom and internet in classes like this. She said that although the social networking sites were a distraction, she had enough motivation to get her school work done. She said part of the motivation was the class animals and how neat the projects were once they were completed. I wonder what other motivations her teacher uses. Are grades enough to motivate anymore? As of right now, her PLE is definitely more impressive than mine.

Interactive White Boards (IWB's)

After reading the two critical posts about IWB’s, I found a few sites which spoke of the positive points of IWB’s. One on the NEA’s website not only listed why interactive white boards are beneficial in classrooms, but gave a list of several kinds of IWB’s, including the most popular SMART boards and economical options such as Mimio. I have never used any type of IWB, and having terrible handwriting, love anything which keeps me from having to write. However, I do feel both critics made extremely valid points. With ever shrinking (or at least not increasing) budgets, I’m not sure if IWB’s are the best use of a district’s money. This is especially true if a school already has projectors set-up in their classroom where teachers and students can plug in jump drives of pre-created projects. Granted, the ability to change or create a project while in class sounds like a great one, how often would it actually be used in a given semester? I do not mean using IWB for students to do math problems that could be done as easily on a dry erase board, but legitimate creation and collaboration. Even if this is something which would happen on a regular basis in a semester, could there be a simpler and more cost-effective way? Perhaps iPods have a program what would allow the same collaborative real-time creation? At this point I am neither sold on the benefits of IWB’s nor their total uselessness. I do hope working with a SMART board for our next project will help me have a better understanding of their value in the classroom.
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Comments for Kids Summary 1

Adult Emperor PenguinImage via WikipediaI enjoyed commenting on the kids’ posts. I ended up commenting on several other students’ blogs. The three blogs I was assigned are as follows: Alia, Subika, and Lucy.

Alia’s blog was the longest and included a video she had made about adjectives. She did a wonderful job. I told her she had done so and has better computer skills than I do. I really was impressed by her blog. I tried to find a link to a school website or classroom site, but never did. What I gather from reading Alia’s blog, she is learning English as a second language. Especially considering this, Alia’s blog is all that much more impressive.

Subika’s blog seemed a lot more personal than professional/educational. It was still a great blog on the two hour delays her school had been having due to bad weather, but I read several of her blogs and almost all of them were personal whereas almost all of Alia’s were based on English assignments. This is not a bad thing. In a way it can help Subika learn to be a responsible and conscientious blogger at a young age while still working on her writing skills. I asked her a few questions about her blog, but never received a response.

The last blog I commented on was Lucy’s blog. Again, I had read more than one of her blogs, and much like Subika, Lucy’s blog was much more personal. The blog I commented on was about her new stuffed animal, Waddles. He is a stuffed Emperor penguin she received for Valentine’s Day. Again, I asked her several questions, but at my last check, she had not answered.
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Blog Assignment 5

AudacityImage via WikipediaEagles’ Nest Radio

What a wonderful way to combine learning and creativity. I ended up listening to several of the podcasts by this class. Not only are students working on learning history and technology, they are building communication and public speaking skills, as well as building confidence and self-esteem. I wonder how much time is allotted each week/month for these podcasts. Also, I wonder if the students must write their own scripts. I’m almost certain they do given some of them sound like book reports I remember doing in elementary school. However, the dialogue between the information makes me wonder how much help they receive from their teacher. It’s not that I don’t think students are capable of writing such professional sounding broadcasts, but they do look rather young to have achieved such accomplishments without help.

Judy Sharf’s “Podcast Collection”

This site really is a great collection of information on how to make, share and promote your podcasts as well as what one is and why you should use them. The most helpful thing I found was the lesson plan provided. I look forward to trying this out in my classroom. I watched this YouTube video. I wish I had watched it before we did our podcast. Although Audacity would not work correctly on my Windows 7 OS, I did not know about downloading the MP3 encoder, Lame, at all. I also did not know about the noise remover or the normalizer. It actually was chock full of great information: tags with pictures for your podcasts, several ways to upload your podcast and even ways to promote your podcast in search engines.

The Educational Podcast Network

This site is attempting to be a central location for educational podcasts. I found several links which were dead ends. However, the ones which I did find that worked were great. I listened to one by an 11th grade English class from Germany. Having taken German in college, this really interested me. Part of the courses’ goals was to teach us about the culture as well. The podcast I listened to talked mostly about the way German schools work. I found it extremely interesting and something that my German professors could have used in the class. Another great thing about this site is that it combines both students and professionals’ work, so it is kind of like one stop shopping for teachers.
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Project 8: Podcast

Nell Brought, Dana Johnson, John Smith and I answered the question, "What will future classrooms be like?" We asked our peers and a few professors as well as read a few news articles on current debates and changes happening in America. Other than mentioning that Georgia is considering saying "Bye" to textbooks, none of the ideas are directly from any person polled. Rather, we took time and mulled over ideas given from the input and decided as a group what we felt the future classroom would look like. This includes changes, the pros and cons of changes, and what we felt would not change. I hope you enjoy our podcast and comment on what you think future classrooms will be like!

"What will the Future Classroom be Like?"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Photo Essay: Amazing Libraries Around the World

Photo Essay: Amazing Libraries Around the World
I just found 8 new places for my bucket list! Yes, I'm a proud, proud nerd. Places like these are my haven; my playground; my paradise! How can anyone who calls themselves an educator not instantly start drooling when they see images like these! :o) Of course, the environmentalist in me prefers e-books! I've spent whole life times in libraries! My husband hates to hear me say, "I need to stop by the library." I've paid more money for overdue books than I have on haircuts in my entire lifetime. Having grown up a relatively poor kid in the middle of no-where Alabama with a travel bug, books gave me that escape. Since the county I grew up in was ONLY white or black, libraries exposed me to new cultures and religions. I don't mean to go on like this, I know we live in the technology age, but I guess I'm just feeling nostalgic after seeing these beautiful libraries.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My first art project in about a decade!

I saw this video while "Stumbling" earlier today. I have several family birthday's this month and forgot to get a card for one of my aunts. So, I decided to try my hand at making my first "pop-out" flower card. I learned I definitely need more markers/colored pencils and I take entirely too long when doing arts and crafts. However, it was fun and I look forward to trying more things like this. Hope you enjoy the video and if you have time, give it a try!
My first pop-out flower card

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

iPad with on display keyboardImage via Wikipedia

Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please?

Dr. McLeod’s poem falls right in line with what I have been reading lately about the pros and cons of technology in the classroom. There are many concerns about the amount of time spent using SM and such. I feel much like he does at the end of his poem, if we do not use the technology that is available, we will put our students at a disadvantage. All of the negative things he had to say are true as well, but the really are just an extension of “real-life” dangers everyone faces anyhow. That’s not to say parents and teachers shouldn’t teach safeguards just that regardless of where the danger is there is always danger for which one must be prepared. What better way to teach and prepare students for their “real” future than to have both parents and teachers working together to show them how to properly use and safeguard themselves with technology.
Dr. McLeod resides in Ames, Iowa where he is an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration program at Iowa State University and Director of CASTLE. He is considered a leader in primary (K-12) “school technology leadership issues”. My favorite works of his are the “Did You Know? (Shift Happens)” YouTube videos.

The iSchool initiative

I had watched this video once before. I think iSchool has a lot of feasible ideas. Many students are already familiar with the “i-interfaces” and will happily accept using them. The young man in the video showed many great applications that are already out that can be used to make learning more efficient, fun, and in-depth. This will lead to better education. With the capability to e-mail recorded lectures and notes to classmates or from teachers to students, not only will students who missed a class benefit, but it will also allow various learning styles to benefit in how they learn. The possibilities are numerous as well for the various applications that could be used as a resource for learning and not all are traditional; YouTube being the first that comes to mind.
The key points for school boards, administrators and legislators are the dollar signs. I have not verified the figures he quoted, but if they hold true, especially if publishers raise prices on e-textbooks and educational applications, then it would be prudent for schools to embrace technology. With the economy tanking and schools everywhere having to tighten already slim budgets, anything that could alleviate costs while boosting education should be pounced on immediately. One thing, which he didn’t mention but will make a difference in pricing and therefore “sell-ability,” is training teachers who aren’t computer literate. Of course, with colleges requiring courses such as EDM310, this would hopefully only be an initial investment and not a continuing one.

Lost Generation

This is an amazing video. I found it incredible how this poem was set up to work out like it did. Someone obviously put a lot of thought and effort into it. At first I was completely indignant when she was reading it through the first time. I was happily surprised when she began reading it reverse though. As I thought about it, however, I wondered how many students felt this way? How many have been told essentially the same things? That they are not wanted, that they will never amount to anything, and that they are part of a “lost generation?” I wonder how many are waiting for someone to come along and tell them that they don’t have to be part of that generation, that they are worth a lot, that they can be anything they want to be, that their world is limitless. I believe I will hold onto this one for a long time as inspiration. I’ve mentioned once before that the men in my life all have ADHD and were all told they would never be anybody or accomplish anything. This drives my pedagogy that we never know the limits of a person.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'

Unbelievable! Beautiful! Scary! All of these words came to mind when I watched the video. It is unbelievable that so many people who have never met each other and who are not in the same country much less room could achieve such harmony. I sang in my church choir and as a trio with my siblings for many years and we had problems with this being 2 feet apart! I can’t fathom how they managed that with lag from the various speeds of their internet connections. It was very beautiful. It scared me when I thought about global competition. With the economy in the tank, I was laid off from a rather nice teaching job in December and found myself competing for a job yet again. It is difficult enough competing with hundreds of others who are qualified to do what I do. With technology allowing such things as I just watched, am I going to have to compete with millions now? It will be awesome for allowing us to expand our horizons if we are selected for things such as this project, but with the pressure we already have competing for employment, I am afraid it will only increase the pressure to succeed.

Teaching In the 21st Century

“What does it mean to teach in the 21st century?” I believe the underlying principle of teaching will always be the same: to prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in society. What changes will be and is the knowledge and skills needed. Students still need to know how to form a grammatically correct sentence with proper spelling, mathematics, science and history. Changes that are already taking place include mandatory typing classes and computer OS and program courses. In the future, despite a lot of people’s objections, I see learning handwriting to disappear, or only be offered as an elective perhaps. With communication being more and more computer and telephone based, I really do not see the need for handwriting classes being around; typing will take the place of handwriting skills. I believe that teachers are going to have to incorporate technology into the pedagogy not only because it is can make their lives easier, their students are often familiar with it already, but because it is the future of most every job and students must have them to compete. The skills they listed in the video are vital, and are already being taught on some level. I think they will need to be amped up however. These skills are things such as finding reliable information, adequately crediting where information was found (critical to avoid plagiarism and fraud), and knowing how to share information will all be skills that will need to be honed as students move through primary schools.
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blog Assignment 3

A mathematics lecture, apparently about linear algebraImage via Wikipedia

A Vision of Students Today

I have mixed ideas after watching this video. I believe the creators’ intentions were to show how inadequate most college lectures are at retaining the attention of the average college student. After more hours than I care to recall sitting in a classroom desk, I agree. Although the majority of my professors have gone to projected power points instead of chalkboards (I had a few who still preferred this method!), few lectures were really spent integrating technology into the classroom. I would say that the majority of the statistics used in the video were spot on. I know I am guilty of using my laptop for things other classwork during lecture. However, I am not certain that prohibiting laptops (not that this is the solution given by the video) would keep students from checking out Facebook during class. Even if professors increased the amount of technology they included in the lecture, most would still become distracted.
I think the answer lies in more discussion and less lecture. I believe a statistic they touched on, but did not address directly is that most American college students do not do the assigned readings before class. If teachers held discussions of the material instead of lectures on the material, perhaps more students would be inclined to do their outside reading, and would be more engaged during the expensive class session. Now, with an average class size of 115, I understand how difficult and futile this would be. The immediate response it to hire more college professors or have more class times allowing for smaller classes, but I am sure this would raise only the cost of tuition and not the quality of the education at most universities. One last thought, I think most college textbooks would get more use if they were on-line with helps such as those at, which introductory biology students are using this semester.

It's Not about the Technology

I enjoyed Mrs. Hines' post primarily for two reasons: one she points out that technology is a tool and not the answer, and two she rightly stated that teachers must lead by example when she said teachers must be learners. I know a lot of teachers I have met felt like once they had their diploma and landed their tenures then they were set. No need to pursue anything further. One teacher I worked with flat refused to do anything our directors requested even if it made things easier for us simply because she did not want to learn a new way of doing anything. Professional development was seen as “cruel and unusual punishment” by nearly everyone. Almost all of the teachers I worked with were computer illiterate, and did not mind staying that way despite the fact that our entire program was computer based. Granted, most of the teachers were 20+ year veterans working for beginning teacher’s salaries, so, there was not a lot of incentive.
John Smith, one of my podcast members, mentioned that with the increase of technology in the classrooms that perhaps competition for teaching jobs will increase. He also said this would hopefully lead to better teachers, teachers who are capable of learning new techniques, who are creative and innovative. I think this is a good thing. I am not saying it will be good loosing veteran teachers because their experience can be invaluable for new teachers like me. However, teachers who are unwilling or unable to change will be left behind and perhaps would hinder not help their students. This will not always be the case because some of the best teachers are “old school.” However, the veterans who are most valuable are the ones who know how to teach because they are learners, even if the learning does not involve much technology. Having teachers who are capable of inspiring creativity and innovation will be as important as the tech geeks. I read on the 2030 initiative’s site that the hope is teachers of the future will come from many paths and not straight from a teacher’s education program for this very reason. Ultimately, I think that will lead to the best schools. Technology is great when properly used by multiple people who see the world from different views.

Is It Okay To Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

I had never heard of the native verses immigrant to technology theory. Perhaps this is because I was a teen during the 1990’s, so I would probably fall into the native category. Regardless, I think the author of the list had several valid points. Despite anyone’s view of the good vs. evil of technology in schools, the fact remains it is a part of billions of people’s everyday life. As technology continues to expand due to lower costs, this is only going to increase. Therefore, it is vital that educators know at least the basics of daily technological devices. I believe number 7 summed up why teachers must know this best; “[W]e don't have the moral right to sit placidly on the sidelines whilst some educators are potentially jeopardising the chances of our youngsters.” As teachers it is our job to be the best we can so that our students can reach their full potential.
To answer Mr. Fisch’s question of is a computer illiterate teacher the equivalent of a teacher who could not read and write 30 years ago, I have to say YES! I know this is extreme, but without a doubt the teacher is not only hindering themselves, but their students. This isn’t to say that computer illiterate teachers don’t have something to offer, but they are without question limiting their effectiveness. No matter what advances are made in any discipline, a person who is not willing to be a life-long learner in that discipline is going to become a relic and therefore unable to compete. Teachers should be no exception, but instead should be the trend-setters when it comes to learning. I just want to clarify I don’t think a teacher has to know everything about anything, but it is ESSENTIAL they be willing to learn, modify and adapt their pedagogy their entire careers just as doctors have to continuously learn new techniques as medicine advances.

Garys Social Media Count

This counter really was cool. It is amazing how quickly the numbers change. One question I have though, are these numbers just for America or globally? Globally makes more sense, and if you consider there are about 7 billion people in the world, the numbers aren’t quite as impressive. The point of the counter though is to show how exponentially technology is expanding, which it does. Perhaps it would be more impressive if showed side by side with counters from 10, 20, and even 30 years ago. I know most of the data for today such as iPhone apps or Facebook comments would not be available even 10 years ago, but that might make the information show the growth even more. I am sure there is something that Mr. Hayes could find that spans all three decades, such as the one about e-mail.
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Using Google Calendar for Lesson Planning

I came across this link on twitter and thought it was helpful, so I'm sharing. It's a YouTube video showing how to use Google Calendar and Google Docs for easy lesson planning, especially if you are collaborating. It's by John R. Sowash. Hope you find it helpful. I think I'm going to try it out using my classwork for now.

Happy Learning!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Comments for Teachers Summary 1

old red schoolhousephoto © 2005 David Jakes | more info (via: Wylio)

For the first week’s comments, the blogger, Mr. Will Richardson, wrote about a new book "The New Culture of Learning"by John Seely Brown. This book sounds intriguing. Richardson quotes several paragraphs about changing the way we view the educational system. Brown states we should think of schools as “learning environments” because “environment” evokes a sense of a living, changing, cooperative situation between the teacher, the students and the reality of an exponentially transforming global society. The author mentioned the metaphor “…teach a man to fish…” to illustrate the problem faced by modern students. He writes, “[T]he pool of unchanging resources is shrinking, and that the pond is providing us with fewer and fewer things that we can even identify as fish anymore.” What this means for teachers is we must do more than teach reading and writing. We must teach students to survive by being able to adapt to changes and know how to “learn” not simply pass a test. Richardson states “It’s more than about the language and the lens we bring, but that’s an important starting point in the work.” I agreed that we need to teach our students the skills they will need to compete in a global market where things are changing faster than we can sometimes adapt.

Mr. Richard’s second blog I read was written the week of Educon and the uprising in Cairo. Richardson poses the question, “When's Our Egypt Movement?” He ponders when will American parents/educators finally stand and say, “Enough already! We demand a better system.” Although he doubts the passion will equal that of the Egyptians, he hopes that it will be enough to perpetuate the change needed. Of course, a valid problem, he points out, is how can parents pull their children out of the current schools without adequately different schools to which to send them. I shared the experiences of my frustrated former students when I taught for an alternative school. It was dreadful how badly our school system had failed so many students. Mr. Richardson also pointed out the school system seems to be falling apart on its own and perhaps we need to concentrate on implementing a new system as the current one fades.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My reading list has changed.

Steacie Science and Engineering Library at Yor...Image via WikipediaI am loving EDM310. It's intense and time consuming, but in a wonderful way. Thankfully, I'm okay at multi-tasking. One thing I've learned so far in EDM is my reading list is going to look a lot different from here on out. I love technology, but I'm an old-school bookworm. There's nothing like the feel and smell of a good book. Yes, I said smell. If you haven't been in a BAM (Books-a-Million) in a while, you should stop in and smell the knowledge! My husband dreaded hearing the words BAM or library, and before him, there was rarely a time I wasn't found with a book within reach, most likely right in front of my nose. However, EDM is without a doubt changing my reading habits. It's not like I had never read a blog or on-line journal or even *gasp* an e-book, but it was limited to when necessary. I'm finding that Twitter is the main culprit to my change. With the addition of the "follow these people list", I am finding myself clicking left and right on links and loving what I find. Even as a science teacher, my mind is reeling on ways to include technology into my lectures. I guess there are some huge benefits to going to the "dark side." 
1) I won't need that new bookcase after all. 
2) I can have my whole library on hand all the time. 
3) My husband won't have to darken the door of a BAM or library again. (Well, maybe on my birthday if he really loves me!) 
4) I'll feel like I'm doing my part to save the planet by saving the trees! 
5) My husband can fall asleep without the light.

 I will miss the feel and smell of a good book though, and my dream of having my own library someday...
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blog Assignment 2

Beakman's World Cast Photo

Did You Know?
Although I knew technology was exploding, seeing the statistics awed me. The most awe-inspiring statistic mentioned first year technical students’ knowledge will be out-dated by their third year. Being a biology student, I understand how quickly things are changing relative to historical rates of change, but this video mentions doubling of technology beyond what I realized. I guess just in my life-time we have made huge jumps. In 1983 almost no one had a personal computer and now many people carry them in their pockets!
As a future teacher, the idea that I will be “preparing students for jobs that do not exist yet with technologies we do not have for problems we don’t know about,” really got me to thinking. I heard Glenn Beck say the other day there are five things that makes a country a superpower: innovation, technology, capital, labor and entrepreneurship. Without going into all the points he made, he stated he believes America’s only chance to remain somewhat of a superpower is to keep our innovation and entrepreneurship thriving. I think this video shows in order to compete globally American students will have to be able to adapt quickly, be creative, be efficient and learn skills to be life-long learners no matter their field of study.
Mr. Winkle Wakes
The author cleverly showed disconnect between “real-world” technologies and classroom technologies. Although most teachers would like to think SMART boards and art projects have changed the pedagogy over the last 200 or so years, they really have not done much to change the way we teach students. Students are basically taught to memorize, regurgitate, and repeat. I guess the hope is that repeating this process enough times will lead to something sinking in permanently, and some does after thirteen years of learning the same basic information year after year.
I hope courses like EDM 310 will help set a desire to change the pedagogy of American schools, but with things such as NCLB and ever increasing amounts of paperwork generated by mostly well intentioned plans, it’s going to be a hard climb. With increased fear of lawsuits, many schools and teachers are concerned about “rocking the boat” to push for changes. In my opinion, the unions do little to help either. I know they served a purpose, but I’m like most traditional Southerners, I am wary of unions. I digress. My point is if we hope to be able to compete, we have to be able to do more than theorize, and I fear in our politically-correct, sue-happy world it might be harder to do than we would like to think.
Schools Kill Creativity
I very much enjoyed Sir Ken Robinson’s lecture. The story of the dancer really hit home for me. Having many family members who have been pushed to the wayside by so-called educators simply because they did not fit the anticipated molds, I discovered early on that people learn differently and that is a good thing. When I was a college freshman, I had to take what I believe South calls freshman orientation. One of the first things we did in this class was to take a learning style test. This is the first time I was told there are many distinct learning styles. I remember the professor telling us that knowing our learning styles and understanding what they would mean would make us better students. I immediately wondered why I was in my fourteenth year of school before I was being told this obviously vital information.
However, thinking back, the best class I ever had in grade school was 6th grade science. At the time, Alabama and PBS ran a program called “Integrated Science” for 6th through 8th grade science classes across the state. Students watched a video on a lesson, while having to fill in the blanks of a handout about what was being taught, then discussed with the teacher about what they just heard and saw, and finally, the crème de la crème, a hands-on experiment! I will never forget the week we made ice cream in Ziploc bags out of soda pop. My classmates and I all drastically improved our science grades that year. Unfortunately, like most good things in education, budget cuts squashed the program before we could begin the 7th grade. So, I guess even if it didn’t last, someone somewhere knew this at least fifteen years ago!
Creativity Myths
The young girl does a nice job interviewing Sir Robinson. I’ve heard that the U.S. has fallen to 14th in world education, but that was a few years ago. The statement that Finnish students do not have school days as long as American students is an important one. I have read studies on the benefits of schools starting later and staying open later, meeting six days instead of just five days a week, and meeting year round. I really think most students would benefit from year round schooling. I think it would cut down on loss of information, and allow more fluidity in learning. I also agree that children are required to be as school way too early in the morning. This is a cultural issue for Americans though, just like year round school is. Our society is trying to move away from the 9-5 lifestyle some, but not nearly enough to warrant changing school hours or days of operation.
I agree with Sir Robinson that it is a myth that not everyone is creative. However, I think we would have to change our idea of creativity in America some as well. At least, I know when I hear people talk about creativity, I initially think of arts and crafts class. Although, I do okay with drawing and better with collages, I worry American teachers would be pulling out markers and glitter and giving grades on scissor ability. All of which I would not do well in. Perhaps that isn’t what Sir Robinson means, and I do think that room to think outside the box should be allowed. Once I thought about it more, allowing students to be creative in science class has many possibilities. I think I will have to explore some more into how I could allow a high school science class to have more creativity in their school work.
Vicki Davis
I loved this teacher! The only thing that would have made it better is if she was a science teacher instead of a computer teacher. It’s refreshing to know though that she is from an apparently rural town in Georgia, and yet her class is making such connections. The best thing she said was she doesn’t know everything, and doesn’t act like she does. I also loved that she had the students take part in the teaching process. I think it’s important, and necessary to know your own abilities, without letting them limit you as a teacher.
When I was teaching at Drop Back In, I did my best to be honest with my students on what I did and didn’t know, especially since I was teaching subjects other than biology. I hope to be a life-long learner and more importantly, I hope to make my students into life-long learners. I would love to work with teachers like those in these videos who are innovative and creative and push me to be a better teacher.