Week 6 Reflection

Week 6 Reflection

 

Although I still feel like at times I am frantically trying to prepare for this class, this week it all started to come together. I am learning in both the classes I am enrolled in that it is about being innovative and willing to take risks to stay on top of my game as an educator. Part of what makes us stand out as an educator, is being willing to stay current with the times.

 

This week I am feeling accomplished, as I was able to keep up with almost all of the tasks while still being away from home. I shared my blog in a timely manner and tweeted a few times. I spent the first part of the week reading the required readings and researching materials to support the reading. I am starting to like this learning on your own as I find things stick with me more. Nonetheless, it is a hard change to get use to.

 

As I read others post, they are in the same boat as me with all the new technologies and experience the same struggles as I have with trying to be innovative. I enjoyed reading Megan’s post about being innovative and I took a few minutes to respond to her. I noticed Gary also interacted with her. Again this week, I read Gary’s blog I was reminded about the important points this week. I interacted with him as well.  I also enjoyed reading Scott’s blog.

 

Another thing I did this week was reviewing the students’ wikis. I found this to be a daunting task because I panicked. My darn panicking causes things to be way too difficult. Once, I was redirected by Mary I discovered I was able to log on to the Wikis and review them. I am still in the process of filling out my final thoughts. I realized in my initial responses that they were weak. I am really struggling with this concept. I think it is such a difficult task, because I feel that they all did a great job. I am impressed with the technical skills of these students. Once, I wrap that up I can submit shortly.

 

 

 

Week 6 Blog- 668 Scudero

Week 6 Blog-Shauna Scudero

 

This week’s essential question asked us, “How does the culture of your current teaching environment differ from the learning environment you experienced as a student?” My student education in compared to the education my students receive differs tremendously in terms of how the content is delivered but the content has remained essentially the same.

 

Technology and data have greatly changed the way in which we teach and education is delivered, because both the teachers and students have changed. According to Hos-Grane (2011) in her article Students today are different – how should this impact on teaching and learning?, “students are learning all the time, though often using resources that are new such as blogs, podcasts, social media, gaming, virtual worlds and skype – and that these are often accessed using mobile technology.” Thus, it is evident that the way education is delivered much change. Students are different due to technological advances. Hos-Grane further states seeing students as different because they, “see knowledge as open, collaborative, accessible and often from the bottom up – such knowledge is usually presented as multimedia.” Wow! This reading really changed my mind about how we as teachers need to change because our students are changing.

 

Simply stated we need to be willing to change as educators. We don’t want to be stuck in a time period different from our students. In our reading A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change (2011) the authors refer to people as, “Pre-Pc” and “Post-Pc”. I definitely agree that there is a change in people based on their experience, however, I think you can classify people even further as changes have drastically taken shape since then. 

 

Our job as educators should be to be innovative and think outside the box so we can keep up with the changes that are taking place in education. Dave Burgess (2013) in his book Teach Like a Pirate encourages teachers to be innovative and passionate. I think the key here is passion, because more to often than not it is too easy to take the path of least work. I believe the passion is what will bring about the innovation. Yes, technology offers innovation but we need the passion to be willing to learn the new technologies.

 

The current culture of education changes yearly although we may not notice it. I have only been teaching for 6 years and when I think back to my first year of teaching I am reminded that things have changed. During my first year of teaching I was using an overhead projector and one of the only ones trying to use newer technologies. I found an overhead projector to connect to my computer store in the closet and dusted that off. Now, we have a technology-trained staff and wall mounted projectors in each room.

 

My students are eager to learn with technologies and dread regular paper pencil methods. The classrooms have changed drastically in the way students and teacher approach education. I have also noticed that with the standards and technology advancements students are coming into my classrooms more advanced then the previous years.

 

Yes, we do have the basic that we have to teach, but I believe technology has allowed us to teach them more effectively and efficiently. For instance, I have taught my students how to learn their times tables with song and video easily accessible through the internet and overhead.

 

In conclusion, the culture of education has changed due to technologies therefore our strategies as teachers should change as well.

 

 

Resources

 

Burgess, D. (2013).  Teach Like A Pirate. San Diego:  Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.

 

 

Davis, V. (2014, February 12).  The Potential of Unity (Video file).  Retrieved from

 

http://www.coolcatteacher.com/videos/kyle-gomboy/

 

Hos-McGrane, M. (2011, February 10). Tech Transformation. : Students today are different. Retrieved February 22, 2014, from http://www.maggiehosmcgrane.com/2011/02/students-today-are-different-how-should.html

 

Thomas, Douglas & Brown S., John. (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating   the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. Lexington, KY;

Week 5 Reflection

I am learning! Regardless of how overwhelmed or frustrated I get, I am doing what I set out to do. I am becoming more educated and in this case I am becoming more familiar with technology. This class is forcing me to learn new technologies and work outside my comfort zone. It is allowing me to take risks that might ultimately allow me to stay in the game. Education is changing because our lives are changing.

 

Currently, I am in Seattle at Fishermen’s terminal waiting for my clothes to dry and at the same time taking part in classes. It is a wonderful advancement in the way of thought and technology. Without this class being asynchronous I would not be able to participate in classes.

 

Now it maybe great in terms of being able to learn from anywhere, but I still do struggle with the unfamiliar. And boy oh boy, all this posting and using different technologies is something I struggle with. I find myself getting frustrated with just the amount of time it takes to get logged on. However, I am getting better with time management and learning some tricks. There are times when I feel like I have had enough, but then I remind myself of all the benefits. I am becoming a learner that searches for knowledge and can work at it when the times work best for me.

 

This week I found myself so upset with the class. I was panicking about not being able to view the Wiki pages. Well, come to find out that in my initial panic to get logged on to the Wiki pages I created two pages. Luckily, Lee was able to help me. Later, I came across an article that reinforced the idea that this is the right class for me if I want to be at the top of my game because it talked about innovation and education and highlighted the importance of Wikis. Before this article, I was a bit leery of Wikis and there value in the classroom. It turns out I just might be outdated. I love that this class if pushing me to be current in the field of education. I never want to be like some of my coworkers were to me when I first started teaching because I am outdated. In education, or teaching specifically, I find it is so easy to get tunnel vision because we are so concerned about learning that day that we don’t have time to learn new ways of doing things. We get stuck doing what is comfortable.

 

I also posted a few tweets about some apps. I was looking to get advice on some apps that I heard about and also looking to get new innovate ideas to bring into the classroom. I responded to Gary’s post and used his to help get me caught up. This year has been a rough year for me emotionally. I lost a grandmother, cousin, and uncle all in a week’s period back in November. Then, just recently, I learned my cousin is also facing some serious cancer ailments. Well, now I am ready to get caught up and I love how this class allows us to document are learning. I particularly like reading Gary’s blog as I find it easy to follow. I liked how he reminded us to be innovative within the realm of standards. Great job, Gary! I also posted on a few others. Megan had a great discussion on how innovation is necessary but difficult in the first years. We had a good conversation on this topic. I found her blog really had me thinking. This type of discussion would be great for students just about to become a teacher to follow along with experienced teacher.  You really learn a lot from the experience.

 

I also spent some time looking at the Wikis. I need to spend more time making comments on them.  I look forward to the upcoming weeks of pushing myself outside my own set of comforts.

Blog 5 668

How do we maintain excellence while being innovative? This is a bit of a challenge because in order to be innovative you have to be willing to take a risk and there is a chance that excellency will not be reached.

 

What does it mean to be an innovative teacher? I believe it means to take risks and try new techniques in the classroom that could possibly result in students meeting their learning needs in an exciting manner.   Innovation in education is according to the Innovation in Education website, “Being innovative is about looking beyond what we currently do well, identifying the great ideas of tomorrow and putting them into practice.”  Really I see being innovative as staying with the times. It is easy to be left behind and this practice allows us to continue to reach all children and ensures we will continue to do with greatness as the times change. I see innovation as a must.

 

Although innovation is necessary we have to remember to make sure that our innovation falls within the standards. So our goal as teachers is to make sure that we can teach the standards with innovation.

 

We also must learn to balance innovation with others’ perspective of education. Some people might not welcome innovation and we must do it in a way that promotes education so that it will be accepted.  Innovation is much different than the traditional way of teaching. You have to be willing to be innovative and accept and work at eliminating the resistance towards it. I know when I first started to teach, I took over a class for a veteran teacher and her style was much different than my own. We had conflicting views, as she was very traditional. I found it difficult to work around her, because she was very negative of what I was doing. Luckily, for standardized based assessments I was able to prove myself with my classroom scores. Innovation, although worth it, can be more difficult than just thinking outside the box.

 

I have been encouraged by Dave Burgess to be innovative and take the risk. He has a done a great job encouraging innovation in the classroom as the risks are worth the benefits.  Fisher (2009) has a report that summarizes the positive effects innovation has on education.  Innovation essentially has the ability to help increase educational gains in the classroom and is a risk I am willing to take.

 

 

Resources

 

Burgess, D. (2013).  Teach Like A Pirate. San Diego:  Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.

 

Fisher, W. (2009). Stimulating Excellence in Education. Stimulating Excellence in Education. Retrieved February 21, 2014, from http://www.rasch.org/rmt/rmt233c.htm

 

Innovation in Education. (n.d.). Innovation in Education. Retrieved February 21, 2014, from http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/support/Pages/innovatehere.aspx?Redirect=1

 

Week 4 Reflection

Although, I had a hard time keeping up with my postings I was able to keep up with my weekly reading, which I enjoyed. I found this week’s reading to be refreshing as well as needed. I think we all need to be reminded about trying to make our lessons engaging. It is so easy to become stuck in a routine. I definitely found myself inspired this week.

 

At the start of the week, I was frantic at the idea of hosting a twitter session on my own. However, Scott volunteered to host with me and he was wonderful. Unlike Scott I was very apprehensive about hosting a twitter session. I was relieved when Scott reassured and directed me about how to go about this. He really took the lead and helped tremendously during the session. Thanks to him I feel much more confident in hosting a twitter session. He was a fantastic partner and did a great job helping me keep up and keeping our peers engaged. Overall, I felt it went well.

 

After my challenge with Twitter was over, I began to try and help out my team with the rubric. Luckily, this class allows us to work at our own pace. I find that I am barely keeping afloat but I was able to join in and work with the group. I found that Gary and Sara are great leaders. Sara took the lead to start the initial posting. And Gary has been great about being a leader. I appreciate him tremendously. I also tried to start the initial posting, but went to the wrong page.  The rubric is coming along!

 

I also spent some of the week reading others and trying to get caught up. I feel like I am extremely behind due to my personal well-being. It has been a tough week! I did get a chance to respond to a few blogs. I enjoyed reading and responding to Gary’s and Scott’s blog.

 

Lastly, I shared a few resources on Twitter. I shared ways that I have helped to keep things engaged in my classroom. For example, I use math songs to help students get interested in something I am not that interested in myself.

 

All in all it was a great learning week despite my sicknesses.

Week 4 Blog

We keep our lessons engaging by being interested and passionate about what we are teaching. I know there are times I have had no motivation to teach certain concepts and it shows in both my performance and my students’ performance. First and foremost, we need to find passion for what we are doing.

 

Then we can plan to teach. According to Ann Grazin in her article Engaging Students: Keep Them on the Edge of Their Seats she believes you can engage students by: striking a balance, setting rules from the start, being consistent, staying calm, setting up a functional classroom, and seeking outside help when needed. I also agree, but when thinking of engaging students I was thinking in terms of a current lesson. I think that sometimes we forget to have these classroom management skills, which are integral to ensuring students are learning. I was glad I came across this article.

 

When planning lessons I think about: what do I need to teach, how will I teach it, and how will I assess students?  After, I have done that I think about how can I engage students so they will LEARN.  If I don’t engage students I am pointlessly rambling in the front of the classroom to students who really do not care about what I have to say.  My 3 basics fit within the article Ten Tips for Engaging Underperforming Students by Mariko Nobori.  I also agree with Nobori that in planning engaging lessons the essential question is important. Nobori has the Essential Question listed as the first tip in planning. I am learning that the essential questions are critical. However there are always those lessons that are hard to fake the enthusiasm even with essential questions just because we as teachers lack enthusiasm for it.

 

 

How can we do that when some things just are not that interesting to us? Sometimes, I take a deep breath and try to tackle teaching it. However, over the years I have come to believe that it might be more beneficial to pick up a concept that you know works and will be great reinforcement. For instance, the other day in math class I was not feeling like teaching the metric system because I knew it was going to be a difficult task. I wasn’t at the top of my game so instead I pulled out a place value game that I knew would help benefit students. I also did this because I did not want to confuse students because I was not ready to teach them about the metric system.  I am not sure I am passionate about the metric system regardless of whether I feel like teaching it or not  and for that reason  I will follow the advice of Dave Burgess from his book Teach Like a Pirate and fake it.

 

Usually, to engage students I have something interesting to introduce the lesson. Some of the things I like to use are: visual graphics, hands-on activities, karaoke songs, past work, videos, or interesting tidbits to name a few.   For instance, to teach about the metric system I have a song called Meters, Liters and Grams by RRR. My students loved singing along to this song. I also found the song helped them with their work as many referred back to it. According to the site where I purchased the song they have created these songs to, “for teachers who need something fun and engaging to use in class.” I couldn’t agree more! Another activity I like to do is to create a memory trick or pneumonic device to remember the order of the metric system. In this case we used King (Kilo) Henry (Hecta) Died (Deka) By (Base: Meters, Liters, and Grams) Drink (Deci) Chocolate (Centi) Milk (Milli). I also have videos to help reinforce the concepts of the metric system. To further extend the lesson outside of the workbook I allow students to go onto IXL.com to work at their level. I find that when I only work out of the workbook students get bored.

 

So really to engage my students I have to find ways to get away from the traditional paper pencil method. More recently, I introduced a place value game and I have students begging me to do this during their recess. With that being said it is evident that students thrive for games and they help to teach the concepts we want to review. I found that this place value game has one more for students than weeks of practicing because they are engaged. The key is to find what engages students.

 

Resources:

 

 

Gazin, A. (n.d.). TEACHERS. Scholastic Teachers. Retrieved February 12, 2014, from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/engaging-students-keep-them-edge-their-seats

 

Norobi, M. (n.d.). Ten Tips for Engaging Underperforming Students. Edutopia. Retrieved February 12, 2014, from http://www.edutopia.org/stw-school-

 

Use Educational Rap and Hip-Hop Songs in Class!. (n.d.). Educational Rap Songs For Teaching by EducationalRap.com. Retrieved February 12, 2014, from http://www.educationalrap.com/

 

Week 3 Reflection-Rubic Develpment

This was definitively a week full of intense learning in terms of collaborating via technology in order to develop a rubric that measured the quality of a serious game. I greatly appreciate the collaboration piece because I am living in rural Alaska and it allows me to participate in a class I otherwise would not be able to.

 

However, I also find myself challenged with the technology aspect of this class. Like many other weeks, I found myself in a time crunch because I do not allow myself enough time to get familiar with the materials and technologies I am using.  For instance, I would periodically check the Wiki to see if my group had gotten started and like a fool I would only see the input from week 1.  After navigating the site, I eventually found the tab where the collaborative assignment was. At this point my group had already added a lot of input. I really appreciate the lead Gary is taking.

 

I was able to catch up and add to my group’s discussion. For the most part I was in agreement with my teammates in our goal to develop a rubric for determining the quality of a serious game.  My group did an excellent job discussing and sharing ideas in order to narrow the list of components required to have a quality serious game. Alone this task was a difficult process and I had a much larger list. The list I originally had came from James Paul Gee’s list. Although, I believe all the points I originally made in my own attempt are important I think it is essential to narrow the list down for a rubric. Through a collaborative effort my team had decided to create a list using umbrella terms that included: challenges, encouragement, learning, entertainment, problem solving components, and collaboration. We went from a bare bones rubric to a full-developed rubric. In the development there was always teammates who were one step ahead of me with great ideas as a result I felt like a cheerleader who encouraged my teammates. This project has taken collaboration to the next level for myself and I am grateful to be working with such great leaders.