Saturday, May 31, 2014

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

Teaching in the 21st century will, by far, be so much different than the way teachers taught me in school. So much new technology is being used in schools now that I did not even know was being used, and I, as a new teacher will have to learn to use these different aspects of technology and teach my students how to use them in order to better their learning environment.

In the movie, “Mr. Dancelot”, Professor Dancelot attempts to teach a dance class to students using a powerpoint presentation. The students all seem very confused throughout the various class sessions that were recorded. This video relates to me personally, because I have recently gotten into Ballroom dancing. I understand why the students would be confused about the dances when they are being shown by a slideshow. This video reflects the idea that certain classes cannot be taught efficiently in a typical classroom setting of listening to a teacher lecture, taking notes, and taking tests. One learns how to dance well by performing the steps, and having hands-on experience with the different dance types. Looking at a diagram of the Foxtrot steps is not going to teach someone how to Foxtrot efficiently, much less allow them to understand it enough to perform it for a final test!

Teacher or Parent Using with a Child Using an iPad for MathI enjoyed watching the video called “Teaching in the 21st Century” by Kevin Roberts, because it gave me insight into what is going to be expected of me as a 21st century educator. Roberts makes the claim that teachers are no longer the main resource for information, but are becoming the filter of knowledge. Another great video resource that discusses this process of teaching is “Networked Student” by Wendy Drexler. Both videos discuss how students today have access to basically any information they would ever need through cell phones, social media, Google, and much more. Why would a 21st century student need a teacher when all of these resources are provided to them? Roberts claims that teachers are needed to teach students how to use the resources provided to them: how to find the information they need and apply it to the task they have been given, communicate information to other people, and solve problems using such information. Students must be taught about plagiarism, slander, and many other “need-to-know’s” of the writing and communicating process. I agree with Roberts idea of  how learning should involve engagement and not just entertainment. Roberts claims that entertainment is passive, but being engaged in what one is learning will help them comprehend and retain what they have learned.

In Vicki Davis’ video, “Harness Your Students Digital Smarts”, she discusses her approach of getting students comfortable with technology in the classroom. She claims that one doesn’t have to know how to do something to teach it. I don’t agree with this approach to teaching, because I think a teacher should at least know how to do what has been assigned to the students, even if they aren’t directly showing the students how to do it. Having the students search for information and learn how to do things themselves is a great idea, but assigning something to students when the teacher cannot complete the assignment doesn’t sound like a good idea. The examples she used was a group of her students being in charge of “terraforming” in a computer program. The students were required to search for information on how to perform this task, and taught the teacher how to do it as well. She claimed that she did not know how to terraform until that day. As a future teacher, I would want to know how to do what my students were being required to do.

The last video I watched was called “Flipping the Classroom”. The woman speaking in the video is a teacher and she is explaining the process of “flipping” a classroom. This process includes students receiving an assignment, and completing the assignment at home while watching a video that was recorded by the teacher. This process saves time in the classroom because the teacher has already taught the lessons to the students the night before through the video assignment. Since the teachers have more time in the classroom they can focus on helping the students master the subject instead of spending so much time in front of the class lecturing. Also, having the video recordings of the lessons allows the students who need to review more to do so because they can re-watch the videos as much as they would need to.

Watching these videos has opened my eyes to the new way of teaching that is being implemented in our schools. I did not realize how important technology is becoming in our education systems and how much I will be required to know about this technology. These videos are great resources for information on how teaching is changing in our society.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blog Assignment #1- What about EDM 310?

Up until this point, I have heard many horror stories about this class. Many students have made comments such as, "This class will be the end of you!" and "You better keep up or you'll never catch up!", and after just one day in this class, I might agree with them! The main fear I have of this class is getting behind, because late work will drop my grade, and catching back up will be even harder. Good time management will be a key factor in succeeding in EDM 310, as well as being organized and planning ahead for assignments. These are aspects of my education I have struggled with in the past, and will have to work harder to obtain during this class.

EDM 310 has already proven to be a much different class than others I have taken so far. Most classes are what Professor Strange calls "burp-back classes", or classes where one studies assigned materials, "burps it back" onto a test paper, and later forgets the content that was studied. Instead, EDM 310 is a project-based class, which I believe I will actually be comfortable with. This class requires that each student complete 16 projects, which are recorded on the EDM 310 Class Blog. We will not receive test or quiz grades, but instead we must rely on our own judgment and constructive criticism of our classmates, and reflect on our own work to make progress in the class. This class also allows us to express our creativity within our blog posts and projects, which I really think I will enjoy.

Whether or not EDM 310 will be the easiest class I have to take throughout my college career, I do believe I will learn a lot from this class. Why? I am required to do the work myself, and will have hands-on experience with what I'm learning instead of having my nose stuck in a textbook for hours. This class is also exposing me to parts of the internet and media that I have never used before, such as this blog! The only question I still have about this class SO FAR, is "What next?". Navigating through the different assignments for this class appears to be a potential challenge, but I'm up for it! Bring it on EDM 310!

Queen of England, funny, meme, Come at me bro

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Practice Post- Who Am I?

Hi! My name is Emily Thomas, but most people call me by my first and middle name, Emily Jo. I grew up right here in Mobile, AL and I am attending the University of South Alabama because of this. I had originally planned to go to Auburn University for Veterinary School, but quickly changed my mind as high school graduation neared and I realized what a change it would be to move away. I had, and still have, a stable job here, and my close high school friends were staying in town for college as well. Staying close to home sounded like a better plan that uprooting what I already had going for me here in Mobile.
I have always had a passion for children and knew I wanted to work with them as my carreer, but I did not originally pursue a degree in Elementary Education. I thought that a degree in some sort of medical profession would get me farther in life, so I started my undergraduate studies in Speech and Language Pathology/Therapy during my freshman and sophomore years at South. After being in a few Speech classes I decided that was not the degree for me, and changed my major to K-6 Education. This decision was quickly confirmed to be the degree I wanted to be in for the rest of my life after getting a small taste of the job during my student observations at Taylor-White Elementary School in a Kindergarten class. I enjoyed it so much!
That’s enough about my education goals. What I enjoy doing most aside from the joys of being a full time college student and working full time, *insert slight sarcasm here*, everyone tells me that I am a sixty-year-old woman in a nineteen-year-old body. I sew and craft in my spare time. Several of my favorite outfits I have made myself, as well as the caboodles of children’s clothes and small children’s quilts that I have in boxes put away because I do not plan to have any mini-me’s running around anytime soon! I also have a small in-home monogramming and personalizing business that I run that keeps me very busy, but the business is a hobby that I really enjoy. The link to my business’s Facebook page, “Makeup and Monograms”, where I sell the majority of my items, will be attached to this post. In case you are wondering where the “Makeup” in the title comes from, I also sell AVON makeup a part of my business, therefore it is all-around girly in every way!
I hope to use my creativity and crafting in my own classroom someday, while also making learning fun for my students. An educator’s job in this day and time, especially for those who teach Elementary School, is to teach the foundations, fundamentals, and skills of education and life to their students so that they may use it to pursue their educational dreams. Without Elementary School teachers, children would not learn to read, write, do basic math, or even have good social skills. These are the foundations that children in school build upon in order to achieve educational success through high school and eventually into college, and into their careers. I feel so lucky, because I have already received a chance to start teaching young children in a class-like setting where I work. Every summer my workplace holds a “Summer Kids’ Camp” where I have the privilege to teach girls and boys from ages 7 to 16 how to sew and put their creative ideas to use. My heart is with children
and I highly respect those who have already taken the responsibility of molding young minds.

Click the link below to view my business Facebook page! :)
makeup and monograms link.jpg

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