Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blog Post #2

Professor Dancealot
In the short movie Professor Dancealot, students believe they have signed up for an interactive dance class. As they begin to pile into the auditorium style classroom and take their seats, they realize this is not the case. These students are expected to learn how to perform dance steps they have never heard of, or seen, by just being told how to perform the steps. Professor Dancealot does demonstrate some of the dance steps, but does so behind the safety of his desk. To me this demonstrated the idea that just being told what to know does not help students actually learn. Instead they need interactive guided support and demonstration to help them. The author of this video makes this case by showing that the students could not even complete the dance steps that were taught all semester. This was because the students had not been allowed to practice or see the steps put into practice in the classroom. I believe this is a great video to help explain how teachers should not teach and shows how if this style of teaching is used we are setting students up for failure. Instead we should use interactive hands on exercises to let the students work through the process. The teacher should be there for moral support, guidance, and to help keep students on track.

Teaching in the 21st Century
Teaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts,he states what he believes it will be like to teach in the 21st century. He does this by posing questions to ask yourself and then answering them. He mentions all the technologies and programs that are available to students in today's world. Roberts states, "teachers are filters," which means that we are going to be facilitators of proper technology use rather than just of learning.
In my opinion Roberts is correct in saying that teaching is going to change. Honestly, I believe it is going to be for the best to. This change will allow students to work more hands on and help prepare them for skills that can use later in life. Teachers will not be teaching basic facts, but will be teaching useful skills to help students find facts. More online resources will be used to help facilitate learning, and teachers will help students use these resources. As a future educator, I believe it would affect me by having to keep up with technology and be able to use it appropriately. Of course I will not be able to know everything, but I will need to be familiar with new technology. It will be my job as a teacher to pass this knowledge along to my students so they can get all they can out of the class as well as build skills for future use.

The Networked Student
The Networked Student by Wendy Drexter, the question is posed, "why does the networked student even need a teacher?" The argument could be made that the student could teach themselves since everything they need is online. But, when you really start thinking about it, an adult figure will be needed to help guide and keep students on task. Students who are home schooled have adult guidance right? So why should the school setting be any different? Students need an adult figure to keep them on task and guide them to what they need to know.
In the video the example is given that the students are to research a topic by using the resources available to them online. The student uses blogs, other peoples findings, different websites, as well as sources from podcasts. These resources could be confusing to the student if given all at one time. This is where the teacher steps in. The teacher helps make students familiar with resources available to them and shows them how to use the sources in the manner they were intended. This form of teaching goes back to what Roberts said in Teaching in the 21st Century, where teachers are the "filters" to teaching proper technology use rather than just teaching information. The teachers guide the students and keep them on task. The students can play with the resources and gain the skills and knowledge that they need not only for the project assigned, but also for future projects and school/work skills.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts by Vicki Davis, she states that "If you have only pencil and only paper then only certain types of children are going to succeed." I believe that Davis is 100% right in saying this.I'm sure everyone can remember when they were in school using pencil and paper. Do you remember struggling in some subjects, or thinking "there has to be an easier way?" Well this is exactly Davis' point in her video. Granted there are children who can succeed in subjects no matter how they are taught. A majority of students though, myself included, need different ways of learning and being taught. They need hands on or interactive learning to help them best succeed. I believe that harnessing the technology that we have readily available, all students can succeed and even have fun while learning. There are so many programs that make learning easier for children so why would we not use them? We live in a society where more and more people use technology to help in their everyday life. It only seems natural that as technology is used more in society, it should also be used as a teaching aid to benefit student learning as well.

Flipping the Classroom
The concept of Flipping the Classroom is a totally new idea to me. I think this approach to teaching would be a very effective and would benefit the students tremendously. With this method you can have children review the lesson online the night before and prepare for the class the next day. Students can come to class with questions, comments, or difficulty with problems from the lesson the night before. Teachers then can review over these and help the students with understanding or have other students recommend ways that worked for them. To me, this in an effective way of teaching since you can really get more teaching and learning in. Once questions or comments have been reviewed the teacher can continue onto the next lesson or topic. With this method you are looking at getting two topics covered as opposed to just one per day. The students are benefit from the fact that they are become familiar with the topic and they can take their time working on that lesson the night before. Before they would have had maybe an hour to go through a lesson, have practice problems,and ask what questions they can get in during that time. With flipping the classroom, students can take their time the night before, work on as many practice problems as they need to and formulate questions. If they still have an issue they can ask the teacher for more help or can go back over and review the lesson again.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Blog Assignment #1

When walking into EDM 310 I have to admit I was anxious, and to be honest I still am. I had not heard anything about EDM 310 prior to walking into class, but I knew it was going to be a challenge. Growing-up around technology I thought that I knew a good bit about how to find my way around a computer. Boy was I wrong! After the first class and signing up for my first blog I realized I had more learning to do than I thought.

EDM 310 is not like any course I have ever had before. This class is going to force me to learn how to do my assignments, not just memorize how to do them. It is going to challenge me to explore what technology is capable of and use programs that I might have never heard of before. In a way this frightens me because I will be using programs that I am not familiar with. At the same time, I am excited about learning how to do these unfamiliar tasks on my own. In other courses my teachers have just told me what I need to know, I learn it then forget it. I feel that since the tasks are going to build on what I learn that I am going to have to know this stuff by heart and use it continuously till it sticks.

One of the things I think will be the most difficult for me in EDM 310 will be the course load. This class requires more time than many, if not all, of the classes I have taken thus far. If I diligently do my homework and other assignments ahead of time I believe it will help me succeed in this class. Procrastinating is the worst possible thing that I could do! Missing one assignment will put me behind and it will be difficult to catch up since we are learning something new all the time. I believe that by keeping an open mind, doing my assignments on time, and most importantly remaining calm will help me succeed and get what I need out of this class. I am sure I will have plenty of questions in the future, but I have a good source of information with my teacher, student assistants, other students, and of course the internet to help me along the way.
Me giving two thumbs up

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Practice Blog

Hello all! Let me start this brand new blog off by telling you a little about myself. My name is Meagan McRae, and I am a twenty-three year old student at the University of South Alabama. I was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but I was raised mostly in Fairhope, Alabama. Fairhope is where I have grown-up with my sister, two brothers, mom, dad, two cats, and two dogs.

Recently, I got engaged ,to a man named Adam, who I believe is one of the most wonderful men in the world. We have been planning our wedding, and let me tell you planning a wedding is a hard process. Other than this planning, I am a full-time student with a full-time job. When I have spare time, which is not much, I enjoy taking the largest of our two dogs for a walk down by the pier in Fairhope. I also enjoy going camping, fishing, and traveling to different places. I also enjoy trying new activities or new foods.

While at the University of South Alabama I am studying to be an elementary school teacher. I enjoy being around children and find it amazing the things they come up with and how quickly they learn. I am really wanting to be a part of teaching and educating societies future. My father is a principal and has always remarked at how he learns something new from his students everyday. To me teaching the future is the most rewarding job anyone could ask for.
Adam and I

Test post

This is my second test post.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My test post title

This is my first post. I clicked the HTML button which I should always do in EDM 310. I'm a BLOGGER!!!!