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Posts Tagged ‘Classroom’

The Education of our Educators

November 25, 2010 4 comments

As I was browsing through random articles tonight, I found an interesting blog posting on The Huffington Post.  It discussed some recent comments by Education Secretary Arne Duncan.  It looked at the idea of making teacher training like med school, in the sense of the idea of residences.  The idea is that education students would be observe and work more in schools near their college/university throughout the college years.

This is a great idea, but wait, don’t most places already do this?  I know when I was in college I had to obtain a minimum of twenty observation hours per semester.  Often I exceeded this since I enjoyed working with some of the teachers.  As I have been teaching for a few years now I have been honored to have college students from different places observe and teach in my class.

The article does discuss that students say their programs failed to prepare them for their classrooms.  This is probably true in any college program though.  It is hard to actually prepare anyone to be one their own in any job field, teaching especially.  Some of the parts of teaching is learned through ones own mistakes and successes.  Teaching is not a controlled environment where ever situation is the same and is handled in the same manner.  Also, when future-teacher walks into a classroom, its atmosphere has already been created by the main teacher.  That future-teacher will more then likely not run into the problems of a poorly ran classroom.

The merit and point of this article is great.  Getting teachers more experience in the classroom is a great way to prepare them for the future, but I am not sure the med school way of doing this is the best.  Unfortunately sometimes student teachers and teachers themselves need to get a few bumps and bruises before they learn their teaching method.  That in essence though is the main root of learning.  We make our mistakes and get better from it.  If we do not allow our future teachers to do the same, they will just imitate instead of becoming great!

Sources:

Belmont, Fred. “Teaching Teachers a Better Way.” The Huffington Post. V, 23 Nov. 2010. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/fred-belmont/teaching-teachers-a-bette_b_787743.html&gt;.

Photo Courtesy of Maggie Smith, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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The importance of email…

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

I remember being a young lad in high school and creating my first Hotmail account.  Note, this is back before Hotmail was owned by Microsoft, and there was much “cooler” at the time.  I maintained that address well into my college years until I forgot the password and could not get the account reset.

Now I maintain three email accounts, a work account, a personal account, and a throw-away account.  Yet this summer as I delved more into different types of social networking (like GetGlue & Twitter), I found myself checking my email less and less.  As the new school year starts I find myself questioning the importance of email.  Couldn’t most important information be passed on via wiki’s? Couldn’t student & parent contact be done via Twitter or the school friendly Edmodo?

It is because of these thoughts I have decided to try and deviate my classroom this year away from email. I am pushing for my building to use Edmodo as the main form of communication with students.  Backchanneling will also become the norm within my classroom using websites like todaysmeet.com.

This will probably take me at least a semester to get the kinks worked out and I am sure weeks of frustration, but I believe this should build a more open and productive classroom.  Please share any experiences you have had with anything I rambled on about or please point at any flaws in my late night thought process!

Project Ideas

I have been pretty busy this past month training teachers and staff on Microsoft Office 2010 and coaching football.  It has been hard to get many of my ideas ready for the upcoming school year but at least I still have a few weeks before school begins.  Two new projects I want to add this year are Infographics and Light Painting.

The Internet

Both of these projects would be great ways to incorporate new ways of using computers in the classroom.  The infographics would be great for any school subject.  They have endless possibilities and potentional.  Also, I think it would force students to think outside the box to present their information.  They would not just be creating the default boring charts and graphs found in Excel. 

Light Write Batman

Light Painting will prove to be a tricky project.  I have been trying to read up on light painting tutorials as much as I can, but I am still slightly confused about the process.  It would be nice to find a video showing someone creating one of these images.