Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blog Post #2 - What will teaching in the 21st century be like?

The "Professor Dancealot" video focuses on the fact that students must get involved in order to fully learn an idea and also that straight lecturing will not keep students interested. The author of the makes this point by the students being fussed at when they try to do the moves that the professor is demonstrating and that they look completely bored during the lectures. By the time the final came, because of the way the professor taught, the students did not know what to do when it came time to actually do the dances. I agree with the conclusion. If you want someone to know the book knowledge of an idea alone, then straight lecture will get it. However, if you want to students to have an applicable knowledge of an idea, they must get hands on or they will not be able to perform.

Students interacting in a hands on activity

Above: Students interacting in a hands-on activity.
Link to photo source: New Bureau from the University of Missouri

The ideas presented in "Teaching in the 21st Century" video are very well thought out and good ideas. According to Roberts, teachers have to provide more than just facts because students can find facts anywhere. Resources such as social media can be very resourceful for the modern student. Teachers are not the main source of information, they are the "filter" is how Roberts phrased it. The teachers must ask students questions that they cannot find the answer on page X in the textbook from the index. Let them use any source for their information. Make them use technology instead of just books. Students must be engaged with relevant and challenging information. The teacher must take the first action to make this work, though. The teacher must do his or her homework to know what is out there. Then he or she has to incorporate 21st century ideas and collaborate, not just as students, but as teachers with other teachers to find out what works.

I agree with Roberts, books are useful, but we now have a world of information at our fingertips if we just look. Teachers have to use both books and technology in their lessons. This will affect me as an educator because when making a lesson plan, I cannot just sit down with the book and plan straight from there. I have to find other sources outside the book, sources that will get students linked together with each other and others around the world when they find information. I will also have to make sure students know that Google is not the only way to gain information about things when looking up ideas that they do not know.

I think the video the "Networked Student" has very good points. I also think that the idea is great, but I do not know how effective that would be. It would possibly work out that way in an advanced level class, but in the non-advanced classes, only one in a few would put in that much effort. When the question, "Why does he even need a teacher?" is asked, the narrator never even mentions that the teacher would be the one making all this happen. Without the teacher pushing the student, he or she would not participate in learning through networking. I simply believe it would not happen if there were not a grade attached to it and a teacher nagging behind him.

In addition to that, it is being assumed that the student is even finding accurate, up to date information. I have done projects like that before and I found it just as effective as the burp-back learning. It did not stick with me. Would you want a doctor who did a project like that with some incorrect information because it came from a poor source or it was out of date. Also, he would not know the same things as the other doctors because he did not happen to come across the same things. So you would have a doctor who would not know about whatever illness you have because he never learned about it and the teacher could not test his or her students on something that they could not have been expected to just happen to come across themselves.

I am a big proponent of lecture teaching, but not just straight up "bore-the-kids-out-of-their-mind" lecture. I am a strong believer in teaching a hands-on, student involved lecture that involves their senses, but involves something that they can be tested on. I believe some of what the "Networked Student" did should be in the classroom. However, if that is all the students did, then the next year when the student moves on to the next grade it cannot be assumed that the student knows what you want him to because there was nothing standardized from the year before.

In the "Harness Your Students' Digital Smart" video she says you will leave students behind if you are just paper and pencil type teacher. That is hand in hand with any way of teaching if you just purely teach that one way. Students all have their different strengths and weakness and if the teacher just teaches that one way, no matter if it is paper and pencil or strictly like what was mentioned in the video, someone will not have that strength and will fall behind. Due to their falling behind the student will be considered dumb or at the very least will feel dumb. This will cause the student be less inclined to try hard because they now have the mindset that "I am dumb and I cannot learn like this, so I will not try."

Also, this type of class seems like it is some kind of computer class. I am sure it will work great in that setting, if the students even remember it a semester away. What about classes that are not classes to teach computers? Lets say you teach a science class, if you teach strictly on computers and you want to show your students a certain reaction will happen if you make this cause start, sure you can watch a video on it, but the best way to show them is to actually do it in your classroom. If you want your students to learn about bridge structure and how different structures support better, software will not make them understand. You need to get them to build bridges and put weights on it so they can see the bridge stand or collapse.
The video "Whose ahead in the Learning  Race" does show some good points as far as what the students know and what they are learning. There is a TED talk that goes with what this video says. It shows that if the children want to learn, given enough time, they will learn it. However, it is not completely reasonable that the undergraduate and graduate students that are mentioned can be automatically expected to know technology in they have not been introduced to it. Children now have grown up with much of this technology where as when most of the college students were in third grade VHS was still the way we saw movies. That does not give us reason to not know; it just gives us a reason that we do not know now, but can learn. As far as who is actually ahead in the race, just because they the third graders might be learning how to use a computer when they are children does not mean they are ahead. It just means that they were given the opportunity to learn at a younger age.

In reflection to several of the assigned videos, we must remember that we are not made to sit in front of a computer all day. It is not healthy for the human body to be so completely attached to technology all of the time.The Huffington Post has an article about what technology does to people. This is only referring to free time, imagine if students were to spend all of their time on at school with technology and then to go home to spend their evenings on technology as well. At a certain point, we need to put down the electronics.

Flipping the classroom is not a completely new idea to me. I have had some classes that use this method. In addition, in a discussion with my sister she said many of her classes in the art department already utilize this method, they just call it by a different name. I think this idea is a great one. As I mentioned previously, I have had classes that use this method and I thought it worked well. There are some issues I feel could arise with this, though. The teacher in the video said they are only using this method for math at the current time. Once this method is used for the entire load of classes, the students will be watching videos for the entire night, if they are even able to finish them all. Also, if the student has a question, he or she cannot stop the teacher and ask. This now put the student behind if the question is a big enough one because they are not going to be able to be ready to jump into what the teacher has planned for the next day.

Also this assumes that the children will actually watch the videos, or that the parents will make the children watch the videos. If the student does not do his or her homework, they will not watch the video once the flip occurs. A home computer is also needed for this. The teacher does mention that they can watch the video in the  morning, but that takes time from the child's school morning. That time can no longer be used for moving on with the subject. The teacher also mentions that they want to incorporate more subjects into this program, once that happens, the child will not have time to watch the video in the morning. This program could possibly give more homework than could have originally been assigned. I am not opposed to homework myself; I am all for students having homework. However, many parents from the experiences I have had at the different schools I have attended, think their kids already have too much homework

Students participating in group learning

Above: Students participating in group learning
Link to photo source:
I very much liked "Bringing the Locker Room into the Classroom." I am a supporter of group work and collaboration in the educational environment. I think the students working together offers the opportunity for different sides of reasoning for different areas to be explained. For instance, if I taught a lesson on long division and some of the students did not understand, some of the other students might be able to offer a new way of presenting the topic to the student who does not understand if in a collaborative environment. While I support working together while learning, I do not agree with the idea of group grades for major grades or grades that will add up to be major. If you want to know what a student knows, the best way is to ask that student individually because otherwise you do not know what THAT student know, you know what THOSE students know.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Blog Post #1 - What about EDM 310?

1) I have not heard anything about EDM 310 from any former students of the class. I have not even heard anything from friends saying, "So-and-so from this place said this about that class." All I know about EDM 310 is that my adviser says I have to take it and according to the materials I had to read before posting this particular post, I am in for a busy semester. It does seem like from the comments from students who actually put a good foot forward and attempted in the class, it will be a busy semester well worth it.

2) I try not to have fears about classes; I feel it gives reason to not try as hard because there is already a set reason that failure might be acceptable. Failure should never be acceptable, especially for a student pursuing a career as an educator. I have my concerns, such as keeping up with the deadlines. I know, though, that with a well organized planner and a "The little engine that could" mentality, I can do well in this class.

Cover of the little engine that could by watty piper
Above: Cover of "The Little Engine that Could" by Watty Piper
Photo Source: The Little Engine that Could

3) Most of the classes I have taken so far have had a major section of the class devoted to the teacher talking, the students taking and memorizing notes, and then writing it all on a test to be forgotten shortly after. They did have a small portion of the class for "hand-on learning" where the student tried to figure it out themselves through research or projects, but for the most part they have been cla sses that will do me well on a game show. This class, from what I have read in the assigned readings and heard during the first class meeting, will be like the few classes that I have had that actually require me to put in more effort than pure memorization and lots of bookwork.

4) I think the most difficult thing for me in EDM 310 will be to stay on task. There are a million reasons in the world to procrastinate. Some easy examples for me would be I am tired from work and do not wish to do it or I am a single mom and do not have the time or even that I am taking 6 classes and am busy.  Blah, blah, blah. It is life and everyone has their issues. No matter how many reason there are to procrastinate, there is at least one good one to do it. In order to produce work worth making, you have to dedicate enough time to not rush.

5) I believe the best way for me to address my worries of procrastination is to set my planner to do specific things and them keep myself to it. No matter what excuse I can think of to just do my work later, my education is a commitment I have made (and not a cheap one at that). I should not take this commitment lightly or I will be wasting my own time and money. If I keep that in mind, it should be plenty of reason to stay on task.

6) I do not have many questions about EDM 310. The main things I still have questions for are things such as how and when will I know who is in my group and things of the sort. Most of my questions I am positive will be answered with a little bit of time, but there is always the hope that I can be the student to pester Dr. Strange by filling his inbox with e-mails.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Practice Blog Post

  •  Intro
  • Where I have lived
    • Time spent in Europe
  • What I like to do
  •  Free classes in high school
    • Later scholarship
    • Family here
  •  Job
  • Family
    • Parents
    • Siblings
    • Kids
  • Why interest in teaching
    • Interest in kids
    • Mrs. Dempsey
  • What teacher does
    • Rounding
    • Developing
    • Preparing 
  • What I do best
    • Not skilled
      • Past things done
    • Like to dabble in a little bit of everything
    • What I want to get better with
  • Interesting things about me

 Hello all! My name is Katie Jester. I have not lived in very many places. In my entire life I have only lived at two different residencies, both of which were in Mobile. I have; however, spent a good bit of time in Europe. When I was younger my mom would take my sisters and myself to Belgium for the summer and from there we would travel for weekend trips to other countries. I love to do very home-body type things. When I have free time, I love to read, craft, and play in the yard with my dog and son.

There was never much doubt in what college I would end up at. I had always had the idea that I was going to South. I did get a great opportunity from the school during my Senior year of high school, though. Due to my ACT score they accepted me into a program that allowed me to take free classes while I was still in high school. I also received a four year scholarship from the school, so with those two things combined along with not wanting to leave my family because of my young son, I chose to attend South. Also, like most students from Mobile, I chose South because it was here.

I work at Corpus Christi School. I am the head of the After School Care for the K3 and K4. Most of the kids I have known for about a year and have come to love them all dearly and I have close relationships with their families.

I myself have a huge family. There is just one problem with seeing them....I like to call it the Atlantic Ocean. I am only related to eleven people in the United States. Both of my parents are from Europe. My dad is from France and my mom is from Belgium and besides my family and my dad's siblings, the entirety of my family is still in Europe and do not speak the same language as myself. My mom is from a dutch family of craftsmen and farmers and my dad is from a European collage (from all the different countries I have family in) of gypsies.

I am the youngest of five siblings with the oldest being fourteen years older than myself. Growing up my siblings never spared the opportunity to remind me that I was the little sibling mainly by their individual forms of torture, but I always knew if someone was messing with me, I had several big sisters who would attack like a pack of wild wolves.

I am proud to say that I am the mother of an amazing little boy. His name is Nicholas and he will be three in November. I am also a soon-to-be mom of his little sister, Eliza. I would never wish the life of a single mother on anyone, but I love my boy more than I can ever explain.

I want to be a teacher because I mainly just love kids in general. I also had an awesome teacher in third grade, Mrs. Dempsey. I have never had a teacher like her before and she made an impact on my life that I want to make on some child's life one day.

A teacher in the 21st century does mainly that, teach. They are also given a bigger task. They have to round their students to be individuals who are socially acceptable and accepting of others. They also have to develop skills in the students. Skills that will one day help them in a rapidly growing world society. They also have to prepare their students for the challenges that the students might face in the future.

I have never been very good at anything skill wise, but that has never stopped me from trying. I did martial arts for 16 years starting when I was three before I ended up stopping to be a mom. I also enjoy dabbling in a little bit of everything. I have danced, played soccer and softball, cheered, and done a variety of other things. I really enjoy canoeing now. One thing I want to get better with is being social. I have horrible social skills mainly from a lack on interest. I can be plenty social if I want to, but I usually just do not have the desire.

I have had many interesting things happen to me in the past. Most of it has been my sister immediately older than me, Binky. She had done many things like electrocute me with a security system or gotten me locked in a revolving door.
My son Nicholas and myself at the color station at discover the dinosaurs

Above: My son, Nicholas, and myself at the color station at "Discover the Dinosaurs"
Below: My son, Nicholas, and myself after running the Color Run