Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog Post #5

Dream Big

If You Built A School

In Krissy Venosdale's blog post If I Built A School, she explains what her dream school would be if she was able to create it from the ground up. Krissy is a Gifted Education Teachers that has a special interest in technology, math, and science. She has attended many Space Camps over the years and blogs about her teaching methods and the way she uses technology in the classroom. Each year, Krissy decorates her classroom in a fun, innovative way. Krissy's school would be all about innovation, technology and creativity in the classroom. If I was able to create my own school, I would make it a place where the students wanted to come and learn. Learning would be enjoyable for both the teachers and the students. The walls in the halls would be painted with bright, colorful pictures. Each grade level would have a theme that the classrooms would be decorated using the same these. The classrooms would have reading and technology nooks inside them. The library would be at the center of the school and would have a nautical sea theme. I would use Krissy's idea of having the students decorate signs for teachers in their assigned parking spots. I would make my school a place where teachers enjoyed working and students never wanted to leave.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

The use of the internet in Whitacre's Virtual Choir is simply amazing and very interesting. It was very neat to see how Whitacre used the internet to piece together a choir of one hundred and eighty-five people from twelve countries. The thing that is even more amazing is that the choir members sang together and in harmony. After exploring further on Whitacre's YouTube channel, I found a fourth Virtual Choir video. I enjoyed watching and listening to his videos over and over again. I was shocked at the complexity of his projects, but yet they appeared so seamless and flawless. These videos are pleasing to the eyes and ears to watch and listen. I encourage everyone to watch this wonderful use of the internet.

Kevin Roberts's Teaching in the 21st Century

Kevin Roberts opened my eyes to a new way of teaching and the chalenges of teachers. The first statement that stood out to me the most is that: "Teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge, we are the filters." This statement is true, students have access to knowledge at their very fingertips. We learn how to access information by searching on the internet, but do these students really know about copyrights, plagiarism, or even professionalism? Anyone can pull statistics off the internet, but using these statistics in an appropriate manner or correctly citing sources is something that needs to be taught. Teachers now have a bigger challenge in teaching. We are no longer teaching facts to our students, we are teaching them how to be resourceful and how to use the information they learn. Roberts believes teaching is changing in the 21st Century. I agree with his opinion on this, but I also think we still need to teach basic skills in the schools. Roberts points out that using phones, laptops, and tablets in the classroom is similar to using pens, pencils, and papers. They are all a means of teaching and are not the source of negative behaviors, they are simply a temptation. I agree that we need to teach students to use these pieces of technology, but elementary aged children still need to be taught how to write with pen and paper and not just type everything on a keyboard. As teachers, we can begin in elementary school encourage the students to use self control when taking advantage of the available technology. If we introduce students to using personal computers in kindergarten, but encourage them to only access programs that are assigned by the time a students reaches high school. It will become a part of their routine to only use certain programs during the school day.

Flipped Classrooms

I think that flipped classrooms would work really good for the middle and high school children. Teachers could also use it for some subject areas in the upper elementary subjects. It would be tough to use flipped learning as the primary way to teach the younger children in elementary school. It would be difficult because those students do not have as much dicipline to watch a video and then work homework problems. I think that it would be useful for all elementary teachers to still upload the videos to a class website to allow students who are struggling to watch the videos at home with their parents. Teachers could also upload more difficult problems to their website as well to allow gifted students to have more of a challenge. I like the ideas that flipped classrooms incorporate. The idea that 90% of the classroom time is spent on application instead of lecture. Lecture does not reach all students and that is part of the reason that not all students succeed through sitting in the desk in the classroom. Application of a lesson is where "rubber meets the road" for most students. The flipped classroom videos gave me some great ideas on revolutionizing the way I teach my students in the classroom and use technology to assist me in teaching. The question and answer section was extremely helpful for me because I had many questions ran through my head as I watched the videos. There is a way for every student to have access to flipped learning lectures, teachers just need to be creative.


  1. So you would have grades in your school. What about the massive use of technologies including computers, iPads, SMARTboards, video equipment for learning, not entertainment?

    "...using these statistics in an appropriate manner or correctly citing sources is something that needs to be taught. " And understanding statistics when you encounter them as you have seen in EDM310.

    "...write with pen and paper..." I wonder.

    If lectures are not the central method used in class the you are probably right about flipping.

    Thorough. Thoughtful. Interesting.

  2. I enjoyed reading your blog this week. I can't help but agree with you when it comes to continuing with certain ways of teaching in the classroom. I am not sure if this is a good thing, or if it is just me resisting some of what we are being told in EDM 310. It is really hard to think about incorporating all of these new ideas into my classroom when all of it is still so unfamiliar to me.