CORRECTION: COMPLETION OF BLOG POST #13
Someone of great importance did me the tremendous favor of pointing out that I had missed what could personally be one of the most meaningful blog post video viewing assignments of my EDM 310 career.
Mr. Brian Crosby shared his "Back to the Future Video" which was a reflection of the dynamics of his students, overcoming language barriers, and the excitement of bridging the gap through technology. The reason I claimed that this could be one of my most meaningful assignments to review, is that I have developed such a passion for blogging and using it in my classroom, that it would have been unfortunate had I not had the opportunity to see the tremendous excitement that Mr. Crosby ignites in his students.
I plan to use wiki, blogs, and podcasts in any way possible while teaching. Mr. Crosby seems to be the kind of teacher that I could learn a lot from. Now that I have an appreciation for the tools and methods, I need more ideas of how to use them in teaching. I would absolutely LOVE to have a teacher like Mr. Crosby to do my student teaching assignment with! I also have great respect for him because he didn't give up on his students just because they had a communication barrier and seemed to be on a low comprehension or learning level due to the ESL challenge. He looked for a way to get them all excited, writing, blogging, working on group projects, wiki; which all include and enhance communication. Birlliant!
The most heart touching moment was when he did not settle for having a student with leukemia on his roll and doing her work at home. He made it a point to include her with Skype so that she could feel like a part of the class. This was the closest to a real classroom environment this child would get. Can you imagine the difference this simple act of kindness made in this young student's life and that of her parents? Not to mention, the lesson he was teaching her classmates. With Dr. Strange teaching me the importance and value of technology in the classroom and Mr. Crosby's example of overcoming barriers with ESL and Leukemia students, I feel like I have turned off of a one way road onto a busy Interstate with options and turns that can take me and my students anywhere.
A Vision of Students Today
This video was a shocking depiction of what it is like to sit in a crowded classroom or auditorium in a University setting. I experience and witness many of the phrases shared by the students on a daily basis. Some teachers write on a chalkboard, throw a quick lecture at you, assign reading, homework, and don't even know your name. Technology is great if someone knows how to use it and help students learn from it. On the other hand, it doesn't help much if you are an effective teacher but have students texting and on their computer doing other things during class.
I consider the college education process to be a contract between the University, students, and teachers. The University should provide the best possible environment, equipment, and instructors. The teachers, even if they have their doctorate, should do their best to teach students who are depending on their knowledge and guidance to assist in achieving their education goals. It helps to get to know your students on a personal basis and share your experience with those dedicated to learning rather than riding into class on your intellectual high horse. They started in the same place we are in now. Students should fulfill their end of the contract by attending class on a regular basis, being prepared, and paying attention in class. It's one thing to be there, sitting in a seat, filling up space, but your mind should be engaged and absorbing everything that instructor has to give you. These were also addressed in the video when one girl said that her neighbor pays to go to school but never comes to class. The fact that some students are on facebook during class and on a computer that is worth more than some people make in a year speaks volumes about today's generation and their lack of value of their opportunities.
How Will You Teach Me in the 21st Century?
Melinda Kraft does an excellent job of getting her viewers engaged in the thought process of implementing technology. I love the part, If Grandmas are doing it..... The beginning of the video has us understanding the impact of the necessity of technology skills being taught to students now. In a world where communication skills mean more than writing skills and analytical thinkers are shaping the future, teachers have an immense responsibility to prepare their students to become those future leaders.
Ms. Kraft seemed to see value in email, being connected on the web, collaboration, being creative in lessons and on the computer, telling stories, perhaps through blogging, and working together when becoming overwhelmed. It's a bit ironic. I recently completed a project for another education class using blogging as a history assignment with students. I wrote a letter to parents explaining the assignment, that it would only require them to purchase one folder at the cost of .89, and the rest would be up to their children's imagination and dedication. Many of the points I addressed in my letter were in Ms. Kraft's video. Including "Don't freak out. It can be overwhelming. We will all learn and work together." I couldn't believe it! At first I thought maybe I'm just a bit intuitive, but the more I think about it, I think Dr. Strange and EDM 310 have made their mark on me and I'm actually on the right track!
I would want my students to become familiar with and know how to use basic tools such as podcasts and blogging. Students would also be able to complete assignments which include technology. These could be individual or group projects. Most importantly, I would want my students to learn a lesson about technology that I just learned as a 40 year old student this summer. Students will be exposed to a learning environment which challenges to push the limits of what they believe is possible. I want my students to experience the same pride and self worth of accomplishing goals and learning that they can learn and do things that they never thought were possible. When these goals revolve around technology, not only will they have self confidence, but they will be prepared for the next step of their intellectual and educational journey.
As far as Ms. Kraft's video, I can't imagine a different way to make it more effective. You can always do the poor class sitting in the seats with boring work compared to the fun class learning about ipads, but I believe Ms.Kraft's video to be more positive and encouraging. She covered all aspects; what to expect and be prepared for in the future work force, grandma texting her bff Jill, and kids on fire for learning in that classroom full of computers. Sometimes, you just don't mess with a good thing, and I think this is one of those times. As a matter of fact, I have saved the video for future reference. This was an interesting and fun part of Blog Post #13. I enjoyed it.
Not Required, but Worthy of Mentioning
The Basic Technology Tool Kit was an extremely useful assignment. I seem to get a bit stressed over something when I don't know what to expect. I like to be prepared. After reading this blog post, I know what is expected of me in order to be a teacher responsibly equipped with technology tools. I know what I am already confident with, thanks to EDM 310, and what I need to continue learning on my PLN path.
The Miles Webb video from New Zealand was the sweetest, cutest, most inspirational thing I have ever seen! It was remarkable that they chose a legally blind student to be one of the stars of this video! His excitement was contagious and you could tell that he was loving every single minute of what he was doing! To create that kind of excitement in even one child makes a difference, but imagine the confidence that child gained through that assignment! Remarkable!
It was also super-cute to see the little girls sharing earbuds and viewing their ipad movie in Ms. Jenny She's class in England. While I was at her site, I took the opportunity to look at some other things she had done with her class. I viewed several of their individual podcasts. One boy talked about his holiday, but my favorite was a little girl talking about how she loved cupcakes! It was a Jerry McGuire moment.... Hello, you had me at cupcakes! Ms. She has her students excited and I think that was the overall theme of Blog Post #13; excitement in learning and how we can do that with technology. It doesn't matter if you are a college student or an elementary student learning to use podcasts, video, or ipads, we all need to be stimulated in the learning process.