Blog post 5

Blog 5

Conversation with Pre-Service Teachers - The Set Curriculum

November 12th, 2007

I realized that my classroom was a place where there was a lot of teaching going on, but not a lot of learning. When talking to me about her work, Julia had used an adopted voice. She spoke about the thesis statement, the hook, about effective support. She used the terminology that I had been using since the beginning of the school year. She realized that school is about "playing school," that as long as she could jump through all of my hoops, she would do well and get into the university of her choice. My class was reduced to an obstacle course. She knew that writing a good paper was about learning how to produce the right reactions in its evaluator


It's amazing how true this is.  This kind of behavior isn't just related to paper writing it happens in any subject a student still wants to do well in but couldn't care less about.  Going through the motions is something that I know I have been guilty of in the past and it is something I would like to avoid when I teach.  The problem is it's impossible to force your students to want to learn material they have no interest in.  If anyone has any suggestions on ways of avoiding this all too common occurrence any insight would be welcome.


Blog post #4

You have been told!

Last week my class just finished our giant (for 6 & 7 year olds) digital stories. It's taken a while but we are all very proud of the finished products and I thought share with you all and have a bit of a brag!

We took our persuasive arguments (written collaboratively last term) and used a combination of Kidpix, Movie Maker and voice recordings to complete our movies.

The result is just gorgeous! It was the first time my students have used Movie Maker independently but they found it relatively easy. Our major trick was having all files etc well named and all stored in one folder on our school server. It was a little hard for them to line the audio up with the correct slides, but with many brains together in the one group, they were able to be victorious with a huge feeling of achievement and accomplishment.


It's amazing how quickly and proficiently the younger generation of students can adapt to using these computer centered learning activities.  I know that even in the college setting I'm still finding myself "stuck" when it comes to learning and using new programs.  I wonder, with all of the new web 2.0 classes available I if there have been or is going to be one designed for younger students.  It seems that in general younger students are more adept to using technology in the classroom.  Maybe it's because the majority of young students have grown up with a mouse in their hand.




Blog #3


 Jeff Lebow - Technology and Leader of the Year award nomination

I was quite impressed with the sophistication of tools available in the TIG environment. They celebrated their seventh birthday the other day, have over 150,000 participants (mostly youth) from every country in the world, offer services in 12 languages (with many more to follow), and have largely been a grassroots movement with a focus on connecting youth for the purpose of social activism. They also offer the ability to set up classes with chat and video for expressly educational purposes. Only a small percentage of their users are students involved in a class, most of the participants have joined on their own in order to meet others and work collaboratively on projects on their own initiative.

I'm fascinated with the idea that younger people are free to interact on a global scale.  I think it would be very interesting to see how students that take this kind of initiative to branch out on their own view the diversity of ideas and concepts that are coming from the other end of the globe.  I also think that the younger generation as a whole understands these web based tools much more than the older generations do and we need to catch up.  I know that as a college student I sometimes struggle to sort out all the information that is passed my way via blogs and posts where as my much younger siblings flow through with ease and seem to retain all the information better.  Tools like these really do have great potential for giving a much more global view of the world to students if educators use them correctly.


Blog 2

Blog #2

Thanks to Vicki Davis and Jason Hando for two great concepts. These words are repeated in my classrooms again and again. I'm only starting to see the learners try to not get caught raising hands helplessly or requiring spoons. They are learners just like I am and therefore we are all on equal footing. We still struggle with a great name for the lead learner who ignores those who engage in helpless handraising and require spoonfeeding.
Learners have been spending time at while I work to get everyone online. They play the same game for many days, logging in to it again and again, even though they don't win. Yet they expect the 'classroom learning' I feed them to be quick, easy, & painless. Sorry 'bout their luck. I am really the wrong lead learner to dole that out.
Those learners who already know this are working beyond what I have asked, which is minimal right now until we get 100% logged in and online.


Helpless Handraising & Spoonfeeding


This may seem like odd question, I was reading your response to Vicki and Jason and I have a few questions.  I'm a student at Illinois State studying to become a teacher and I was wondering what terms like helpless handraising and spoonfeeding are.  More or less I'm looking for advice on issues that you see that relate to using technology in the classroom.  If you have any other posts you would recommend regarding that topic I would love to be able to read them.  Thanks for the information, hopefully hear back soon.


Blog 1

Blog #1

Questioning school funding trends and mandatory attendance



Hi I just wanted to respond to your post on school funding and attendance.  I definitely agree with you that attendance is not necessarily an indicator of comprehension.  Also there is no way that funding should be linked to it.  There are a lot of social factors to consider with funding and how those funds are distributed many urban areas have issues to consider that many rural and suburban schools.  It's a good possibility that those differences may make it nearly impossible to establish one set of guidelines to address the funding issues our schools face.

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