Sunday, September 1, 2013

Blog Post #2

Mr. Dancealot
- Carla Young, Nathalie McCarty, and Danya Croft

Drawing of dance steps
Subject matter is a very important concept to consider when thinking of how to construct classroom time and energy. Your teaching methods have to be customized to fit your expectations and goals for the class. The lesson plans and activities should be designed and executed in a way that is going to efficiently help the student grasp what you are trying to teach them. For example, a dance class should contain instruction as well as practice. In the video, Mr. Dancealot has presented a dance class where the students are to take notes of proper dance steps and techniques without ever getting a feel for what it is like to do it. It is extremely important for the students to know the fundamentals of each dance and maybe a brief history of the origin of the dance. However, the teachers main problem was reinforcing the knowledge moreover the practice needed to perform those steps. It would have been a good idea for him to have spent most of the classroom time on practice and application as opposed to discussion and lecture. Skills cannot be learned unless hands on experience is allowed, encouraged, and rewarded. Dancing can be easily compared to riding a bicycle. Our parents can tell us what is needed to stay upright on the bicycle, but until we know what it feels like to do it then we will never really learn how to do it.

Teaching in the 21st Century
- Danya Croft

Welcome to the Future
Teaching in the 21st Century is an engaging video that lists many possible tools educators can use to keep up with education in a technological way. I have never thought of teachers as mere filters rather than relayers of facts, but that is exactly what we are. We are not the ones who came up with the information and we are certainly not the only avenues that students can take to get to that information. So often we forget that we need to teach our students how to find the answers they seek for themselves. We need to teach them subject matter as well as incorporate the skills to find additional information. Let’s face it, no matter how little or much that I know and can teach there will always be information for which I am unfamiliar. Students need to understand that they can depend on themselves to find the information as much if not more than they depend on us to teach them. As teachers, we need to remember that true education comes from the engagement of a child. If you can engage a child in a project that you have assigned, you can be sure he/she will invest themselves in it and learn from it. I really loved the part of the video that stated misuse of class materials can come from pencil and paper just as it can come from iPads and computers. However, if you assign projects that are interesting to children and make them want to research then misuse of technology should be a non-issue.

The Networked Student
- Carla Young

Digital networking applications
After watching the video The Networked Student, the question “Why does the networked student even need a teacher?” has been raised. Personally, considering this is the field I am going into, I have thought long and hard about this. I honestly do believe the future of schools and learning is going to be a collaboration of technology coupled with the aid of a teacher.
Times are changing, children have phones in their pockets that can do almost everything their computer at home can do. The way children learn is also changing and students are becoming more independent learners than they were in the past. Technology is a big part of today’s world and it is quickly making its way into the classroom. Students need to learn different skills now than they did in earlier years. Being technologically savvy is a must to keep up with the advancing times, and it is important for students to be exposed to this as early as possible to be successful in today’s society. The term “Connectivism” has recently been introduced to me and I believe that it is going to be a valuable method of learning not only for future students, but also a valuable tool for me as a future educator. I have been intrigued by the idea of students building a network with other students from all over each contributing ideas and things they have found about a certain subject they are researching to help each other learn.
The thought that teachers may be unneeded or not as essential as they are in present day did cross my mind. So, why does the networked student need teachers? After giving it much thought and going back to what I heard in the video I asked myself another question, “Who is going to teach the students to build this network?” The idea that students will be learning through connectivism is based off of the students building a network to learn from. Knowing how to build this network is a skill the students will have to have. Like most skills, they have to be taught. Things are much more clear to me now, the teaching methods and tools may be different and teaching in general may not be anything like what it is now. Teacher may be considered as more of a guide or an aid, but the concept is still the same; providing students with the necessary knowledge and tools needed to be successful members of society.

Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts
-Nathalie McCarty

School supplies with an iPad on top
In the video Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts, the viewer learns how to introduce technology in order to teach a class as well as teaching the class to teach themselves. Teacher Vickie Davis allows the kids to learn modern technology by showing them how they can learn basic skills that was previously taught with pen and paper. She has taken the advancement of technology to make sure that no child is left behind. She teaches every student because she knows them well enough to know what will help them best.  As you watch the video, she demonstrates how the students connect with the world through a blog and with the class allowing them to connect while studying as well. It just goes to show that teachers who are open to learning different teaching methods can and will reach more of their students.


  1. Comment on collaborative section of the assignment:

    "It would have been a good idea for him to have had a certain amount of time set aside for discussion ..." Could you make an argument that there was no need for any discussion?

    "Teachers sometimes seem to forget that students learn more through participation rather than lecture alone." Sometimes? or much of the time? or often? or most of the time?

    " We are not only meant to teach the facts, but we are meant to teach the skills as well." What is the balance between facts as a learning objective and skills as a learning objective? is is enough to set as an objective be able to identify the information needed, find that information, and apply it in real world activities?

  2. Great post. Very interesting and I really enjoyed reading it. I like the pictures in the blog. After reading it seems my group thought alot alike your group. Overall, Good job!

  3. I think it's true that sometimes educators forget that they are not the only source for information anymore. We need to incorporate technology in the class, because it has become a major part in every day chores. If students can harness their ability to use the technology at their fingertips, they will learn more efficiently I believe. But that is up to us to teach them how! Great insight on the video and great blog!

  4. Your section is well-written and includes many good points, however, you failed to mention anything about Teaching in the 21st Century. The subtitle was Teaching in the 21st Century, but there was nothing pertaining to that presentation. You also need to include links in your blog posts.

    1. Thank you for your feedback. I know you are simply trying to make sure my posts are well rounded and easy to follow. I have corrected the problems and hope to keep from making the same mistakes in the future. I also went to previous posts and added links of the videos we were to watch. Again, than you for your help.