Sunday, January 25, 2015

Blog Post #2

What will teaching be like in the 21st Century?

Teaching in the 21st Century will prove to be challenging unless we-as educators-change the way we teach. Lectures, texts, and pen and paper will prove to be all but obsolete when compared to the amount of technology students are exposed to in their everyday lives. Resources are now at hand both at home and in the classroom that will provide more opportunities to help students and teachers move forward as learners. It will then be our job as teachers to provide a safe environment to teach students the necessary tools and skills in order to empower them in becoming life-long learners.

Professor Dancealot is about a professor who chooses to teach in the manner most lecture based classes are, "death by PowerPoint". However, the content that he is teaching is ballroom dancing. The author makes a sounds argument against classical teaching and expresses it through the completely irrational teaching of Professor Dancealot. The students were not taught the proper skills or tools in order to perform to the fullest on their final exam. I do believe that each lesson or subject must be taught in a way that students are able to collaborate and discuss to be able to solve the problems either themselves or be able to figure it out through the tools they are provided.

Teaching in the 21st Century is a wonderful video that really puts things into perspective for me. Students now have access to countless amounts of information. Roberts believes that we as educators must be able to allow students to use these venues for information; however, they must be able to ensure what they are researching is valid. He touches on a few key points that I agree with wholeheartedly. Students must be able to validate, synthesize, leverage, communicate, collaborate, and be able to problem solve with the information they find. Teaching is helping the students use information and analyze it while creating a product to show that knowledge, per Roberts. I believe this is true. In my field of Secondary Education/English students need to be able to grasp the stories at hand and do more than write an essay. I would love to expand on their writing skills by using blogs to check grammar and understanding. As well as, using forums where they can discuss and ask questions while grasping the literature or assignment fully. Like in the video I must be able to use the technology wisely and maintain order by keeping the assignments relevant, challenging, and engaging. All of this will be possible because it will have to start with me. I will have to become the change.

The Networked Student is an interesting video. During the course of the video it seems as though the students is unsupervised in his learning endeavors and is figuring it all out on his own through PLNs, wikis, and other informative portals. However, he does still need an instructor to help him start off in the right direction, help him when he is stuck, and give him advice about speaking to these other professors and professionals in an appropriate manner when he wants to make contact.  It is the teacher's hope that given the tools she has instilled him with he will be able to go forward and "solve the world's problems". I think this is a great idea that should be taught in all classrooms and in all subjects.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts is about Mrs. Davis's class where she enjoys collaborating. She looks at their strengths and interests and adjusts the curriculum so that they can learn effectively. She talks about teaching students how to learn. I really enjoyed her mentality when it comes to letting the students figure it out and have them teach her something in turn. I truly love how she allows students to collaborate not only with classmates but with students around the world and lets them learn together. She expands their horizons and view of the world and it does empower them to push forward to learn more.

Who's Ahead in the Learning Race? I definitely believe the young ones have us beat. They have only known a time with technology whereas those of us in Undergrad and Graduate level schools are either just now coming in contact with it or not at all. It is disappointing to know that we will be teaching these students and not know the technology that they are growing up using.  These tools are very useful and will help them expand the ways in which they learn and advance their knowledge. It is fun to use different kinds of technology and tools and is rewarding due to the fact that they are effective.

Flipping the Classroom is a cool video that does something different in the classroom. It allows students to have access to the lessons the night before so that the next day they are able to create questions and problems to move forward with the lesson. This will give students the opportunity to access a higher level of thinking by asking, imagining, planning, creating and improving. This is definitely a newer idea to me.

Bringing the Locker Room to the Classroom is an interesting article that talks about fully engaging students and having them "take a shot in the dark" during discussions. Here they are able to work it out among themselves and the teacher just helps them by guiding them through the discussion. The students use a form of Socratic method with each other to problem-solve. I think this will be great for my English students because they will learn the 'system' from me and will be able to figure out the literature or assignments at hand with a guided discussion.Also, they won't be afraid to say something wrong so that they can build on it.

These videos truly opened my eyes on the differences in teaching. However, teaching methods should always revolve around the students' style of learning so that they can utilize the tools and skills used or taught to learn more than originally thought.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blog Post #1
What About EDM 310?

Approaching a new semester with new classes and new curriculum to master is always troubling. When faced with a course that has furrowed many brows and brought about frantic episodes of checking blogs, marking off on the checklist, tweaking videos, and commenting it is easy to see why many may be hesitant to proceed in taking this class. Many students that I have encountered have put it off as long as they could in order to not endure the "torturous" workload.

However, I have taken this course already and with the hesitation and fear taken out of the equation I am now able to move forward. I previously lacked the time management skills and an open mind to all of the new ideas Dr. Strange was teaching us. I will be honest, of course, I was very uncertain of the role technology would play in my classes as an English Education Major. This predisposition was brought on by watching other English teachers and countless other creative writing courses remain constant with their use of the hard-cover book, pen, and paper. I was certain that this could and would be the only way I would teach my classes.

I now have no fears in my abilities to perform well in EDM 310 this semester. Now, being able to have an open mind, I will be able to be open to collaborative learning. My favorite line from Dr. Strange was that "you will not teach the way you were taught". At first I did not understand this and after falling down throughout the semester I came to the conclusion that I had to change. The way I was taught is a past form of learning. To become a constant learner and educator I must adapt and enhance my learning and teaching styles to fit the ever changing world of learning. Only then will I be able to ensure the utmost productivity and outcome for my students to continue on as life-long learners.

EDM 310 is definitely not your average class. In high school, I was able to sleep through a lecture or put myself on "auto-pilot" and still make a B+ or higher with little or no effort. In college, even in my favorite courses-Composition and Literature, I have been able to skirt by without being truly challenged by a content driven lesson. EDM 310 is in its own right a unique course that enables one to truly challenge their own abilities to research, create, and collaborate. Before my first attempt at EDM 310 I never knew how to effectively collaborate within a group of different individuals. I am, however, an effective team member or leader in the military sense from my Army ROTC training. However, as I've learned, not every team is a squad and yet again I had to adapt. This class is challenging; but, it is a new and in depth way of learning. Easily summed up to being called more depth than breath.

The most difficult part of any course for a college student is Time Management. Throughout my military training with the Army ROTC I have attained many skills that will prove to be crucial to my success. I believe any issues that arise this semester can easily be solved by following these points:

  • Never be afraid to ask for help.
  • Knowing the deadline does not mean wait until then!
  • Adapt to changes in routine.
  • Be open to new ideas, even if at first they are alien to you.
  • Have fun with everything you do.
  • Make it your own.
This course is a solid and fun course. I do wish in retrospect I treated it as such. However, like the old saying goes, "hindsight is 20/20". I wish everyone luck! Take a deep breath! We all can do well, TOGETHER! Go Jags!

Practice Blog Post

  • My name and where I'm from
  • A little background information
  • My Major and Minor
  • Why I chose South
  • My Passions and my Career

  My name is Kelia Fagan. I am from Mobile, Alabama. I live with my father, step-mother, and six dogs. Delilah, Ginger, Zeus, JJ, and Sophie are my parents' dogs. Coal Docket is my rambunctious, 10-month old, 60 pound puppy. My mother, step-father, and little brother-Malcolm, live in Sarasota, Florida. I am a Secondary Education, English Language Arts Major with a Minor in Military Sciences. I am striving to become an officer in the United States Army. I will be able to travel the world serving my country. I was born into a long line of educators and military personnel. I chose South Alabama because it is a hometown school. I have family and friends that have graduated from here and it feels like home every time I step foot on campus.

  I grew up loving to learn. I want to be an educator for the sole purpose to enhance the well-being of young people and to help them become a well rounded individual through knowledge. An educator leads a challenging career. Within a normal day an educator must be more interesting and more knowledgeable than the information students have already picked up from the rapid output of knowledge everyday by the new advances in technology. No two students learn the same as the next. It is up to the educator to be able to understand the student's learning abilities and find new ways to enhance their daily learning. My passions in life mirror the career I am working towards. I love all written works. I enjoy reading literature from all across the region, nation, and world. I am an avid poetry writer. I enjoy helping others make sense of literature and expanding their writing capabilities. I hope to make a huge impact on the lives of my future students just as past educators have impacted my life. I intend on doing far better than I did in the previous semester. I do hope everyone achieves their goals this semester. Go Jags!