I love Pre Kindergarten..Do you?

I love Pre Kinderrgarten..Do you?

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Types of Learning Environments

 

We do not need to sit in a classroom to learn nor do we have to stand in front of a classroom full of students to be able to teach. Learning and Teaching are evolving. Below is a quick take on 3 types of settings…….

Learning and teaching can be done in a variety of settings and situations. We can learn in a traditional face to face classroom and we can also teach our students in a traditional classroom setting where we see each other face to face.

In a traditional or face to face classroom, the students and teacher always experience learning inside a classroom together as a group and always meets in person.Technology can be a part of the classroom learning but all types of learning and associated projects and activities  are done in the classroom except for homework.

Another type of classroom is the hybrid classroom. It is called a hybrid class because half (more or somewhat less) is carried out online and the other part of the class is taught in a classroom setting, face to face. So basically hybrid classes are a mix between online learning and traditional learning. Technology is a major part of the course.

The online classroom, is totally 100 percent internet based. The students and teachers do not meet face to face and there is no actual classroom setting. All teaching and learning is done virtually. All communications are done online and all work and assignments are completed in the same manner.

When we are in a traditional classroom all of us are being taught the same ideas at the same pace. When we are in an online classroom, we are learning at our own pace and different things. Although we are presented with the same assignments and projects, we as students set the pace in how and when we read as well as where we want to do so. We can have class in the middle of Starbucks where as if we were face to face we could end up daydreaming and losing quality learning time because our minds drift.

Teaching online is different that teaching face to face. Questions may not be answered in real time. If a student has a question and is stuck on the matter he or she can not just raise their hand and get a response but rather  stop, email professor and wait. The same thing as if a teacher has a question for the students.

PBL or problem based learning is a good method to use in online learning  because it challenges the students to learn how to learn. When we are online, we are not alone but we have to be disciplined and really learn how to learn in order to succeed. We can work virtually in groups to find solutions to authentic real life situations. It focuses on finding real world  problems and figuring them out in ways that drives students to find their correct chosen career path. Another great method for online learning would be games, simulations and experiments because students today have grown and are used to playing games, using internet and doing other types of things using technology and tools.The simulations and games help students solv ereal world problems n a safe environment while having fun doing so.

Humor in the classroom can be a good method to use in a traditional classroom. Sometimes students become disengaged, unmotivated and bored. By using humor, it can enhance student learning by improving retention and understanding.

Critical Thinking is a great method to use in all learning settings especially the hybrid setting. It forces students to really think about situations and find solutions to problems. When they have the chance to meet with their teacher face to face they can talk about it. In the mean while, while they are learning online, they can search for the answers themselves making them more involved with learning.

http://pedagogy.merlot.org/TeachingStrategies.html

The learning activity really got me thinking about my learning activity. It is awesome because I am learning in an online environment and at the same time I am teaching young children in a traditional setting. I believe that all learning and teaching can come full circle. It is great to live in this day and age where we have options.

What is your preferred method of learning and why?  Also, for educators -What is your preferred method of teaching and why?

 

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Look forward to hearing from you!!!

EDU520- Motivation and Engagement

Engagement and motivation are two very important aspects of education. Educators must understand and learn how to really engage the students. It is our job as educators to get students interested into the subject matter at hand. Once we have the students interested we must also engage them. We need to engage the students into the work we are presenting them whether it be a hands on activity, writings, arts or whatever else, the important fact is to have the students be involved and engaged to what they are working on. Having a motivated student really encourages educators to work hard and smart for them, this is turn would have educators planning on how to better engage students in all aspects of learning.if educators would understand the concepts of motivation and engagement we would have more successful students taht would be encourgaed to reach their goals and try hard to never give up. According to Wlodkowski, there is a problem with motivation and it is that we can not see or touch it. This causes teachers to need to want to learn a student’s personality.We can not observe motivation nor measure it in an accurate manner (1999).
Educators can really influence students motivation and engagement. One way is by focusing on the students interests and make lessons surrounding that topic. If a teacher really focuses on the interests of the students the students will notice. This will cause them to be more a part of the class and naturally they will become engaged. Making classes and lessons fun and up to date causes for motivation. Having a hands on activity and or projects is great engagement as well. Engagement can be synonymous with active learning (2011). Engagement is co discovery. It is being in the moment and paying attention while being immersed into a topic at hand (2011).
According to Garret, engagement is a coming together between a student and teacher more like a fusion. An open back and forth dialouge.
Technology is great. I think that when students, no matter how young or how old, when they see a computer, SmartBoard, iPad or another electronic device that they can use to”play” when actually they are really learning is wonderful. It sparks interest and creates curiosity. Students are more willing to try it out. It cause for engagement and it is like  a circle. The teacher creates engagement and this motivates the teacher to do more while motivating students to become involved with technology and the world around them.
When I do an activity with my students I always want to make sure they are happy. I want to keep them interested for the whole time. I motivate them to become interested in a subject if they do not know too much about it or lack interest. The key factor is engagement. I always ask myself how can I get the children negaged and motivate them to finish the task/assignmnet. I use a reward sytem and positive reinforcement. I get on their level and ask them many questions. Getting to know them and what they would like to learn. From a young age children trust you and they get the vibe that they are loved and we are their to help them. I always want to make it about them. To get students to love to learn and enjoy school is  a teacher’s priority.

Garrett, C. (2011). Defining, detecting, and promoting student engagement in college learning environments . [Article]. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal, 5(2), 1-12.

Wlodkowski, R. J. (1999). Motivation and diversity: A framework for teaching . [Article]. New Directions for Teaching & Learning(78), 7.

EDU505- The Future of Education

Why is futuring an important exercise for educational organizations?
Futuring is very important. Futuring can really benefit educational organizations because it has to do with strategic planning. In order to better educational organizations, there must be plans in place to do so. Futuiring is a great exercise because it not only plans but takes things a step further. Futuring plans with a purpose. With furting, we look into the big picture what is going to happen tomorrow and in the long run that is going to improve educational organizations. Technology is becoming a huge part of education. It is changing the way we think and learn. Futuring is important because we as educators need to learn how to incorporate technology and all of its advances to fully benefit the students we teach. To be better prepared for the many tomorrows we face.

According to Houle, he is a futurist who is a catalyst to get us to really think about the future. There are three types of thinking of the future when he asks people, one all being personal, second being all negative and the largest group, in to which he was surprised is where people do not think about the future. We have to start thinking about the future if we do not already because things will happen on to us and the place in which we work and so forth without us being prepared. (2008). Houle calls if the shift age. I am taking it means that we are in a time where we must shift and move to make things happen. To think about our future not only personally but to expand outwards.

  1. A product of your final paper is your vision of your educational context in 2017 – this is a scenario! Since you are writing only one scenario, rather than several alternate futures, what are some of the challenges you will face (in other words, discuss the pros and cons of scenarios.

Scenarios get us thinking about possibilities that may occur. They get us to think about and prepare what can happen in the future in certain instances. One pro is to be prepared and ready for things that can change and happen. To be prepared for the worst or most challenging but not expect it to happen. Certain scenarios give us a different outlook and offers insight on how to deal with situations. One con about scenarios that if we think too much about many different things that may happen or have a chance on happen we can develop anxiety. A con will also be focusing on negatives. We all want the future to be positive but building scenarios can cause us to dwell on negative possibilities that may never even occur and that can take away focusing on more what’s important. When educational organizations think of many scenarios, it may take away from other things or it can hault a process of development. Thinking of many scenarios as well can complicate ideas and ones thinking. All changes impact scenarios, no matter the size if they are large or small there is some effect on the outcome.

Houle, D. (2008). What is a futurist?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?viQyysb8ngMQ

EDU 520

Communities of Practice or CoPs are people who work together in the same field. They are a group of people that share the same profession and work together. These people form a community. This community works together and supports one another regarding the specific field. CoPs are where everyone works together and while the student is mastering the skills, the teacher is a learning partner in the process. It is face to face and they are present. The teachers work together to enhance learning and at that same time, teaching is being supported. Learning from one another as professionals while teaching others and gaining from that experience to better ourselves and those around us. This is building a community. The community or group have a common bond and interest. When sharing and working together in a group, we are creating a process wher we gain strengths while strengthening others.CoPs support learning as well do PLCs or professional learning communities/
PLCs are where teachers get together and learn from each other.  According to Cranston (2011), personal learning communities focus on binding three concentric circles. The outermost part of the circle shows a representation of the teaching  faculty and the community and the innermost part of the circle shows the teachers and children while the centre of the circle represents the relationship between the school and faculty members. (Cranston 2011). The teachers share what is going on with the students and what may be going on inside their classroom. It is a way for teachers to learn from each other and better themselves which in turn will benefit their students. In a professional learning community teachers work together on problems and situations on may be facing. The colleagues work together to help find solutions.Teachers are talk about their experience and they are there to learn. We as teachers are lifelong learners. When we form a community to be encouraged by fellow educators who actually support us it is a great thing that we can do. Looking to share our mishaps and get advice for our weaknesses and downfalls with others in our fields prepares ourselves to better the lives of those we teach.
Technology can really enhance PLCs. According to Adams, when PLCs work correctly, they can transform schools.(2009).
Technology can aslo benefit CoPs as well. The internet brings us all closer together. Virtually we can support each other and learn many things as well as share our experiences as educators whether we are at school, home or anywhere. Technoly may take away from people coming together and sitting face to face because now everything can be done online basically but it can also go back to even though we may not actually be in the presence of one another physically we are all there in a virtual world lending our supporting and ready to learn. There are huge changes in the web. It is now Web 2,0. Social media is a common thing we all use to learn and to teach. We use social media to experience and exchange building a sense of togetherness even though we are not face to face,This way technology changes and enhances both CoPs and PLCs. According to Gunawardena (2009),  the web 2.0 has many applications that provide support for people coming together as a community and learn collectively as whole while sharing experience.This develops a sense of community and learning together as a team although it is all virtual.

References

Cranston, J. (2011). Relational trust: The glue that binds a professional learning community. Alberta Journal of Educational Research57(1), 59-72. Retrieved from http://post.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/courses/EDU520.901169014975/Resources/Documents/Relational Trust_The Glue that Binds a Professional Learning Community.pdf

Gunawardena, C. N., Hermans, M. B., Sanchez, D., Richmond, C., Bohley, M., & Tuttle, R. (2009). A theoretical framework for building online communities of practice with social networking tools . Educational Media International, 46(1), 3-16. doi: 10.1080/09523980802588626

Adams, C. (2009). The power of collaboration. Instructor, 119(1), 28-31.

This learning activity was interesting. I enjoyed getting to know what CoPs  and PLCs are. There is so much that we can do for others and so much we can all learn from each other to better the lives of the ones we teach.

What would you contribute to a Professional Learning Community and why?

http://educationinnovation.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/05/how-to-have-beautiful-professional-learning-communities-explore-your-differences.html