Sunday, February 17, 2013
Blog Assignment #5
If I Built A School
Krissy Venosdale teaches gifted education and embraces the use of creativity to the fullest. Her blog, Venspired, is all about creativity and creating a dynamic learning environment for her students. One of her blog posts, If I Built A School, describes what Mrs. Venosdale would do if she were to build a school of her own. It would be a school filled with color and innovative learning. She even would have a tree house in the library! I thought all of her ideas were wonderful and I wish I had been able to attend a school like that.
If I were to build a school of my own, I would want it to be a comfortable place that children would enjoy attending. The class rooms would have coffee house style chairs and tables so students would be comfortable while they learned. The halls would be filled with vibrant colors and inspirational posters. The library would resemble that of Hogwarts. The science labs would be stocked with the latest equipment and the students would do fun and practical experiments often. The curriculum wouldn't be based on some arbitrary standardized test but on fun and practical life skills. Above all, I would want the students to enjoy coming to school and furthering their education.
A composer and conductor named Eric Whitacre came up with an odd but brilliant idea to create a virtual choir. This is a choir where different singers from around the world submit videos of themselves singing certain parts (soprano, alto etc.) of the song Lux. These people had never met, and yet the final product was breathtaking! I feel like this idea could have so many possibilities for the future of education. Teachers could have students collaborate with other schools around the country and the world to create projects.
Teaching in the 21st Century
In the video Teaching in the 21st Century, Kevin Roberts discusses the challenges that are presented to educators teaching today. Students are able to acquire information at the drop of a hat, so what is our role as teachers? Roberts asserts that it our job to teach them how to use this information, to show them how to apply these things to their everyday lives. They must be shown how to correctly use the technology available to them. Above all, it is our job to engage our students not to entertain them. Entertainment is fleeting, but teaching a student to be engaged lasts a lifetime.
I feel that Roberts is correct in his assertions. Times are changing and the ways students view the world are too. We, as teachers, need to show students how to be responsible with today's technology. How do we do this? We do this by using these tools ourselves. If we demonstrate the correct skills and engage our students in learning them, then we have given them their best chance to succeed.
Flipping the Classroom
A flipped classroom is one in which a teacher records lecture videos that students watch outside of class. The teachers are then able to better to instruct and engage their students during the class period. I like this idea of teaching. However, I don't know how it would work for someone teaching Language Arts. This approach seems to be more based on subjects such as Math and the Sciences that require a more practical application. I don't see myself using this approach.