Monthly Archives: May 2013

Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century

As an advocate on progressive schooling, I believe that digital schools are a genius idea. Times are changing. Learning is not just done through a series of math problems or reading a novel for class. Learning is done through a series of innovative teaching models involving the digital world. This type of learning allows young students to practice their analytical  and creative sides of their mind.

Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century provides a framework of how students can develop with technology. The documentary was definitely an eye-opener and made me realize how effective technology is to students. It looks as if these schools that were mentioned in the documentary are training these students for jobs they will invent. The teachers seem as guides while the students learn through series of trial-and-error. I personally love that ideology that the teachers are not looked to as authoritians and do not implement the same traditional teaching strategies you get in public education and that is what I got out of watching this documentary.

I fell in love with the idea of peer-helping learning model. The whole idea of the scavenger hunt at the museum and the GPS-based history walk seemed like such an effective way to make kids learn. By working with their peers, they learn communication and teamwork. James Gee proposes an interesting thought that goes off of this teaching method. He states that humans don’t learn from a bunch of words. They learn through experience. Therefore, digital media allows for experiences for these students. Through hands-on experiences, it is easier for a student to stay engaged. As amazing as reading books are, kids don’t seem to be learning from print. They are reading in different types of mediums and that is incredible.

This new way of teaching is not replacing teachers. In a way, it is replacing black and white boards, textbooks and handouts. It is a resource that can effectively teach a student. Unfortunately  my pessimistic view on the policy makers of American education hinder my belief that digital media based schools will be overpass the standardized-based public education in the next several years. However, I do believe that more progressive schools like the ones in the documentary will gain more popularity with parents and students. I am excited to see where the future of technology takes education!

This documentary opened my eyes to newer and more effective ways to reach our students.

Well done PBS.

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Learning Standard As My Target This Semester

As of now, I desire to teach Kindergarten. I believe that the fine arts are just as important than Math and Science. I believe Fine Arts teaches a child communication, self-esteem, diversity, expression and self-awareness. I believe that although the state is decreasing the funding for fine arts, a teacher can incorporate it into their lessons involving math, science, and language arts. That is why my focus standard is Kindergarten Fine Arts, listed below.

K.4 The student will respond to music with movement.
1. Match movement to rhythmic patterns.
2. Employ large body movement.
3. Employ locomotor and non-locomotor movements.
4. Use movement to enhance music, stories, and poems.
5. Perform dances and games from various cultures.
6. Use the body to illustrate moods and contrasts in music

Although, I don’t plan on teaching music, I would still love to infuse music with my daily lessons. Through this standard, I would love to form a lesson plan that will involve daily curriculum from other standards (math, science, etc). If the child is having fun, they will not realize how much they are learning. It is important for the child to be a kid while learning their own responsibilities. By doing more research of these standards, I will hopefully provide a framework of what works by the end of this semester.

Source: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/fine_arts/music/general/stds_k-5/stds_gen_musick.pdf

“Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…”

A lot of blog writers are unaware of the low attention spans people on the internet have. People don’t usually don’t want to be stuck reading a three paragraph entry post on whatever topic. The internet’s attention span is very minimal. That’s why Larry Ferlazzo’s blog is so captivating. He posts videos, gifs, quotes, other websites to engage the reader (rather than a long thought-out essay). Not to say that those blogs don’t receive hits, but I love various forms of media in blogs. As I was scrolling through the different entries, one video that he posted caught my attention. Check it out, below:

This video is essentially an animated short that involves fictional characters between a teacher an a policy maker. Although, it’s very funny, I hear it all the time. “Teachers need to be held accountable for low-performing students.” Even if the students come from a rough background and speak minimal English  Makes no sense to me. The video is definitely an eye opener to any aspiring teachers or long-term teachers.

I am also very interested in Chicago Public Schools. I followed the mayhem when the teachers went on a strike and enjoy reading how they are going to fix the issue of this major school district. Chicago decided to close down 49 elementary schools in impoverished neighborhoods. Ferlazzo posts an entry about this situation and shares a quote from an interview with the school union. I shared this below:

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Ferlazzo’s blog stems around topics such as current events, teaching tools, education policy, bullying, videos on self-improvement, etc. All of these posts are very practical to not only a teacher, but to how to live our lives very effectively. This is definitely a blog I will be checking in regularly! Good job Mr. Ferlazzo.

Check it out: http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/

**images/videos taken from blog***