Sunday, April 29, 2012

Project #15 Smartboard Lesson

Project #13 Collaboration without being face-to-face

The G.I.T. group chose to use Facebook as a means of collaborating without meeting face-to-face by sheer accident. On April 6th, Trina inboxed the group to set up a time that we could meet via OOVOO, in order to collaborate and discuss upcoming projects 15 and 16. All members of the group, within minutes, got in on the discussion and before you know it, we were all online and communicating. What basically, started out as a disagreement on how and when, ended up as the completion of Project #13.

Blog Post 13 Am I a techno junkie?

I have been tasked to see if I can go 24 hours without using any electrons or electrical appliances for a period of 24 hours. I began Blog Post 13's assignment on Tuesday April 24th. As I started the clock, I began to think about how I'm going to accomplish this task. My biggest hurdle is going to be my cell phone, especially in the car. I am so accustomed to merely pushing an accept button to receive calls. In order to avoid any mishaps, the first thing I will do is turn off my cell phone. The time starts now.....(2:45p.m.) 4:18p.m.- My first start over just occur. It took this long for me to realize that I'm in rush hour traffic with the radio on at full blast. I've also caught myself several times reaching for my cell phone to check for messages and to break up an irritating silence during my commute home. 4:35p.m.- I arrived home, entered my bedroom, and immediately reached for the remote to turn on the television. I caught myself. 8:00p.m.- On the way home from my 6:00 class at USA, I thought about dinner. I couldn't remember all of my many restrictions in this assignment but I knew I couldn't use the microwave. I decided to stop by my mother's house to eat what she prepared. I procrastinated for an hour in order to keep from having to spend so much time in a completely quiet house. My son is a student attending Alabama State University. This is usually the time I call or text him and also confirm that he has received the weekly money transfer to his pre-paid card. Daniel will just have to wait another day for this but, what if I could never have these types of transactions with him. I'd have to ask my parents what they did because really, just the thought has me baffled. 4:00a.m.- Normally, I am awakened by the alarm on my cell phone, set for 4:30a.m. My phone was still powered off and luckily for me, the sound of the garbage truck woke me up 30 minutes earlier. Although I had a 30 minute jump start, I left the house 18 minutes later than usual. Normally,I get dressed while I listen to the news. This helps me to stay on schedule and get out the door by 6:00a.m. Yet, without the television, even with a 30 minute head start, I was running 18 minutes behind schedule. 7:15a.m.-3:00p.m.- During the course of my work day, I am required to use the computer to post attendance and enter grades. This was unavoidable. Rather than leaving work at 3;00P.M., I stayed until 4:00p.m. By the time I arrived home, the torture was over. I succeeded!!!! As I reflect on the last 24 hours, I feel very proud of myself for getting through it. I am glad it was just a trial and not a reality. I didn't worry too much about giving up the use of Face Book because I had recently fasted for 21 days where FB was my sacrifice. The other hours spent without the use of electronics, I found to be crucifying. I often times felt detached from society. Some may call the use of electronics an addiction, especially the cell phone. I agree that talking and texting is an addiction for me but the new smart phone features that have been added in the last 5 years, such as online banking, scheduling and messaging, are totally necessary in order to function in this new age of technology. Am I a techno junkie? I'm not a junkie if I'm not over indulging, right?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Special Blog Post #12A Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts

Education is the key to our ever changing future. As educators, we are having to go through this huge transformation in order to meet the needs of our children and what it takes to teach in an age of technology. By it being an age of technology, creativity and curiosity of the educators, the students, and the parents is a necessary collaboration. Without it, the learning process is not taking place in our classrooms. The system is the blame for being oblivious to the need and hindering our children from learning in a way they will meet the educational needs of the future.

Let me begin by defining creativity and curiosity. Creativity refers to the phenomenon whereby a person creates something new that has some kind of value. Curiosity is an emotion related to natural inquisitive behavior such as exploration. If you examine the definitions closely, you'll find that they are emotional skills they feed off of each other. By creativity being an intrapersonal emotional skill and curiosity being interpersonal, it brings me to the assumption that both skills are responsible for stimulating the learning process. A student may be prone to use or is better at using one more than the other, however, we as educators, are responsible for incorporating their use in the classroom and identifying specific qualities and preferred ways of capturing information.

How has the school systems in the United States inhibited the development of curiosity and creativity in the students?
The "No Child Left Behind" and the introduction of standardized testing has caused activity in the classroom to be limited to the Educators teaching the test. Test scores are the measures used to determine if a student has met the standards, regardless if any learning has actually taken place or not. Suppose the student is not a passive learner and relies on hands on and imaginative skills in order to learn. Are these types of students rendered SpecialEd? Probably so.

The key to putting the two C's into the curriculum is through the use of technology. When developing a curriculum that increases curiosity in students,it is best to assign task that are only basic objectives with very few guidelines and perimeters. These assignments would,however require extensive research and there would be no right or wrong answers. The grading criteria would be measured by the final product and the creativity involved. The key components are the use of various websites, creating blogs, establishing collaborates outside the classroom, and allowing individualism.

The teacher's primary objective should be to stir up curiosity within the students. I, personally, would create a mound of curiosity in my lectures. Once they are winded with curiosity, I would have them to write down 3 questions on the topic and have them to research the answers. Later, have each student share their findings with the class through a given project. This will unleash their creativeness.

As a teacher, its sometimes hard to go outside of the box in order to promote curiosity and creativity in a student. In Mobile County, teachers are required to teach a subject within a timed cycle of instruction. The cycle is as follows:
Bell ringer or icebreaker introducing the topic 10 minutes
An Essential Question is posted but not answered until the end of class
Essential vocabulary words are defined 10 minutes
Lecture 20 minutes
Student engagement 20 minutes
Evaluation of Learning or Assessment(At this time the essential question is answered) 5 minutes
Each class, regardless the subject has to be taught in this manner. If an administrator comes into the classroom during the first 10 minutes of the class, the students are expected to be engaged in the bell ringer. It makes it very difficult and quite uninteresting at times for a "Curious George" in that type of classroom setting.

How to break the cycle as a teacher? I can't answer that question, but it is always a thought in the back of my mind.

ELLI- The Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory- the 7 dimensions of learning power (qualities and dispositions that enable students to learn now and throughout life) For more information about ELLI go to: