Reflect not Relive

Learn from the past live in the present plan for the future.” – Audrey Farrell

Often in life we have moments of reflection. We make lists of goals we hope to achieve
and may even think of the promises that have yet to be fulfilled. Even further, we tend
to think about obstacles that may have prevented or delayed us from achieving our goal.
By reflecting, we should take the opportunity to think about what we learned and what
can be done in the future to get the desired outcome or perhaps even enhance the final
outcome. In the occupation of teaching, we should always look for ways to improve
student learning and collaboratively working together to obtain that goal no matter what
the obstacle.

Reflection from course #1
UBD final project

Supporting Google Documents
Discussion Questions
PDSA Approach
Tiered Model Approach
ORID Approach

I am always looking for ways to extend my learning and welcome any feedback that will
assist me in going from good to great and on a good day, from great to exceptional! 🙂

Are we doing the D.E.W.?

When thinking of how I was going to approach this blog post, I had to first ask myself, “What are tools? Why do we use them?” If I could reflect upon the many tools I have used which is not too vast (hammer, screw driver, and drill), I could then understand the purpose they served. Likewise when reflecting on the many tools I have used while in this profession, I understand that they too serve a purpose – to get information across to an audience for the purpose of learning or support of learning more effectively and efficiently.

Mark Prensky in his article, “Shaping Tech for the Classroom,” makes some very valid points. What of the four are occurring in most classrooms today?

  • Dabbling.
  • Doing old things in old ways.
  • Doing old things in new ways.
  • Doing new things in new ways.

How have we addressed the technology that is available to students like instant messaging, twitter, cell phones, the use of Wikipedia as a source, just to name a few? Are we more scared of the potential danger if not used properly versus venturing out and teaching students, who are digital natives how to use them properly?

Another point in the article that rings true with me is this, “How many of these new ways will ever be integrated into our instruction — or even understood by educators? If we want to move the useful adoption of technology forward, it is crucial for educators to learn to listen, to observe, to ask, and to try all the new methods their students have already figured out, and do so regularly. For the digital age, we need new curricula, new organization, new architecture, new teaching, new student assessments, new parental connections, new administration procedures, and many other elements. What we’re talking about is invention — new things in new ways. Change is the order of the day in our kids’ 21st-century lives. It ought to be the order of the day in their schools as well. Not only would students welcome it, they will soon demand it.”

Are we going through the motions in education or are we Delivering Education with the Wisdom that the way our students learn are different and therefore, we must take a different approach.

Get a Grip

Get a Grip

During the last school year, I was honored and humbled to go outside of my comfort zone and go rafting down the Ganga River with a group of energetic eighth graders. I was not alone in being new to this water sport and the newbies on this adventure paid close attention to the directions that were given, of the most being, never let go of your t-grip. The t-grip was used to help navigate the raft and if need be could be your “life line” back to the raft should you fall out. I spent the next few days of this adventure following directions, never letting go of my t-grip!

Do we as educators have a grip on the skills our students will need in the 21st century? Are we teaching them how to merely survive or teaching them to thrive? Are we taking the technology tools that are currently available and using them to our advantage? For instance, what is our stance on smartphones in Education?

Jeff Dunn, in his article, “The 60-Second Guide to Smartphones in Education” highlights some facts that education today must acknowledge:

• Ownership of smartphones continues to rise at a brisk pace
• Smartphone owners download between 50 and 80 apps each
• Students studying using smartphones are three times more likely to track their progress
• Flashcards and self-quizzes are popular: more than 70% of students use this type of app
• Most students use the built-in apps a lot. The calculator, notepad, and camera all play critical roles.

What are we doing to embrace what is already entering our classrooms, what is at the fingertips of most students? How are we empowering them and their parents to make learning more meaningful and relevant to today? How are we training our students to engage with their global community? Students today have more opportunities then those of yester year to make an impact earlier on in life. Why not provide them with the tools to think critically, collaboratively, and problem solve while we can be around to facilitate and support their learning?