Saturday, May 23, 2009

Schools that Learn Response

Schools that Learn is an enlightening experience for any educator, parent or student (if the student is mature enough to understand the material). I think the “Schools that Learn” discussion about the industrial style of education was most enlightening to me. As I teach I continually think about what type of world we are preparing our students to work and live in. I think there are major benefits to team learning and our students will benefit most from an adjustment to a team system. In addition I think its time that schools move away from an assembly line model for schools and move toward schools that model their schools after a corporation style.

Additionally Schools that Learn makes me think about globalization and what new challenges will face our students, teachers and schools in the future. We are preparing our students to live in an America that no longer works in factories on assembly lines and we are also preparing our students to live in an America that is actively competing with all nations in the world for a place in the job market. It will not be as easy for our students to get jobs as it was in generations past. How are we going to adapt our schools, lessons and curriculum to prepare and serve our students needs?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Cognitive Views of Learning: Electronic Textbooks

An electronic textbook should be organized much in the same way a traditional hardcover textbook is organized. Attention should be given to textbook fonts and format so that the textbook promotes easy reading and easy navigation through pages when used in a web browser or other computer program. Periodic page breaks should be inserted in order help to make the textbook more organized. For example, long textbook chapters may need to be divided into several web pages so that it can be easy to locate specific material in a chapter. A thirty or forty page chapter would probably be difficult to navigate through if it was all contained in one long scrolling list. As well as being difficult to read, if a chapter were thirty or forty pages long and displayed as one long scrolling text on a single page it may also be difficult for students to return to specific material after they initially read it.

To help the students learn and retrieve materials online textbooks should implement certain options. First the electronic textbook should give students the option to print the material out. Some students will always find it easier to read the material as a printed out hardcopy as opposed to reading the material off of their computer screen. In addition when textbook content is printed on paper students can easily manipulate the material. For example, students can underline, highlight and make notes on the material that they have read.

In addition to allowing students to print textbook material out, electronic textbooks can also make they digital material open to manipulation in the digital world. For instance, a digital version of a textbook can also contain a highlight, underline or notes option. Textbooks could allow for notes to be made on digital material much like Mac users have the option to create “stickies”.

A electronic textbook chapter should contain traditional textbook features such as bolding key words, dividing the chapter into key ideas, summary questions and including real world scenarios which should supplement course material. Electronic textbooks may also include some new digital features that would be exclusive to electronic textbooks such as live web links with in the text, images, videos, audio and perhaps even games that apply to chapter material. The electronic textbook world is almost limitless and may only be limited by the imaginations of the people who create the digital texts.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Workshop Reflection

I wrote this reflection after attending the "Designing Print and Projected Instructional Materials" workshop:

When designing a PowerPoint to be used in the classroom there are several factors to keep in mind and to be taken into consideration. First you want to consider the type of media you will be using to present the PowerPoint to your students. Ask yourself the question: Will you be using a monitor, a SmartBoard or a projector and screen to convey your PowerPoint to the class? After determining the type of media you will be using to present the PowerPoint there are several ways to make your PowerPoint more effective. First, you'll want to use a font color and background color that contrasts well as to be easy and pleasing on the eye for reading. Second, you'll want to use a large enough font size so that all students in your classroom will be able to read the text you present (keeping in mind where all of the seats are in the classroom and if you have any students with eye sight problems in your class). Once you have determined an appropriate font color, font type, font size and background color; you are ready to create your slide show. When working with your slide show you'll want to be careful not to put in too many distractions such as sounds, crazy pictures or graphics as these can take away from the important material you want your students to absorb.

Monday, November 26, 2007


It seems like every day there are more and more news stories about the environment. I recently completed an assignment with my environmental science class that posed the following questions to my students. 1. Calculate how much money is saved by reducing a certain amount of waste via recycling. 2. Calculate how much energy is conserved by reusing or recycling.
I told students that they should probably focus on Aluminum cans to make their quest easier. The results varied and they were astounding! Some students actually concluded that certain types of recycling save much less energy then processing virgin material (in some cases only 8%). Other students concluded that certain types of recycling could potentially do more harm then good. Overall we all agreed that conservation, reuse and recycling are positive things but never the less the assignment was very enlightening.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Almost Halfway through first semester of TEAM

So when we first started TEAM I wasn't really sure what was going. Our professors continually asked us if we were overwhelmed, overworked or scared to be starting TEAM. I don't think that any of those words described how I felt for the first 6 weeks of TEAM but I know that I was definitely feeling something. I can confidently say that I was ultra confused about every aspect of TEAM for the first 6 weeks but then something happened on Monday; it all started making sense! All of a sudden I realized and understood that TEAM truly wasn't the same as any other class I had ever taken and that each student in TEAM was going to take something different away from TEAM. Over the past few days I have found myself feeling excited about what the next few weeks and year and a half of TEAM is going to bring me. I wonder what other new technologies I will be exposed to and how I will use these technologies to change the way I teach and live my life.

Monday, October 1, 2007

P, G and S ???

P, G and S stands for Professional Growth and Scholarship.

Class Scavenger Hunt

I'm sitting in class today and we are reviewing the Internet Scavenger Hunt activity. I think that the internet searching methods that Michelle recommended would have been useful in completing this assignment. Google has many advanced search options such as "file format" and "domain".