Category Archives: Education

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    Alternate Paradigm of Learning

    Category:EducationTags : 
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAN-AAAAJGUxNzI4YzE2LTE3ZjUtNDI3ZS1iZmMxLWRjOGU4MTQ3N2FkYQ Alternate Paradigm of Learning

    Alternate Paradigm of Learning

    This article is long, and has some boring points. So if you don't like long and boring, this probably isn't the read for you.  The articles is on an analogy of a moderately stable learning experience versus an alternate paradigm of learning. .____________________________________________________

    As  someone who has studied in the field of education I take a special interest in the logic that people will use to convey messages to me, and to others. There are many ways to say something, but not all ways are beneficial.  We all want to do the best job we can when educating  others. We want others to understand what we are saying and gain from that communication.  

    I did a study a while back in an distance education setting, where  I was able to observe how a particular instructor reacted to certain environmental cues as well as individual   student behaviors, both live  in the classroom and over the interactive video conferencing system.  I wrote about the events that I observed, and then proceeded to write an alternate paradigm.* Those observations and the alternate paradigm are below. 

     Observation

    The classroom is a modern interactive video conference (IVC) classroom .  The instructor sits at the front of the class at her desk.  For convenience she has two monitors on her desk; one that allows her to see all her classes that are located throughout the state, and the other screen has her power points and internet links that she will use to guide the nights discussion.  Behind her on the wall is an 80 inch plasma screen that projects her teaching materials to those who are sitting in the classroom in front of her.  The back wall has a 70 inch plasma screen with four large images showing all the distant education sites she will teach this evening.  You can see the students at these distant sites collaborating with each other, preparing for their presentation, and adjusting their seating.  Most appear to be happy and engaged with each other before the class begins.

    In the back corner of the main instructors classroom sits a site facilitator named Sylvan, who monitors and controls the broadcasting equipment from a desktop touch screen.  He also has dual monitors on his desk that reflect exactly what the instructor sees on her screens as well as what is projected on the wall mounted plasmas.

    89 Alternate Paradigm of LearningThe instructor, Bobbie Evers, is a Professional looking woman with short light brown hair.  She will be teaching  a 3000 level Social Work Policy course this evening.  She is new to IVC, but has been able to adapt to the interactive teaching station with ease. Tonight she has planned a four-way broadcasting event where students will debate and discuss a number of social policy related questions.   She begins by taking roll, and each of the distant sites one–by-one proclaims who is present.  At one site, a gentleman chimes in that he is present and announces for his team that “we have brought our A game”.  

    We have brought our A game

    The topic of debate for this evening is Child Welfare Reform.  Students from the different sites have been split up into teams to represent both the pro  and con sides.   The debate begins and is immediately  lively.   Each participant brings to the debate a number of key points that seem to resonate on both sides.  Some of those issues included: abuse, taking children from the home, permanency, children aging out,  family relationships, providers, school and mental health.  

    The plasma on the back wall showing the four different sites is voice activated.  When someone speaks at a distant site, the broadcast is automatically switch to that location.  However, for some reason this evening the screens all remained the same size.  One of the sites had only one individual at it, and the camera must of only been about 12 inches away from her face.  For a portion of the evening the movement of this individual was so distracting I found myself laughing at her a couple times.  I admire that the instructor and the other students, didn’t seem to mind.  But then again, I am not sure what the distant receive sites were seeing, since each site can adjust their views.   It was hard to miss her drinking her coffee, eating a corn dog,  and fidgeting obsessively.  It wasn’t until she finally cued the microphone, and had something to say that she settled down.  Yet, when she did speak it was with a lot of redundant words, particularly the use of the word “LIKE”; and then she would flay her hands in the air.  

    For most of the debate there were a number of individuals who seemed to be quite confident in their delivery.  Although shaky at first, their voices and delivery became much more stable once the debate was well underway.   In particular, the confidence level of the debaters rose when the issue of whether or not the state and local governments should keep families together.  This topic drew some of the strongest comments, with one student even raising her voice.  Another student also chimed in with the comment that all abusers should be outfitted with “shock collars”.  The students were generally engaged and appeared to be knowledgeable about the topics they discussed.    Most sat still in their seats and watched the debate with interest. The groups who debated against the majority of the issues tended to have won the debate as far as I could tell. They were more prepared, more engaged, and confident in their delivery.

    As the debate wound down, the instructor opened the floor for discussion. Through these discussions I learned that most of the students were employees from a range of different social agencies.  So many already had a background in social welfare.  The students were very open and willing to discuss personal information as well. They expressed their thoughts openly, and were able to elaborate on the processes of knowing and/or understanding the plight of others.   The instructor throughout the debate and the discussion was fully engaged with the distant site students.  She would nod her head in agreement to much of what was being said, and was deliberate in her note taking.  She was able to step in whenever the topic shifted or began to slow.  She brought substance into the debate with strategically noted phases and kept the debate lively.  She was able to speak on relevant current issues, and was patient with student concerns and questioning.  

    Paradigms of Leaning

    The teacher was very much engaged with her students, and leaned more toward a cognitive learning view , which leans toward moral statements that express beliefs and is suitable to measure truth and falsity.   She was able to effectively lead her students into open discussion, and kept it flowing.  She did not attempt to interrupt, but rather was open and objective only when the discussion would slow. She allowed for open expression and creativity. She allowed students to work through any misunderstanding or mistakes as a team and to problem solve in order gain a deeper understanding.  

    PRO: The teams that debated in favor of the status quo did so with a more behaviorist approach. They were not willing to sway from the policy standards already set and maybe accept that not all things are as they seem.  The mantra I heard from them was always “It’s the parents fault”.   

    CON: Those who tended to disagree with the status quo came from more of a cognitivist point of view. Their concern was more about children growing up without a home and permanency, or children aging out of the system with no skills.  They were open to positive input and had a number of very good ideas.    

    During the debate the instructor challenged the group by interjecting  the socioculturalism aspects of social policy.  This paradigm was evident  in the debate, when the  topic turned to Native Americans and ideas of the whole child approach.  As the discussion moved forward, the role of foster care and Native Americans was also  introduced; and it became apparent that there are many dynamics that a community of social workers has to deal with.  In any particular role, the paradigms could easily be interchangeable, especially in social work.  The teacher was able to formulate direct questions that inspired more debate, in all these areas.  It was a very fascinating debate to watch especially for a layperson such as myself.

    Now for the alternate paradigm of learning.

    Alternate Paradigm of Learning

    The teacher was very behavioristic, and would often stop students mid-sentence to correct their ideas and elaborate on what changes the students needed to make. Her mantra was “do not interject personal sentiment into the policy process”.   She was stern with a set of pre-defined objectives, and did not allow for much self-expression or choice.    Students were not actively engaged in the discussion following the debates, and were not prompted by the teacher to do else wise.  Students followed a prescribed course of action the entire evening.  Repetitive information was sited at the beginning of each new topic. Points for discussion were listed by the instructor, and only simple responses were accepted.  Those students who closely followed the pre-defined objectives were rewarded with additional points.

    Alternative Observation

    The classroom is a modern interactive video conference classroom (IVC).  The instructor sits at the front of the class at her desk.  For convenience she has two monitors, one that allows her to see all her classes that are located throughout the state, and the another screen has her power points and internet links that she will use to guide the nights discussion.  This instructor prefers to not use the monitors nor any other digital technology.   Behind her on the wall is an 80 inch plasma screen, that for tonight will remain off, since she feels certain technology is distracting.    The wall in front of the instructor has a 70 inch plasma screen with four  large images of all the distant education sites she will teach tonight.  She allows this screen to remain on.  You can see the students at these distant sites slowly starting to  funnel into the classroom.   In the back corner of the broadcast classroom sits a site facilitator named Sylvan,  who monitors and  controls the broadcasting  equipment from a desktop touch screen.  He also has dual monitors on his desk that reflect exactly what the instructor sees on her screens as well as what is projected on the wall mounted plasmas.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAIHAAAAJDRmZGQ3NmJkLTgwMzgtNGVhZS1hYWYwLTZhMzZmNTU1ZjI4NQ Alternate Paradigm of LearningThe instructor, a dark haired woman in her early 40’s, Bobbie Nevers, teaches a 3000 level  Social Work Policy course.  She is new to IVC, and has not been able to adapt to the interactive teaching station very well.  Tonight she has planned a four way event where students will debate and discuss a number of social policy related questions.   She begins by taking roll, and each of the distant sites one–by-one declares who is present.   Before the debate she instructs the class on a set of pre-designed formats that they should follow.   The debate is to be very formal and the subject matter will be condensed to allow for repetitive justification of each opening and closing statement.

    The topic of debate for this evening is Child Welfare Reform.  Students from the different sites have been split up into teams to represent both the pro’s and con’s of the matter.     Social issues that will be addressed include: abuse, taking children from the home, permanency, family relationships, providers, school and mental health.  Students are asked to reframe from interjecting personal sentiment into the debate.

    The plasma on the back wall showing the four different sites, is voice activated.  When someone speaks at a distant site, the broadcast is automatically switched to that location.  However, for some reason this evening the screens all remained the same size.  One site had only one individual in it, and the camera that was on this individual must have only been about 12 inches away from her face.  For most of the evening the movement of this one individual is none existent, she is almost like a statue. I was amazed when she finally moved and asked a question.  The other students were also very unresponsive in their demeanor.

    For most of the debate students took turns reading from paper, their responses.  There were no highs and no lows within the two groups. It was very formal. The issue of whether or not the state and local governments should keep families together drew only one comment from the teacher, who reminded the student that without laws there would be no social workers.   The students were not generally engaged and appeared to be only semi knowledgeable about the topics they discussed.   Most of the debate was read from paper, and many items were redundantly recurrent.   During the debate, most of the students seemed to be reading other materials at their desks, and generally disinterested.

    CON: The groups who debated against the majority of the issues tended to have lost the debate as far as I could tell. They were more prepared, more engaged, and confident in their delivery, but did not follow the exact protocol the teacher wanted them to.  She felt the students were not properly conditioned and make way too many mistakes.

    PRO: The teams that debated in favor of the status quo did so with a more behaviorist approach. They were not willing to sway from the policy standards already set and maybe accept that not all things are as they seem.  The mantra I heard from them was always “It’s the parents fault”.   

    CON: Those who tended to disagree with the status quo came from more of a cognitivist point of view. Their concern was more about children growing up without a home and permanency, or children aging out of the system with no skills.  They were open to positive input and had a number of very good ideas.    

    During the debate the instructor challenged the group by interjecting  the socioculturalism aspects of social policy.  This paradigm was evident  in the debate, when the  topic turned to Native Americans and ideas of the whole child approach.  As the discussion moved forward, the role of foster care and Native Americans was also  introduced; and it became apparent that there are many dynamics that a community of social workers has to deal with.  In any particular role, the paradigms could easily be interchangeable, especially in social work.  The teacher was able to formulate direct questions that inspired more debate, in all these areas.  It was a very fascinating debate to watch especially for a layperson such as myself.

    Now for the alternate paradigm of learning.

    Alternate Paradigm of Learning

    The teacher was very behavioristic, and would often stop students mid-sentence to correct their ideas and elaborate on what changes the students needed to make. Her mantra was “do not interject personal sentiment into the policy process”.   She was stern with a set of pre-defined objectives, and did not allow for much self-expression or choice.    Students were not actively engaged in the discussion following the debates, and were not prompted by the teacher to do else wise.  Students followed a prescribed course of action the entire evening.  Repetitive information was sited at the beginning of each new topic. Points for discussion were listed by the instructor, and only simple responses were accepted.  Those students who closely followed the pre-defined objectives were rewarded with additional points.

    Alternative Observation

    The classroom is a modern interactive video conference classroom (IVC).  The instructor sits at the front of the class at her desk.  For convenience she has two monitors, one that allows her to see all her classes that are located throughout the state, and the another screen has her power points and internet links that she will use to guide the nights discussion.  This instructor prefers to not use the monitors nor any other digital technology.   Behind her on the wall is an 80 inch plasma screen, that for tonight will remain off, since she feels certain technology is distracting.    The wall in front of the instructor has a 70 inch plasma screen with four  large images of all the distant education sites she will teach tonight.  She allows this screen to remain on.  You can see the students at these distant sites slowly starting to  funnel into the classroom.   In the back corner of the broadcast classroom sits a site facilitator named Sylvan,  who monitors and  controls the broadcasting  equipment from a desktop touch screen.  He also has dual monitors on his desk that reflect exactly what the instructor sees on her screens as well as what is projected on the wall mounted plasmas.

    The instructor, a dark haired woman in her early 40’s, Bobbie Nevers, teaches a 3000 level  Social Work Policy course.  She is new to IVC, and has not been AAEAAQAAAAAAAAIHAAAAJDRmZGQ3NmJkLTgwMzgtNGVhZS1hYWYwLTZhMzZmNTU1ZjI4NQ Alternate Paradigm of Learningable to adapt to the interactive teaching station very well.  Tonight she has planned a four way event where students will debate and discuss a number of social policy related questions.   She begins by taking roll, and each of the distant sites one–by-one declares who is present.   Before the debate she instructs the class on a set of pre-designed formats that they should follow.   The debate is to be very formal and the subject matter will be condensed to allow for repetitive justification of each opening and closing statement.

    The topic of debate for this evening is Child Welfare Reform.  Students from the different sites have been split up into teams to represent both the pro’s and con’s of the matter.     Social issues that will be addressed include: abuse, taking children from the home, permanency, family relationships, providers, school and mental health.  Students are asked to reframe from interjecting personal sentiment into the debate.

    The plasma on the back wall showing the four different sites, is voice activated.  When someone speaks at a distant site, the broadcast is automatically switched to that location.  However, for some reason this evening the screens all remained the same size.  One site had only one individual in it, and the camera that was on this individual must have only been about 12 inches away from her face.  For most of the evening the movement of this one individual is none existent, she is almost like a statue. I was amazed when she finally moved and asked a question.  The other students were also very unresponsive in their demeanor.

    For most of the debate students took turns reading from paper, their responses.  There were no highs and no lows within the two groups. It was very formal. The issue of whether or not the state and local governments should keep families together drew only one comment from the teacher, who reminded the student that without laws there would be no social workers.   The students were not generally engaged and appeared to be only semi-knowledgeable about the topics they discussed.   Most of the debate was read from paper, and many items were redundantly recurrent.   During the debate, most of the students seemed to be reading other materials at their desks, and generally disinterested.

    CON: The groups who debated against the majority of the issues tended to have lost the debate as far as I could tell. They were more prepared, more engaged, and confident in their delivery, but did not follow the exact protocol the teacher wanted them to.  She felt the students were not properly conditioned and make way too many mistakes.

    PRO:  Those debating in favor of the social policy issue didn’t necessarily win, they did however stick to the pre-described debate platform that the instructor laid out at the beginning of the class.

    The instructor was not fully engaged with the distant sites; rather she spent more time addressing those students who were live in front of her.  She would nod her head in disagreement to much of what was being debated.  She informed the  class  that they would need to go over certain materials again to make sure they properly understood it.  She noted a significant amount of errors in the debates.  Whenever the topic shifted away from the pre-defined format, she was quick to stifle any response. As the debate wound up, the instructor asked if there were any questions.  There were none.

    __________________________________________________

    When you look at your own educational styling and training methods, alternate paradigms can help you to visualize what your students are actually seeing and hearing.  Something to think about before planning your next lesson plan.

     

    *Note:  The instructor in my study was a model instructor. 


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    UPSTART Early Learners Online

    Category:EducationTags : 
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAIxAAAAJGNkZWVkYTE1LWQ1OTUtNGViNC1hM2NhLTFjMDYzY2YzOGVhYw-1 UPSTART Early Learners Online

    UPSTART Early Learners Online

    I will be honest, when Rhiana Medina from the Multi-Cultural Center appeared in my office at the university, and started telling me about a new learning program for preschool to kindergarten learners, I was skeptical. Like any parent or educator, I had seen a host of programs and watched early learners become quickly bored and abandon the current endeavor for the next best thing.  Marketing to early learners is big business, so finding a program that will stick can be a struggle for parents and educators. 

    Rhiana had originally come to me and asked me to implement the program into the community, but due to my own academic constraints I didn't get the chance to offer to help.  I did however suggest to my own family that they look into the program; and they did.  That program was the UPSTART Program, a  FREE learning program designed by the Waterford Institute.

    Within the program, students’ progress through levels, mastering each level before continuing on to the next.   There are games, music, and activities to keep them engaged and motivated to want to learn.  It is all self-lead learning, with minimal if any guidance.  Your students basically teach themselves.  The computer program has the ability to test where a student’s level is,  and places them in the appropriate sections for that ability.   

    After months of use, I can confirm that the program has made a wonderful impact on one preschooler named Sienna.  Sienna started out on the Waterford Upstart Program, spending just 15 minutes a day self navigating through the various games and activities.  She  now spends more time on the program,  and that time is very well spent.  She is laughing, and clapping, and reciting words and singing; it’s wonderful to watch her learn to read and enjoy it.

     When I noticed that Sienna was learning her ABC's in three different languages I was astonished.  To her learning is  fun, and she is absorbing the information at a much more rapid pace than I first thought.

    If you have been looking for a reading program, this one opens the door to that learning. I would highly recommend this program to parents and educators everywhere.   Kids love to learn, and learning should be fun. The Waterford Institute has taken that to heart in designing this program with kids in mind. 

    If your child is entering kindergarten in 2016 or a  later date you can  pre-register your child on line at http://www.waterfordupstart.org  A toll free number is also available at 1-800-669-4533 to pre-register.

    ______________________________________________________

    The Waterford Upstart Program, was created and designed by the Waterford Institute with early learners in mind.  A free online educational program, it is sure to make an impact on your child’s learning.


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    A Look Inside High School

    Category:EducationTags : 
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAANYAAAAJGU5Mjk0NzlhLWNiNjAtNDNjNC04YTU0LTRkZmNmYzk1MmQzOQ A Look Inside High School

    A Look Inside High School

    If you have ever watched the TV program the Big Bang Theory, just know that there is some truth to their intellectually humorous satire and your child's high school classroom. Everyone wants to be the best at something.  

    At first I thought about naming this piece A look inside  - if you dare".  Thinking better of that, I choose to mellow it down a bit.  Especially considering that a large number of  parents are just grateful if their child is passing, let alone a Sterling Scholar. What really goes on inside any typical classroom and on the campus grounds, really could be a great story write up for the next Big Bang episode.  The good news is that a lot of work does go on in the classrooms.  That is in part  due to the many great teachers and the tenacity of the students they serve. 

    The good news is that a lot of work does go on in the classrooms.  That is in part due to the many great teachers and the tenacity of the students they serve. 

    Teenagers are like sponges that absorb data at an astronomical rate.  But It's not how much they absorb, but rather  the type of data, and the how that data is being stored.  Imagine if you will that students  have these shelves where they put away things in their minds for later use.  Only certain stuff gets to go onto these shelves, and only they get to decide what it is.  Welcome to high school.

    Asynchronous vs Synchronous Approaches

    The traditional approach

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAALkAAAAJDZhMDI5MWFmLTZkklNzctNDcyNS1iZGMwLWVjMGMyZjA4YzAzYQ A Look Inside High SchoolIt's one thing to take notes in class, but another thing altogether to retrieve what you actually need from those notes.   A good number of teachers like to give students the lecture notes first, and then let them read through the material. Some even allow the students to watch a video on the topic before lecturing.   After they have had time to put a few things on the shelves inside their minds, students are then tested on that stored knowledge.  

    But how much do these teaching methods really measure knowledge or subskills?  What midterm or quarterly evaluations have been performed in the classroom to measure the success of this teaching method?  Is there a way to modify the method to include all student learning preferences?  

    The problem  today's technological generation has with the traditional method of instruction,  is that they are bored - so they  tend to skim over key elements of learning.   Besides, they can go online and get current information that may not be included in the current version  of the classroom books available to them.  They want pictures and movies, and collaboration with others.  

    Students  aren't interested in reading from a book written in the year 2000; and they will give you any amount of excuses why they don't want to study or learn from it. The most popular excuse I overheard  last week was from a Sterling Scholar was,  "the teacher's going to come back and lecture on it anyways, so I don't need to read it".

    Today's students  want information now!  I hate to tell them, but knowledge isn't gained that way.  It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. You can memorize all you want, and then purge it after a test - that doesn't prove you are intelligent, creative, or innovative.  It just means you learned how to memorize things in the short term.

    It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert.

    Reading can be an enjoyable experience.  Sitting down and reading a good novel can help relax the mind and body. How do we get learners to want to read and find that same enjoyment? What methods aren't working?  We need to identify those methods that don't work, and either modify them or do away with them completely. 

    Many  students have a really hard time sitting and just reading out of a book. I did as a kid; probably a lot of you did as well.  I got my fair share of dips and spikes on the bell curve because of it; but I was distracted -  I was a kid.  Distracted learning isn't new, a lot of students need extra stimuli to be creative.  So give it to them!

    The traditional approach or  asynchronous  approach  is still a valid methodology of teaching, but is losing ground in many areas. When you use a method that  is strictly asynchronously designed,  that simply gives you privilege to move on to another task before the first one is finished.  This method  doesn't help  build creativity nor foster innovation in students. It just rushes them throw a few steps to hurry along to the next.  

    Today's modern student wants Snapchat speed with information gathering.    You put these types of learners in a traditional classroom and they are going to look at you like you are from Mars.   Since the majority of high school student have a cell phone or ipod, or access to someone else's, they get bored easily in a traditional setting.  

    You are from Mars.    

    The bigger problem with an asynchronous learning environment that I find,  is that  not every student learns exactly the same, and many are falling through the cracks because of how they gather and store information. If their storage doesn't match student A's or Student B's information, or they don't progress at the same level - they are marked or placed in special classes, or just flunk out. Granted there are students who need this type of environment, but to say this is the environment for all students is antiquated thinking.  Technology has transformed the classroom, but many instructors are still not getting it.  The classroom has moved on, and rightfully so.  

    Adjusting to a new learning environment

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAMiAAAAJGRjZjY3ZWFkLWY0ZDgtNGYxMy05NjRjLTRmNmVhMjg1ZjQ0Mg A Look Inside High SchoolAllowing students to progress  and learn at their own pace is called synchronous learning.   When you wait for them to finish the task before moving on to another task, that helps students to put more data on their shelves inside their minds.  We want those students to absorb as much as they can.  College and technical schools will require certain skills that even the best high school student will struggle with.  Higher education is there to test your students, so high schools need to buck up and make sure those knowledge shelves are full!  

    For example, learning about culture can't be learned in one chapter or one class period. Culture is a rich and fascinating study, but we have to let our students take the time to absorb the material.  It's not about just learning dates in time, and names, and places.  It's more about learning the story content and building memory blocks to store from that content. It's about learning how something started and why, and how problems were solved.  Better yet, how learning about the past affects our own culture today.

    Allowing students to talk to each other and collaborate on what it is they have learned is important.  Identifying with each other and guiding their own experiences - that's open learning, student-led learning -  synchronous learning.  

    Being a teenager is a tough transition in life.  Like the gang in the Big Bang theory, students are still trying to figure out the dynamics of everyday living, and adjusting to new learning concepts being thrown at them daily.  

    Wouldn't you much rather have your high school student building networks of like-minded thinkers who can sit and discuss topics related to educational matters, rather than just be bound by the binding of an outdated book they are required to read?  Education is more than just reading. So much more.  Technology has provided a means to help students reach greater potential.  

    The problem isn't with the students as much as it is with the instructors who refuse to use technology.  Unfortunately, technology is where the students are. We live in the digital age. Special education and behavioral students do not do well in a traditional classroom where they are forced to sit and read for hours on end.  It's like torture to them. Even students who don't have problems are bored with the traditional environments.  It's time to stop being afraid of technology and allow students to excel in an approach that will help them progress at their own pace.  

    There is so much to be gained from technology to help students. Here are a few simple ideas: 

    • iPods for online research
    • Social networking for instructors
    • Online student blogs
    • Webquests
    • Powerpoint reviews
    • Twitter in the classroom
    • Technology is a great way to supplement your lesson plans
    • Create class webpages in history or art,etc
    • Online grading
    • Email exchange
    • Teachers should check out Google Classroom 

    Doug Johnson wrote an article about Seven brilliant things teachers do with technology His perceptive is to put kids in touch with the world. He has some good thoughts for both parents and educators a like. It's worth the read

    The first step in helping students, parents and educators, is  to acknowledge that technology is here to stay -and it is in nearly every aspect of society. It's up to the parents and educators to help our tech-savvy students learn in the best environment that fosters learning, and appreciate the world they are engaged in.  

    Hands on approach

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKPAAAAJGI4NzQxNDUyLTRjMzYtNGI5Zi04ZDM2LTM0ODc4YzE1ZTRkNA A Look Inside High SchoolI love walking into a classroom that has stuff on the walls. Stuff like Maps, and posters and art, and memorabilia.  A classroom doesn't have to be neat and tidy clean either - just rich in content.

    Maps add great content to a room.  Maps are interactive without even trying.  They just naturally draw ones attention to them. Maps are  to be read, and push pins work great for laying out routes on a map.  

    Students in high school still need to do hands on work.  They need to be engaged in conversation with each other, discussing educational topics. They need to be engaged and motivated  in conversation that makes them think, and want to learn. Its fun when you have others working with you.  It's a great way to build lasting social networks. Stick a bunch of learners together from different backgrounds and give them a map - watch what they do. 

    Physical Education (it's about the whole student)

    Sitting alone and being quiet - I know I can't do that for long.   I can't expect students to do that either.  If you sit for 30 minutes, then you need to stand or move around for a minute or two afterwards. People were not built to sit for extended periods of time without movement.  Bad backs are a result of improper knowledge of the human body. Stand up! Stretch. There is nothing wrong with building strong posture into your classroom curriculum. You will find your students will be happier if you do.   Develop standing assignments where students have to go to a blackboard and write, or push pins into a map.  

    There is nothing wrong with building strong posture into your classroom curriculum

    There is a study out right now about building desks for students to stand at instead of sitting.  That is the best study I have seen in a long time.  Written by Kids wiggle - let them. Wiggling isn't a bad thing. Forcing a kid to sit for 6 hours a day like a robot - that's bad.  Then they go home and sit some more.  

     Forcing a kid to sit for 6 hours a day like a robot - that's bad.  

    Physical Education is only as good as the effort you put into it.  Students are being educated that money is wealth.  That is an absurd way of teaching students.  Your health is your wealth.  It does you little good to have money if you aren't going to be able to enjoy it due to poor health later on.   

    You can see why it might be a good idea for your student to have a standing desk.  Spare them the backaches you suffer from today - in order that they may enjoy any anticipated wealth to come. 

    Your health is your wealth.

    4 A Look Inside High School
    Teachers have a tough job.  They are responsible for the education of the next generation of thinkers.  Times are changing, and the classrooms of yesterday are joining with the new classrooms filled with engaging and collaborative thinkers.

    We want the best for the next generation in all aspects of their lives. It is important that we look into the classrooms and we explore what takes place there.  But we have to do it objectively, knowing that many schools have limited resources. We also have  to train the trainers to more effectively use the technology they have. Colleges and universities are graduating more tech-savvy instructors who will be able to do just that.  That is good news!

    We also have to train our current instructors in the most modern teaching techniques, and in the latest technology available.  New schools of thought are springing up everywhere.  Our students deserve to be a part of that new thought. Our society depends on it.  We have to meet our students where they live.  Technology is that open door.

     


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    The World of Competitive Dance

    Category:Dance,EducationTags : 
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAJQAAAAJGI5ODk0NmVhLWMzMjQtNDBkYS1hYzY1LTQ2OTY5NGRjMmM1Yg The World of Competitive Dance

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    Ode To Teachers Everywhere

    Category:EducationTags : 
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAOvAAAAJDk3OGE0MjJhLTlhOWMtNGYyYy1hYzI3LTQ0YzRlNDk1MTYzMw Ode To Teachers Everywhere

    Not many things bring me to tears, but a group of kids did today.