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06 May 2012

Final Reflection Video

Project 16 - Final Project

27 April 2012

Blog post #12

10 Ways to Differentiate Learning
Follow the link above and read the blog post presented by Ms. Edna Sackson.

As a country, the United States is well behind global education leaders such as Korea, Canada, and Norway. We have to make a change. We have to get away from the standardized, cookie cutter, one size fits all education system. It just doesn't work very well. Ms. Sackson gives her list of 10 ways to differentiate learning. Do you agree with her list? Is there anything you would add or take out of the list? How would you as a teacher implement some of these methods?
Chinese Proverb

26 April 2012

Project #15

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


Do our schools destroy the curiosity and creativity in our children?
     That is a very profound question. I think the depth comes from the fact that we all know the answer is yes and the implications of that answer are serious and difficult to resolve. The curriculum is so standardized and regimented that students hardly need to think for themselves. They are told what to do and how to do it in every aspect of their educational day. Every child is taught the exact same thing in the exact same fashon. That makes no sense.  How have we allowed this to happen? If it were not the educational system, but cable television or some other entity that was the culprit, it would have been shut down, turned off, and never heard from again. Why on earth don't we do something to correct this flaw?
     In the business world, employers want their employees to be quick thinkers, problem solvers, and outside the box thinkers. That is absolutely the opposite way those same people have been educated for almost two decades of their lives. It doesn't take a very intelligent person to figure out that if those methods were taught from childhood the individuals would be so much more adapted to real world work environments. The transition from school house to work place would be much more seamless and the employees would be more productive.

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
– Albert Einstein 1952.


22 April 2012

C4K Summary

15 April 2012
This week, Dr. Strange had to give me a new student's blog to comment on. The most recent blog post from this new student, 18EMCO, was published on 10 April. Unfortunately, there really isn't any biographical information that I could find for this student. I can only guess that the student is a male and by reading through his blog, I found some references to where he lives. From his 3 April post, He says he lives in Fairfax and that the closest hospital is in a city named St. Albans. I did a Google search and found out that he lives in a very small town in Vermont. I supposed that 18EMCO is a middle school student or younger by the content of his blog posts, so I didn't want to criticize the quality of his blog post. I just told him to tell us some more about himself and to keep blogging. You have to start somewhere!
Fairfax Vermont

22 April 2012
I had the pleasure of watching a video posting from a third grade student, Angelo, who lives in Auckland, New Zealand. I absolutely love being able to read blogs from people out side of the United States. It is always interesting to look into their world, if only for a moment, and see how it compares to ours. In most cases, it is surprisingly similar. Angelo enjoys riding his bike and rollerblading, two things that many American children enjoy as well. He says he wishes to be an author when he grows up. Good luck to Angelo in his future endeavours!
Auckland New Zealand

15 April 2012

Blog post #11

Kathy Cassidy

Ms. Kathy Cassidy's first grade class video, "Little Kids...Big Potential", was impressive. If anyone has a question about weather or not technology in the class room works a simple hyperlink to this video would dispel any doubts. Her students absolutely love their technological journey in her classroom. They are learning skills that 10 years ago wouldn't have even been introduced as a subject matter until high school, if they were lucky. My daughter is in 7th grade and she has never had a class that even scratched the surface of what these 1st graders are learning about technology. Ms. Cassidy is right, it is the future, but it is also the present. Ms. Cassidy seems to have her students leaps and bounds ahead of their peers. She is lucky to have had administrations that did not limit her technological education program. I thought it was interesting to hear that some of her coworkers have the mind set of "that is how it has always been and it works so why change it". That is a very lazy frame of mind. One of my pet peeves is when someone answers a question with the answer: Because that is how we have always done it. That tells me that there has been no thought about something different, better, more efficient. They just do what has always been done because that is the easy way to do it. As educators, we have to think outside the box. Find new, more luring ways to educate our students. Once the mentality of "it is good enough" sets in, innovation ceases and we will never progress as a civilization. What a terrible thought...

It seems like every week in this EDM 310 class, I get more and more frustrated with the current state of our school system. My children go to school in rural Mississippi, so the technological deficit here is exacerbated. The most frustrating fact is that the problem is not one in which a single educator can fix. It has to be the focus of the entire administration, from the local school to the federal Department of Education, for the technological infiltration to take place. I just don't think, as a nation, we are ready to commit the tax dollars needed to right this wrong. The money is there, it just has to be allocated. At one point, America was spending $1billion per day in Afghanistan. Just imagine if that amount of money was spent on the education system...

Just saying...

Cassidy's Kids