Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blog Post #2: The 21st Century Student

The 21st Century Student

Collaborated Group Post - Lauren Bradley, Sarah Barnett, Malary Booker:

Mr. Dancelot:

We believed what this video is trying to say, you can’t teach dance class in a lecture hall. You cannot teach a this type of subject matter by standing behind a table with your Power Point remote. Just like you shouldn't teach a traditional class in today’s technologically advancing world.

Also, the students were never even able to act out their dances before the exam. Chances are the students did not pass the test and it is their Professor's fault. This shows us that professors play a significant role in the classroom and help guide their students to build new skills in technology. Changing times call for classroom that are technology friendly to enhance the learning experience of the students.

Personal Post:

The world’s technology is accelerating at an amazing rate, and so is the classroom. The 21st century classroom is discovering new ways to manipulate this technology to further improve the education experience. With the classroom, comes the 21st century student. But what does it really mean to be a 21st century student? It means someone who is literate in technology, someone who blends their technological knowledge with their everyday life skills, someone who wants to progress, to evolve. With these changing times comes new opportunities to connect to other teachers, students, educators, fellow educators basically anywhere in the World. It comes with new ways to share information with a click of a button and it comes with making a personal connection to people like you.

Think back to when you were in elementary school, middle school, even high school. I’m not sure how old everyone who reads this will be, but coming from a twenty-one year old, my classroom experiences were nothing like they are now. I hadn't even seen a SMART Board before my senior year of high school. I remember hearing teachers dreaming and discussing the amazing device. My sophomore high school geometry teacher would tell us that one day she would have a projector that didn’t use slides and smudge when she wrote.

I watched a particular YouTube video titled Mr. Dancealot. This is an ironic film that starts out with college students taking a dance class that takes place in a lecture hall, that has little to no space for dancing. Already you are wondering why a dance class would be taken in a lecture hall. After that, the teacher lectures the students on dancing using vague instructions off a power point, and performing the dances behind the desk. When the students stood to also practice dancing they were told to sit down and be quiet. When the time came for the exam, he told the class it was “open book, open notes”, and he left the room while the exam was being recorded.

Now lets focus more on the characteristics of the 21st century student. I watched a particular video on YouTube entitled The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler. This movie is exactly what you think it is about. It describes the 21st century student. A student who has mainly online classes, barley uses textbooks, at whose teacher believes in Connectivism. Through Connectivism, she creates a network that is made possible through technology. Dr. Drexler believes the tools are not as important as the connections made possible through them.
The teacher empowers the student and strengthens the learning process.

The video then proceeds to describe more about the student. He is someone who finds information on networks and posts them for more to see. He has a place to share all his bookmarked sites, and he finds other’s favorite sites. He searches for information within more blogs and connects with people around the world. He builds a knowledge base to create his own blog and share and reflect on what he has learned. He shares his educational information and his organization with anyone in the world.

The last part of the video discusses the various applications a 21st student uses; Blogger, Google scholar - where you can get articles written and revised by scholars like you. iTunes U - which has podcasts of teacher’s lectures from places like UC Berkeley.  But now a days, students are never without an iPod, a tablet, a smartphone with all this ease of discovering information, why do you need a teacher? The teacher is the one that guides you to build our networks and take advantage of new opportunities to learn. The teacher is there when you need guidance, shows you how to communicate properly. The teacher is a Learning Architect, a modeler, connected learning incubator, synthesizer, change agent, and network sherpa.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blog Post #1: If I had a school, it would be like....

    We've all had our moments, daydreaming about the perfect school, and oh, I still do. I let my imagination run wild through the hallways of my dream school. I see colors, shapes, art everywhere; modern cozy furniture, warm lighting, the list could go on and on. Same goes for a teacher/blogger/creativity enthusiast named Krissy Venosdale, who runs a blog titled Venspired, and has a particular post called, If I Built A School. Venosdale tells us that she wants her classroom the be the MOST EXCITING place that they have every been....even better than Disney world!

    As a fellow educator and supporter of creativity, I loved reading her engaging story and vibrantly described version of her perfect school. A couple examples of those would be, "A tree-house in the library with a big fake tree that contains lights. An art room that looks more like a studio." and, "A brightly painted bus would sit outside the school and be available for field trips all throughout the year. It would drive kids to service projects, to career explorations, to local universities to tour science labs, to factories to explore engineering, and so much more." As you can see she has also a passion for creativity, she really puts herself inside children's shoes for this post! Think about your ideal school....

                               Would it look something like this?

                                                             Or this??

   Now what about the actual learning part? What would you change if you could? What sparks an even more interesting conversation is the topic that Sugatra Mitra brings to light. I watched his YouTube video and what he said was a real wake up call. He asked the question, "Where did education come from? What was its origin?" He told us that it came from the British Empire. The British wanted to educate people for a "human computer"; creating identical people, that if shipped anywhere in their Empire, was able to do the same work as well as the one replacing him! Education has become a system of creating identical people to work on a super computer that does not even exist anymore.

   Mitra poses an idea of a school that is computer based. Where there is only a computer, a question, and someone there to motivate them. They find the answers themselves, using technology, unlike being lectured by a teacher, learning and teaching themselves things that are ten years ahead of their age! Another point Mitra brought up was that there is a part of the brain that when stressed, shuts down and is not able to perform. This also happens when we see test or exams, our brain actually shuts its self down. What's wrong with this picture? Mitra's system deserved widespread recognition and support as he continues to travel and spread his technique of new, refined education.

What do you want your students to know? Content
I want my students to know about life, everything that makes it what it is. What makes things tick. What keeps things moving. What keeps people going. The biology of flower and the metamorphosis or the caterpillar. The history of our nation, the battles won and the wars lost. I want them to know different cultures, different religion. I want them to know what keeps the World turning. I want them to have a curious sense of beyond earth; the Solar System, the conditions and climates of different planets. I want them to have strong skills in English & Literate, to both understand and create fairy tales. I want them to know how to create art, without restrictions or obstacles such as judging, or bullying. I want my child to know that they are an individual, and that no one on this planet is the same.

What do you want your students to be able to do? Content
I want my students to be able to posses the skills to proceed and be successful in whatever they do. I want them to have the courage to set their mind on anything that they do. I want them to express themselves freely and genuinely.

What will be your primary way of teaching your students what you want them to know and to do? Methods
The next question was "What will be your primary way of teaching your students what you want them to know and to do?"As for as methods I haven't quite set any concrete, but I prefer hands on learning; the type of learning that engages my students and motivates them to get involved. The more you are interested in something, the easier it seems. Same goes with this concept, children want to learn when they teachers get them excited about the days activities. I want children to search for answers, rather than me just lecture them!

What tools will you use in your classroom? Tools 
I will use mainly visual, hands on tools, no worksheets of repetition in black and white, that only causes the student to become bored.  I want to use the type of tools that children can manipulate in ways that they can break it down and understand the subject. One of the ideas that are expressed in my classes at The University of South Alabama is to model, you are a role model to the students, you are one of the greatest tools.

What role will students play in your classroom? Learning Environment
The students are going to be my partners! In a quest to search for new adventures of learning and new horizons. Together we will research, teach each other, and tackle any learning obstacle we come to. Understanding students is a key, in the video I watched Mitra tells gives us the idea that standing behind a child and encouraging them and giving them the hope and confidence they need to keep going.

Who am I? Why do I want to be an educator? What are my passions?


 I. Information: The Basics
       A. Name
       B. Place of Birth and Hometown
       C. Education and Experience Background

 II. Interests
       A. Hobbies
            1. Running, being alone, meditation, relaxing with family or friends, creating art
       B. Top Picks
            2. Favorite movies, music, video games, etc

 III. Employment and Education
       A. Current School and Major and details
       B. Current Job

 IV. My Passions
      A. How I came to be in the College of Education
      B. Why I want to become an educator
      C. What I plan on doing with my major
      D. How I can make a change


   There's a lot my past could say about me, but I prefer my future to do the talking. My name is Lauren Elizabeth Bradley. I was born in a small place called Homewood, Alabama, and was raised in another small town called Gardendale; both places concerning themselves with the Birmingham area. It wasn't a very special town, honestly I couldn't wait to get out of there one day. I spend my elementary education in a private school, up until the fifth grade. Then carried on the rest of my middle and high school careers in public school. I do not have a very fond memory of high school; it was filled with halfway teachers, students, staff…just people who didn't really care about not just your education, but the places an education can and will take you.

   I have a very eclectic collection of hobbies and interest, one of my favorites is being around my friends. Not just any cliche friends, the kind of friends that stick with you no matter what. It's important to be around people who are constantly bringing you up, as opposed to constantly bringing you down. Friends that you can grow with. I like to exercise and run, more importantly while I run, I listen to music (which is half the reason I run in the first place). Music is my number two interest, or it could also be in first place with my friends. I don't know where I would be without it. It helps me express words and feelings that I myself cannot say. I mostly enjoy comedies and scary movies because they are the only ones that can keep my attention. Movies to me are a creative expression and I like to see how the director and the cast express their movie and how they want it to be portrayed.

   I've had a few jobs in my lifetime. My firs job was a McDonald's, although now I do not support the McDonald's industry it was more of a parental issue. Then I moved up to a hostess and an Asian restaurant called Stix. Now....I am working at an arcade called Player's Arcade and the Bell-Air Mall Carousel. My other job/responsibility is school. I am currently a fourth year at the University of South Alabama and have three semesters left, not including my student teaching. I enjoy South because of the warm weather, granted there is not much to do around here, I know my education is above par. At first I did not know what I wanted to do when I got to college. I thought I wanted to be a secondary ed. and science major, then to a biology major, then finally settling as an elementary ed. major.

   What brought this major change about was a sudden passion and awakening that happened while I was attending the University. Now I dream about getting my elementary ed. degree and joining the Peace Corp. People over seas are so less fortunate than us. Some places they do not can an education or even worse, have teachers that do not care or do not teach their students. I want to spend my career serving the less fortunate and do the best I can do to make a change. I have a strong connection with children and I want to make a huge change in someone's life.Not just through teaching, but in many other ways, by just connecting with the child. When I am an educator, I will do anything and everything in my power to change a child's life and give him the best education physically, mentally, and emotionally, that I can.

HERE IS A SAMPLE OF WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC I LIKE (P.S. This is the best song ever):

Here's a picture of my best friend and I after we just touched ground from our first sky dive!