Myths and Opportunities: Technology in the Classroom by Alan November

Myths and Opportunities: Technology in the Classroom by Alan November

This video by Alan November talks about shifts in educational trends. He states that we robbed the young people of the possibility to contribute when we invented tools and machines to replace youth in the workplace. The shift of control from the teacher with a top-down curriculum, to children who are helping one another learn. Teaching people to shift the control takes time. A school where lots of designs and perspectives are in one place creates. People think that the provides a platform for diverse ideas from around the world and would result generally better educated society – but research actually shows that people are going to the web to get their version of the truth. We need to identify critical skills in schools that we actually really want students to have.

Each classroom should have:

1) a research team – have an official classroom researcher student

2) a curriculum review team – reflective learners are lifelong learners – every week create a podcast to review work they have learned the week before

3) a scribe team – Google docs for collaborative note taking

November states that students research assignments related to topics in class and find assignments that they’d like to do. (ie, doing a book ‘trailer’ as an assignment)

Can we get out of the restraint of filtering information to the point where students can really thrive online safely?

Fundraising in Schools Glogster Glog

This is a great starting point resource for people interested in learning more about fundraising and opportunities in their local school environment!

Great job, other team group: Karilee, Erin and Farah!

Advertise the GDPI

In order to get even more enrolment in the GDPI course, the advertised information needs to be attention grabbing and attractive.   If the advertisement for it isn’t interesting (and possibly looks outdated) then it’s not going to attract clientele. People who want to take online courses expect the newest technology and computer proficient professors. The following informative videoes are informative but not really gripping.  If the content of the GDPI is presented in the same way as this webinar it’s not really advertising cutting-edge educational techniques. I had reservations about signing up because the advertising was mediocre. Thankfully I gave it a try and I’m happy with the program so far!

This one is on the right track, but could have some upbeat tweaks like music. An introduction to more concrete course content would be very helpful, also.

I suggest using Powtoon with their free “Teacher Introduction to a Syllabus” template including a similar voice over and some upbeat music.  This template looks great for the job with it’s simple graphics and school related theme. If we as course participants are expected to use, inquire, and grow our professional awareness with new technology, I think it would be nice if the program leaders could be lead by example.  Powtoon, or even a Prezi document would create a dynamic presentation and spark interest.

Prezi is an excellent visual representation of data, and in my mind is way better than a voice over to dull powerpoint slides (as a method of direct communication). It’s important

The content in the first course I’m taking (GDPI 810) is engaging but navigating the course is a bit tricky, as it it totally different from Continuing Education (CONT Ed) courses I’ve taken (and am currently taking) within the same Desire2Learn (D2L) online learning platform.

Within the course, students are expected to use technology to present their learning in a dynamic visual way – the course advertisements should reflect that.  Especially since one of the electives I’d like to take is “Innovations in Technology”.

While I remain positive and support the development of the courses in the GDPI and realise it’s the first year of instruction, I wonder if more innovative and eye catching new-technology designs could be used to demonstrate content of the overall program, after all, personal inquiry and professional advancement is at the core of the course values. Onwards and upwards?  If they do it, I guarantee that  enrolment will increase.

Food for thought.

No child left behind?

In the United States of America, the no child left behind policy is leaving 40% of its kids behind.

In Finland there is a 0% dropout rate because no students are ever left behind.

This Ted Talk is fascinating. I only wish Canada could have a more well-rounded education system where teachers were given more flexibility when it comes to curriculum and the support they need for their students for future success. I also think post-secondary education should be free – but that’s another story!

The Green School Bali

I have been fascinated with this school for several years now and felt that it applies to our GDPI course.  It relates to the inquiry based school videos that were assigned.  Have a look and see how a school can truly reach greatness through a holistic and inquiry based student driven curriculum.  The website is very large and has many components including a CNN documentary and visits from speakers like the secretary general to the United Nations as well as Jane Goodall.  (Plus, the founder is Canadian!)


Introductory Speech

More recent speech

I think this school aims at social reconstruction: critically analysing the state of society and trying to make it better.

Philosophical Foundations of Curriculum: Module 2

I have gained further insight into the philosophies behind education after reading the course material for this second module.

After originally having some of my own mis-conceptions about reconstructionism I have come to the conclusion that it does have relevance to my own teaching practice. However, my day to day teaching philosophy is more pragmatic than any other philosophy.  I feel that my teaching reflects pragmatic philosophies through: students-centred learning, activity-based learning and attitude based learning that is to central to the PYP curriculum I am currently teaching.

Please enjoy the modified Prezi that Kerrin Celestine and I have made as a collaborative project.

Comments and suggestions are more than welcome, but please reference individual statements within the document rather than slide numbers (as they are ever-changing).

Concepts of Curriculum – Additional, response to B’s questions.

How I am trying to apply technology into the 21st century curriculum while I teach at my international school in China:

We use

  1. an interactive white board regularly,
  2. as a math resource
  3. online home reading program as a library for reading development
  4. incorporate technology into final presentations for 6 week units of work such as video, powerpoint, Microsoft publisher and word documents
  5. use iPad apps to enhance learning and library research
  6. use video presentations to assist learning like those from and a select few on

of course, among others.

Why I believe that math curriculums with a small amount of rote learning would be good?

I fully support and wholeheartedly believe that integrated learning through hands-on activities and real life situations are the best way to learn math.  I love playing learning games and using maths centres to solidify learning in my classroom.  However, after teaching for 2 years in a school with a wide variety of incoming 7 year olds from a vast selection of school curricula I can see that students with a strong background in basic number sense and numeration do much better in hands-on and situational learning activities.  Students who master and actually just go ahead and memorise their times tables and simple addition and subtraction facts really perform to a much higher standard than students without that solid mathematical awareness as a background.  I fear that the humanistic focus may in fact be a little too lenient on students in this simple and rudimentary aspect of learning. I can remember the only way for me to learn these skills when I was young was flash cards and drills.  I remember thanking my teacher for finally taking the time to drill the facts into us, so the rest of math would come easier, later on – like word problems and comprehension questions related to maths skills.