Dreaming Up Schools
After exploring her blog, I found that Venspired by Krissy Venosdale is an excellent site to be used by teachers. I absolutely love her blog, in fact I subscribed to it by email already. I discovered a post that I believe every teacher and every future teacher should read, What's Not Written in Our Curriculum. In this post, Krissy basically says to do what you love and help students find their passion along the way. I also found a post which spoke directly to me, Day 3: Photography in the Classroom. This post called out to me because I love photography, so I began reading. Krissy introduces ten ways to incorporate photography in a classroom. I love this idea! The projects sound amazing and so much fun, allowing the students to play around with photography and get behind the camera.
In If I Built a School,Krissy talks about what her school would be like if she was able to build one from scratch. This is quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever read! Throughout the post, you can sense her passion she has for learning. Her vision for what a school should be goes right along with mine. The feeling that kids wouldn’t be there by force, but because learning is so stinkin’ awesome they would want to be there, all the time. Being handed over a property and being told that I can build a school of my own there and that anything I say goes, is something that I have actually thought about beforehand. I can honestly say I wouldn’t even know where to begin. However, since we are only dreaming. I would want my school to be, in a word, EPIC. Everything would be colorful and give off a happy vibe. Much of the school I have created in my mind is almost the same as Krissy’s, a treehouse indoors, café set up cafeteria, and different classes the kids chose themselves to take. The thing that I struck me as most special in Krissy’s imaginary school was the teachers’ parking spots. I absolutely love the idea of each teacher having “a sign decorated by a student that would tell them what they mean to them. So, it would be the first, and last, thing that teacher sees every single day throughout the school year.” That is just beautiful. I know that it would be my favorite part of everyday as a teacher. I also like the “grade levels” that she created. Each student “leveling up” based on their readiness, not their age. Reading this post made me want to go back to elementary school even more than usual. As long as I can go to her school!
Using Internet in a New Way
After watching and listening to Eric Whitaker's Virtual Choir and the NPR Interview, I couldn’t even describe my thoughts. This was the most amazing and cool thing I’d ever seen! I knew the internet brought people from across the globe together, but this was even better. I loved the way Eric Whitaker said it in the interview, “all of these individuals… alone in their rooms… brought together… so that we can BE ALONE TOGETHER.” Through this choir, not only was beautiful music made, but these people from all different countries were instantly connected. I could have never imagined something like this or thought it possible to create. This completely blew my mind and truly amazed me.
As far as Jennifer Chamber's blog post goes, I completely agree with the title. “I think I have become a Blogger.” I have wanted to start a blog for a long time, but never had the time or the knowhow. Through this class, however, I have learned not only how to blog but how much fun it is to get your ideas out into the world. I am currently compiling a list of ideas for my future personal blog.
Teaching: That's SO 20th Century
In Teaching in the 21st Century, Kevin Roberts presents the tough question all teachers and future teachers are asking themselves, “What does it mean to teach in the 21st century?” The role of teaching has drastically changed in the last decade. With the amount of technology in everyday life, students… actually anyone can have the answer to any question in their homes, hands, and pockets. Anything can be “googled” in a matter of seconds. If that is the case, what is the point of teaching facts, dates, theories, information, etc.? Kevin Roberts shows the different skills which need to be taught and the different questions which need to be asked. Instead of prohibiting the use of technology tools, we need to teach students the skills of how to use them correctly.
I personally believe that he is correct and this is the approach we as educators need to take in the classroom. This presentation brought up many homework questions and activities that I would love to use one day in my own classroom. We must ask students to use the technology available to find the answers, but ask them to also evaluate and analyze why the answer they find is correct. This abundance of technology also allows students to create for themselves, rather than just looking at what others have created. This “theory” will change the classroom forever.
Why I Flipped My Classroom taught me some very valuable information. I really enjoy the idea of flipping a classroom. After watching Katie Gimbar’s video and her FAQ videos, I would really like this to be the way my future classroom is set up. A lot of the questions she answered were questions I had while watching the original video which was extremely helpful. However, I am still a little skeptical of how this would work in a classroom which teaches multiple subjects. Dr. Lodge McCammon's FIZZ and Ms. Munafo's Flipping the Classroom both presented the same information as Katie Gimbar’s video. This style of teaching is wonderful and what I would love to do one day.
After watching all of these videos, I decided I might as well explore the website they all were suggesting. I found that the Friday Institute website not only had an area for teachers, but also for undergraduates. The FIZZ program trains both teachers and undergrads to flip their classrooms. Both current teachers and students can apply and complete assignments to receive a certificate for teaching in a flipped classroom. This is a program that I am extremely interested in applying for in my future.
However, then I think about my future. What I am planning and would love to do is to teach the deaf. This approach is something that would not work in this type of classroom. If I instead end up in a “normal” elementary classroom, I will absolutely implement this teaching method. This is something that I will remember in the future and consider if it can be used in my classroom.