The post that I read was related to individualized instruction. Individualized Instruction: Good or Bad? was a blog in response to a comment left on a Wall Street Journal article.
I appreciated several points from this blog. The illustration of how we all are tied to the same rules of transportation but may take various ways to get where we have to go provides an excellent picture of what individualized instruction should be. The most definitive point is that it is important not to try to make students fit into the same mold. It is necessary to identify the learning style of students who may need individualized instruction. By taking the initiative to identify what the students were struggling with the author was able to address the student’s individual needs. However, those students were still responsible for completing class assignments and abiding by the rules of the class. I also appreciated that the author spoke from personal experience to show how individual instruction applies as an adult learner.
I had experience with Google Docs previous to taking this course. So I was somewhat familiar with the concepts of collaborating through using this tool. Tools like Google Docs are great educational, professional and personal productivity. Three ways that I think make tools like Google Docs beneficial are:
- it is a way around attachment upload limits
- as brought out in the video, it significantly cuts down on version/attachment confusion
- creating a document on-line
The third point is especially of benefit to those who can’t afford office but need to create office documents to share or edit as part of a project. Professionally and acedemically, being able to create and collaborate on the go is extremely practical.
I have been an avid YouTube viewer for quite a while. YouTube is a great way for me to see footage of some of my favorite artist performing and to watch video of television segments. However, my experience has been limited to viewing as I’ve never downloaded from or uploaded to YouTube. I’d never come across TeacherTube. What a great resource for not only teachers, but also parents of homeschooled children.
In completing the scavenger hunt, I viewed a video on differentiated instruction and 2nd grade math strategy –using music and movement. I also viewed an excel 07 tutorial. For fun, I viewed one of my favorite videos, Edie Carey & Rose Cousins covering Falling Slowly.
Podcasting is a great tool for education, pre and post k-12. I searched through several directories in iTunes and did a google search for subjects related to music, administrative assistant training and education. I listened to two podcast: 1) GG Active Voice and Passive Voice, 2) The Office Professional / Communication: Improving verbal agility.
I think podcasting is a great medium for enhancing classroom content, the quality of student projects as well as student study skills. Being able to go back to the content being covered or being able to collaborate with other students would be beneficial for students who maybe not be comprehending content at the same rate of others.
On a professional level, I can see using podcast to enhance my skill set as an adminstrative assistant. On a personal level, I can see using podcast to enhance my writing as well as stay abreast of new music.
The LibraryThing was very interesting. I was a little confused at first as I thought it was a means of being able to trade or borrow books. It definitely made me realize that I don’t know nearly enough authors. I did look up the few that I did know and it was nice to see the collections and reviews of the collections. I was amazed to see the number of books in some of the collections. I can most definitely see this as a practical resource for teachers and students. Additionally, in this age of the ebook, I can see such a resource as being an encouragement to students to build their own library.
I toyed around with a few of the tools that were listed. I ended up going with Be Funky. I was inspired by Leigh Ann’s picture of Honey. This a picture of my baby Tyson. Although he’s a black lab, several folks have referred to him as a bear. I like the rustic feel of this photo effect.
Be Funky was ok to work with. The effects that were available didn’t really mesh well with the photos I chose. But I can definitely see that if I had more time to fiddle around with it, I might get the results I wanted. I know that they are a business, but it would have been nice to have more options under the free account.
I can also see where this tool could encourage the creativity of students. Having access to tools such as these also opens the door for students to purse careers in web development, green design, markeing and media arts. And I can definitely see this web tool being used in social networking forums.
As someone who loves food, having a website titled Delicious and it not be about food is just wrong. Be that as it may, navigating through the delicious website was interesting. I love the practicality of being able to access my favorite websites from any computer. I can also see the benefit of being able to piggy back off of the tagged websites of folks in and out of your network. While I did find some websites to tag, there were other subjects that didn’t really garner results. I also like that you can mark websites as private if you choose to. I definitely see that my list of delicious will expand exponentially.
Getting Kids to Participate
I appreciated the approach of this teacher in motiving the students to increase participation. In identifying the objective of getting the students to participate, the teacher was able to creatively address the needs of the class as a whole then on an individual level.
I thought the blocks was a really creative way to encourage participation. As the author points out, some kids may not participate because of being afraid to fail or fear of being laughed at by their classmates. By using the blocks the students can answer the questions as a part of a group.
I also thought that offering alternate activities to students to assess the student’s knowledge was also putting differentiation into practice. And it garnered a positive response from the students.
Lastly, I appreciated that the teacher pointed out that it didn’t work for all the students and that some needed individual attention.
I viewed two sessions: “Building a Web 2.0 Culture” and “Digiteens: Digital Citizenship from Digital Teenagers”. Being able to access such a wealth of resources is really beneficial. One thing that is often commented on from out professional learning evalutions is beign able to learn from colleagues. I think this provides the same interface on a wider scale.
“Building a Web 2.0 Culture” – I felt that this session provided a good structural vision for what a school looks like when based on a student driven foundation. I think that he addressed the concerns of the traditional educator and explained the benefits of a Web 2.0 culture. I appreciated the perspective of having a system that is a collaborative effort of the administrators, teachers and students. I agree that when students feel invested in the process of how they are educated, the collective behavior of the student body may turn out for the better. One point that I wanted to highlight was that of not punishing the barrel for a few bad apples. The presenter also pointed out that such a culture prepares the students for life after high school. As we move forward in the 21st century, knowing what is technologically appropriate in the work place is imperative.
“Digiteens: Digital Citizenship from Digital Teenagers” – I thought this session was great because it implemented the processes talked about in creating a Web 2.0 culture. I enjoyed seeing the results of what students produce when they are able to collaborate and direct on their own terms.
In creating my slide show, I wanted to convey one facet of how music inspires me. With the large well of choices that I found through Creative Commons, it took a while to narrow down the photos. As I previously said, I think there is something about music that evokes emotion and creativity on an individual and collective level. I hope you enjoy…