Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thank You Fellow Bloggers!

Over the semester I have followed the blogs of several of my classmates, and they never cease to amaze me with not only their intelligence, but also their loving nature. Maybe that’s why they will all make great teachers? These students have caught my attention in some way or another and I hope they catch yours too!

On February 20, 2016 Garreth focused on the use of art as a learning tool in the classroom, especially when it comes to special education or special needs students. He mentions that we often overlook its usefulness and similarly its necessity because we programmed to teach straightforward subjects in a one-way manner, when in reality there are many different ways for students to learn about the same topic. By not giving students the option to learn in their own way and express their understanding of it to their educators and cohorts, then we limit their ability to become educated people. We label them as incompetent or unintelligent when it is just a matter of changing up the lesson plan. I thought this was a very touching, and compassionate post and although I tend not to focus on special education due to my own conformities, it made me consider what I am missing.

For this post Caroline chose to write about formative assessment, which drew my attention because it is one thing I struggle with understanding. She mentions Kahoot!, which is a software in which teachers can create educational games or quizzes for students to engage in and in doing so the educator can track understanding and progress. I’ve enjoyed learning new ways to have students actively engage but I also like to learn about ways that teachers can also engage. One thing I find to be most important in a classroom is relevant and intentional information, which is possible when educators fully understand what their students are missing to understand the information themselves. Often times a student will not raise their hand to ask a question out of fear of being judged, so when an educator can provide a anonymous way to track understanding, the entire class can benefit.

LaStacia used her recent blog to discuss communication and collaboration. She specifically talked about Skype in the classroom and the various ways an educator or students could use it as a class resource. Some of the ways include visiting other classes, having a guest speaker, or going on a virtual field trip (which I think is super cool). LaStacia also mentioned that Skype in the Classroom is free to download for educators, students, and schools which I absolutely love. Being able to go outside of the classroom without the hassle of finances and permission gives students and teachers the opportunity to explore a world that is usually out of their reach. And let’s not forget the convenience. We all love when we can access things by the click of a button, and having a doctor or solider speak to your class without having to convince them to leave their home is quite convenient.

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