Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog Post #5

My Dream School
Krissy Venosdale's post is about the dream school she would build. I like how she compares her fantasy to the world of Willy Wonka. The way she would design her school sounds exciting and unique. She would include colorful walls, comfy seating, and even a giant tree in the library. She would also include a well stocked science lab for students to conduct experiments multiple times a year. Krissy would base "grade levels" on the students' readiness and ability rather than on their age. Her school would allow the students more opportunity to explore the world around them because she would not follow a mandated curriculum, and she would have a brightly painted bus available for field trips year round. Krissy would allow the students 20% time where they could choose which classes taught by teachers in their area of expertise to attend. She would promote reading simply for the love of reading. Krissy's school would essentially be the best of all worlds for her students.
If I could design my own school, I would do away with mandated State testing. In my opinion, this testing only holds students back and prevents them from reaching their full potential. I would make sure my school provided a warm and helpful environment for the students to learn. I would not allow tests where students simply sat down to repeat what they had memorized. As in EDM 310, my school would be a non-burp back learning environment. I would provide stress free testing where students could actually learn rather than simply becoming programmable robots. I would do away with the punishments often given to students. These punishments don't really teach the students anything and only produce a miserable environment. Students should be able to look forward to school and the new and exciting things they will learn. I would make sure my school was well equipped with all the materials each student would need.

 Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
I thought this project was quite unique. It obviously took a significant amount of time and effort to put together. Instead of the traditional choir, all of these people on video were put together to create a choir. I've known of people using the internet to connect with loved ones that are far away or to conduct business, but I've never seen anything like this video. I think a virtual choir is a very creative idea. It could be a way to bring together a choir of people from around the world and to share cultures from far away places.

Teaching in the 21st Century
Kevin Roberts believes that teaching in the 21st century is like night and day compared to teaching in the past. He believes teachers are no longer the source of information, but rather teachers have become the moderators or filters. He also believes as educators we must teach students how to use sources such as Google and Wikipedia effectively. As teachers we are responsible for ensuring that students know how to narrow down information to the reliable sources. I agree with Roberts because as more technology is brought into our world, the way we do things is always going to change. Last week, while viewing information about podcasting in the classroom, I read that podcasting is effective because it is a tool the students are used to. Students today live in a technological world, and of course technology is going to be incorporated into education. Teaching in the 21st century is no longer a pencil and paper world. The world around us is constantly changing and technology is able to keep up with this change much better than a textbook that is only going to become outdated. Robert's views will affect me as an educator because it will be my responsibility to ensure that my students know how to effectively find information and be able to cite where they found it.

Flipping the Classroom
As with most ideas, flipping the classroom presents itself with a double-edged sword. Flipping the classroom can be an effective way to allow for each student to receive the amount of time they need individually. I think flipping the classroom would have to be used as an experimental approach. In other words, changes may have to be made to the program to solve problems that may arise. I'm not a complete believer in the idea of flipping the classroom, but I would be willing to give it a try. I would want to make sure that by using this method, the students were still getting the instruction they need and deserve. On the other hand, flipping the classroom is an excellent way to promote independent learning. If a student does not do their part, then the consequences directly affect them rather than the entire class.


  1. "... 20% time..." Google does this for its employees.

    "...but I would be willing to give it a try." Enough!

    Thoughtful. Interesting.

  2. Hi Laura!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It can be pretty boring becoming programmable robots. The mandated state testing can be silly sometimes. Evaluating an entire state or country can be frustrating. I agree that Eric Whitacre's virtual choir was amazing. That was a first for me as well. Flipping the classroom was a different approach, however I think that it would be perfect to help solve the problem of students excelling at different paces. So far, math is the only subject, but I am sure this concept can carry well to other areas of study. Again, great post and thank you for sharing.