EDUC 932: Final Reflection
What is a concept (not a tool) you learned in this class that you will be able to incorporate into your teaching?
There is a risk repeating myself in this post, but I think that it demonstrates the value and consistency of what I am taking away. I think I can respond to this question in three ways: centrality, leading by example, and creative, social learning.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post the centrality of information and communication offered by an appropriate LMS is amazing for purposes of classroom management. I’ve held for a long time that a well planned lesson is more often than not going to preclude a series of classroom management issues and offer the students direction that helps them to maintain consistency and focus. They know where their homework is. They know when their due dates are. I know when they’ve submitted their work, something that is not true of Google sites, but I am discovering to be true of Google classroom. I can even offer responses and ask probing questions through posts or shared documents and I don’t need to worry about when (or if i remember to) I pass their papers back. It takes a ton of pressure off of my organization load.
I’ve already used my sample lessons from this course in summer school as well as the rubrics. The students are required to end the summer with a sort of project presentation to demonstrate the results of their studies and I implemented modified versions of the rubrics to satisfy this. They’ve only begun to do their projects, but my video samples hosted on Youtube have given the students an example to anchor their ideas to. I’ve stated some of this in a past post, but it bears repeating that the hard work of offering a quality sample provides the students with several benefits: 1. a feeling of fairness stemming from the knowledge that the teacher has gone through the same process, 2. the removal of ambiguity concerning what is expected of them, and 3. the peace of mind in knowing that the teacher knows what they are about.
Last is the idea of social learning, and this has been a theme this year in my framingham courses. Archie and I did a project that addressed proving process in mathematics as a social construct and that opened up an ideological door for me. Students absolutely learn from each other and should be encouraged to do so. It offers each student the sense that they, not just the teacher, have something of value to offer. It’s a form of capital and if we know anything about humans, we love the process of giving and receiving capital. We love giving and receiving things of value. The various social technologies offer a frame through which many possible creative form of social collaboration can be implemented or created. I’m still somewhat of a baby in this respect, but it’s something I will continue to explore and experiment with because I believe it holds value for myself and for my students.