Posts Tagged ‘education’

 

desk

Accessibility in Education:

-Dynavox-picture board/speaking tool

-Dragon natural speaking

-Kurzweil 3000 and Firefly

-Reader Pens

-Talking Calculators

-Alpha Smart (writing aid)

-IPads

*ASK for help. LEARN about these technologies*

*As an educator, make sure your lessons are accessible for ALL of your learners….really think about WHAT is it that the students are learning*

*by emphasizing technology, we can appeal to the widest student audience.

So, after writing on how I enjoyed “Notes on a Triangle,” I read the chapter on Re-viewing and Seeing Differently and discover that it is about the film and how the students studied the triangles from the film clip! (Funny how things work in life…) I especially like the chapter’s section on how the students noticed that numbers could be triangles: not only were the students constructing triangles from numbers, but they were also forming patterns. Once the students noticed their pattern (the relationship between the increasing length of the hypotenuse and the total number of dots needed to construct the triangle), they were able to use mathematical language and symbols in order to predict the next number in their triangular sequence.  This exploratory lesson allowed for a natural progression to take place in the classroom;building on students’ prior knowledge of triangles affords them a better opportunity to make real world connections (triangles made from squares, soccer drill formations, pyramids, etc.)  I was then reminded of a word from earlier in the year: oikos. Jennifer’s students were creating a sort of family with their number sense: They were able to relate to, and understand that the mathematics they were attending to was connected. The students also seemed to view the classroom as a family, or home: They were confident and comfortable exploring and questioning their environment.

When I become a teacher, I want my students to feel like their classroom is a type of home. I want them to feel comfortable asking questions and challenging themselves. To do this, I need to create an environment that fosters problem solving and open ended questioning. I want to make mathematics more hands on, more interactive, and more engaging; it is through discovery that deep connections can be made.

Sidenote: Notes on a triangle has a partner: dance squared-here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXL4DP_3dJI

 

Mathematics is not something we have to look up to. It is right in front of us, at our fingertips, caught in the whorl of patterns of skin, in the symmetries of the hands, and in the rhythms of blood and breath. -David Jardine

This quote is a summation of how I view mathematics. Mathematics is a part of our existence. It is everything and everywhere.

We need to start teaching mathematics in an integrative manner, instead of making it a distinct and separate entity. As such, this chapter has three main themes:

1: Connecting math to the physical world; connecting students with the five senses so that they can see, hear, feel, taste and touch math.

2: Connecting students’ personal experiences and families to the curriculum.

3: Connecting the teacher to the curriculum and then to the students.

These themes are not separate; they are rooted within each other and should be embedded within the mathematical curriculum. I must admit, I am a bit overwhelmed by these themes, as it puts a great responsibility on the teacher: Will I be able to teach math in a way that makes these connections and provides meaning for the students?

 

 

Einstein’s theory of relativity states that time and space are not as constant as everyday life would suggest. Following Einstein’s theory, we can state that time seemingly moves faster or slower relative to things like your age or height. This explains why ten minutes to a five year old feels like eternity, while the exact span of time to an adult feels incredibly short. I can think back to when I was younger and I would stand guard at the window, and wait for my dad to come home. Every 30 seconds (but to me it seemed like hours), I would ask my mom, how much longer? And she would reply: “soon, Joanna. I just told you that Dad would be home in 10 minutes.” Clearly, her concept of ten minutes was much different than my own!

How can we apply this concept to the classroom? For students, teachers should focus on creating an engaging and interactive classroom environment that focuses on active, cooperative participation and problem solving. If students are actively involved in their learning, they will be more attentive and time will pass by seemingly quicker than if students were sitting at their desks working on independent tasks (worksheets).

For teachers, we can combine those nasty PLO’s and teach subjects together in order to save time and to show students how what we learn is interconnected and constantly changing; for example, teach fractals by going on a hike and studying fractals in trees (math, dpa, and science all in one lesson!)

Educators also need to help students understand the concept of time, what does time feel like? How does one’s perception of time change dependent on the activity (1 minute of sitting still vs. 1 minute of vigorous activity).  Our concepts of time vary with age and culture. This said, educators need to be mindful of time and how it affects each individual student.

 

Mathematical language: It’s a tricky beast, and usually never easily understood (or explained). So why do we teach young students the same terminology that baffles adults? Why are we making mathematics more confusing for kids? And why are we not using simple terminology in order to explain mathematical concepts? We need to start unpacking terminology!

  

In the above diagram, a Right angle can be interpreted in many ways: to me, it looks like a left angle (L for left, like when we teach children how to know their right and left by looking at the shape their fingers make…)So how is a student supposed to know that this arbitrary angle, is called a right angle and is always set at 90 degrees? Instead of rote memorization, there needs to be more time spent on creating meaning for terms.  Have students get into the corner of a room and pretend they are a right angle (how does this feel, how do you know you are 90 degrees). Have examples of what right angles look like outside of textbook diagrams, or better yet, go for a walk and have students point out how many right angles they can see!

As educators, we need to take the time to teach what matters. Mathematics matters, and needs to be broken down and explained thoroughly so that students are able to build connections and strengthen their understanding of concepts. 

“Identifying the problems in education and beginning the search for solutions.” -Dave Shortreed, Coordinator of Digital Technology

Today, Dave Shortreed gave a presentation on how embracing technology can help educators adapt and thrive when meething the changes that are being made to BC Education.

So how can we push forward?  (With change comes challenge)

current shift in education——-> heightened focus on tech integration, collaborative thinking, collective ideas, innovative practice

Shortreed touched on the changing the learning space: teachers are creating a more open classroom by pushing desks against windows (or taking them away) and making room for technology while providing positive atmosphere (taking preventative and proactive measures). What tools fit into an open classroom? SmartBoard, document camera, IPad, Laptop. These tools foster a more inclusive classroom.

An important point that Shortreed brought up was bridging the gap between IT and Teachers. We need to provide SUPPORTS when we bring new technology. Shortreed has even created an iBook to help teachers navigate the iPad: “21st century literacies: an IPad educational resource by Dave Shortreed.”

He suggests that student teachers become familiar with PROJECT BASED LEARNING, Interest groups outside of grade groupings, and the TPACK and SAMR MODELS:Technology allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable.

We also need to be mindful of how we use technology: it should be all encompassing.

What do you want kids to do with technology: focus on learning outcomes, not applications. Focus on pedagogy, and not on tools.

Technology should be used to: raise awareness, drive change, find answers, take action, change minds.

Shortreed concluded his presentation by posing the following questions to the class:

What are the most apparent problems in eduction?inconsistency within the teaching community (competent vs. uncomfortable)

What can you do to address these problems? (collaborative teaching)

Check out daveshortreed.com for great tech tips!

I recognize the need for technology appreciation in education. I believe that by integrating technology use in the classroom, we, as educators, can improve students’ comprehension of material, as well as create a more interactive and fun learning environment. Also, teachers can use technology to network, find resources, share ideas and create dynamic lessons. It is my goal to develop my knowledge of relevant technologies I can use in the classroom in order to engage my students and help them reach a higher level of learning.

 

“Education is a mind-altering technology.”
-Brian Kuhn

Brian Kuhn is an educational technology teacher who believes education IS a form of technology, and that we need to embrace this technology and continue to disrupt and change the educational system.

Here is a link to his webpage:

http://www.shift2future.com/2011/04/technology-is-why-education-must-change.html