By:Keri Brown, Kenesha Brown, and Chelsea Calvert
In Mr. Dancealot’s video, he teaches a dance class with no hands-on experience. By using a PowerPoint, he has his students take notes and sit quietly during his lecture. When one student stood up to give the dance steps a try, he was instructed to have a seat. How can a dance teacher teach dance through lecture?
The truth is he can’t. Actually, nothing can be learned just through lecture. Students need to have hands-on experience in order to grasp the idea of anything. It’s okay to explain the fundamental of how to do a particular assignments; however, students won’t get the concept unless they try it for themselves. Technology is growing in our society and it is becoming more and more important in our schools as well as our everyday lives. Hands on experience is necessary when learning how to use this technology instead of just a lecture or reading something out of a book. The information needs to be applied to be learned. The students in this video did not actually stand up and dance before their exam, which caused them to be very confused on the day of the exam.
Vicki Davis is a teacher in a rural city in south Georgia. Vicki has completely opened the minds of her students to many new ideas of technology. She has provided them with access to wikis, blogs, podcasts, virtual worlds, and other media tools. These students are constantly learning something new about technology. Everyday there are opportunities in the classroom for students to use technology with their classmates as well as others around the world on blogs or other resources.
As a teacher, Vicki does not spoon feed her students. In the video, she said that she often gives them unfamiliar words and tells them to look up the meaning of the word in the context in which she has used it. Vicki also was partners in a founding a global collaborative project. “Digi Teen,” which is digital citizenship for teenagers. On Digi Teen, students from around the world studied digital citizenship by researching, writing, and posting their work through two digital portals. Vicki also believes that she is constantly learning from her students and that they can learn from each other as well, therefore she has specific times in her class where each student will be the teacher, or certain groups will teach on certain days.
The Edutopia website is full of resources for teachers. There are links for student engagement in the classroom and tips for keeping the students involved. There are also links to other blogs from teachers with experience in the classroom setting. Also on the website, there is a spot you can go to search things specific to each grade-level which can be a very useful tool for teachers. At the bottom of the webpage, there are links to “get inspired,” “find solutions” to problems or issues in the classroom or school, and “join the conversation” by getting connected with fellow educators on social media.
Wendy Drexler explains what it would be like if students took control of their learning. She goes on telling a story about a student from 21st Century High. The student was assigned to do research on any topic. He chose American Psychology. However, there is no textbook for the class and the teacher hardly ever lectures. His teacher believes in connectivism, which is a theory that learning occurs by social networks and many diverse connections and ties. Connectivism are made up of many tools and technology. However, the question was asked “ Why does a network student need a teacher?”
Drexler explains that the teacher empowers students to take control of their learning and connect with new people who will strengthen the learning process. They teach students how to build their learning network. They also show them how to take advantage of opportunities. The teacher is there to be the learning architect when the students get lost. He/She serves as a learning concierge when the student gets stuck, as well as, teaching them how to be a network sherpa when looking at resource. In addition, (s)he teaches them how to be a synthesizer when looking at information.
From viewing this video, network learning is something that the educational system is becoming. Students are being pushed to go out there, find resources, and look up information. As educators, we should allow them to spread their wings and find answers to their questions. Drexler explained the teacher’s role really well. Basically, teachers should allow the learning process to happen until they notice a student is unsure about something.
This video by Roberts asks many questions to future teachers. He says that teaching is not the main source of knowledge anymore. He believes students should be taught skills not facts. He believes that students will be able to learn the information they are getting from a teacher from the internet. The students will be able to communicate from a variety of sites such as blogger, twitter, facebook, pinterest and many more. The students can also type the question they have into any search engine. If the students are able to find out everything thru the internet or by discussing it with each other, then why do they need teachers. If his suggestions are true and accurate, teachers will become obsolete.
I agree that the student must be shown how to use the technological applications available to them. Teachers should be encouraging in any type of learning. Students need to form their own opinions and need to be able to find out the answers to questions they might ask themselves or a teacher. Students need to be taught responsibility and integrity. Teachers have an effect on every aspect of a students life. Teachers can be any one who teaches a student a life lesson. Students should be shown every possible form of technology and then allowed to study how they choose. However I do not believe that teachers could ever become obsolete.