Teaching and technology…preparing today's students for tomorrow.

Posts tagged ‘Learning’

Podcasting? Am I going fishing?

When I hear podcasting I think it must be some fishing technique or fancy way to cast a rod.  Guess I’m revealing what a country girl I am, but I certainly never think it is a talk show you got over the internet.

In the age today of icons to click on and links that go here to there in the blink of an eye, I wondered what is the difference in a podcast, so I of course Googled it 😉  Merriam-Webster says a podcast is “a program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automated download over the Internet”.  I also found that the name podcast came as a blended word to describe radio type broadcasts you could get on your iPod.  So, I am guessing this means a podcast is just an audio track???

For this tactile and visual learner, listening to a bunch of talk is hard for me to get motivated by, so I looked to a link provided by my fab-u-lous education technology professor Steve Knight.  He directed us to check out EdReach.  When I first got to this site I was a little confused…these are videos?!  Then I found this video about EdReach:

So, essentially this site is kind of like a TV channel, but on the internet, where people can broadcast their own talk shows about education.  I clicked around and watched a few podcasts.  I saw one on Edmoto, and one called Learning RedesignED.

My thoughts on this new discovery… I find using the dropdown of channels much easier to find something of interest to me rather than scrolling through the feed of recently posted shows.  As for the shows themselves, they open great discussions and provide links to other educators that would not otherwise be present, but I found in the fast past way of my internet use, they were looooong.  30 minutes of listening to the same people talk?  I’m going to be honest, after 10 minutes or so I tuned out.  😦  I did find that I increased my multi-tasking abilities as I began listening to the discussions while I worked on other things.  😉

Over all, it is great to know this resource is out there.  There are all times when I am working on something, especially if it is new, that I feel the need to connect to, or listen to others with experience on the topic.  Listening to a podcast in this scenario will be supportive and informative. 🙂

I tend to desire interaction and face to face talk, but as I begin this journey in teaching I certainly don’t know what the future holds.  Maybe one day even I will cast my fishing rod out and catch a pod.

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Teacher or Educational Guide? A look at the role of the 21st Century Teacher.

So the new buzz phrase is the 21st Century Learner.  Everyone is talking about the skills needed by the 21st century learners.  Well, if there is this need for 21st century learners, how do we become 21st century teachers?

I recently read Shelly Wright’s blog post The Nuts and Bolts of 21st Century Teaching.  In her blog Shelly talks about a recent experience she had with project based learning (PBL) as her class was studying the Holocaust.  In this project the class was to create their own Holocaust museum.  The class outlined three areas of study, researched them and began to come up with ideas, but then they got stuck.

When students are stuck is the hardest for teachers.  I also find it the hardest as a parent.  How exactly do you help kids figure something out on their own? If you tell them or do it for them, you rob them of figuring it out and learning it themselves.  If you don’t, then you worry about frustration, shutdown, not caring, self-esteem.  I agree with Shelly when she said, “Its difficult to know how much to let them flail.”

Then she, as a 21st century teacher, did what I (a semester ago) would have never thought of – she turned to her blog!?!?  She shared her struggles and received a post that helped her.  This is something I think many “20th century teachers” would never think to do, but wow was it helpful!  The video that was sent to her in a comment I found inspirational and eye opening.  Chris Lehmann spoke about the changes in education for both learners and teachers.  He opened with “high school stinks”.  A bold statement that he followed with why it stinks and what we as educators can do about it.

At first I wasn’t sure how applicable the video would be to me.  It was focused on high school and I’m an elementary teacher.  Sure I thought it was eye opening and inspiring, but I was sure it wouldn’t make a difference in my classroom.  Then I heard “School was built on a model of information scarcity, and now we are in a world of information overload. …  Now our job is to make sure kids can make sense of the world.”  This flipped around the entire idea of teaching in my mind.  Teachers are no longer the ones to impart knowledge (teach) but will become more facilitators of knowledge.  Sure there will be things we teach, but the students may be as much of a “teacher” as we are… So what will the role of teachers become?  I think we will become less about the person teaching the information or imparting our wisdom and more about an educational guide to help our students figure it out.

For the 21st century learner will we still be teachers or will we become educational guides?   I think I want to be an educational guide…. Now, I’m off to see if I can figure out how to do that.  I’m taking the first step.  I have turned to my blog 😉

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