Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Digital Natives

I would consider myself a "digital native," as Marc Prensky describes in his article, Listen to the Natives. I grew up using computers in school and at home. I am very familiar with how to use the internet. However, I got my first cell phone when I turned 16, unlike the countless 6-year-olds running around with them in schools today.

Back to the article...Prensky's main point is the importance of engaging our students--getting to know what their interests are, observing how they interact with technology, receiving their input, and transforming the curriculum accordingly. Now, I am completely in favor of engaging students. I believe good teachers--er--educators should get to know their students. I also am all for receiving input from students and adjusting the curriculum. However, Prensky takes it a little too far in my opinion when he writes:

As educators, we must take our cues from our students' 21st century innovations and behaviors, abandoning, in many cases, our own predigital instincts and comfort zones.

Yes, yes, yes, we should take cues from our students. But abandon our own instincts? I think not! We have wisdom to offer our students--wisdom from experience. We can't simply throw that out the window. I think Prensky's intentions are pure and good, but his ideas of how to put those intentions into practice don't hit the mark.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Powerpoint Poisoning

I found myself nodding my head in agreement a lot while reading "Scoring Power Points" by Jamie McKenzie. He brought up a Dilbert comic in which people are dropping like flies due to "powerpoint poisoning," which I found pretty funny. Bad powerpoints are truly painful to sit through.

"Powerpointlessness" means exactly what you think it means. It refers to powerpoints that essential get in the way of education. They are either too bland and add nothing to the lesson, or they are too distracting with irrelevant information or visuals. A powerpoint can become a gimmick that yields no learning. I've witnessed this in a class in college. The professor "used" powerpoint during his lectures, but the powerpoint often did not have much to do with his lecture. It was distracting and confusing!

So do we throw powerpoint out altogether? McKenzie doesn't think so. He offers a list of "Antidotes for Powerpoint Poisoning." One very important idea for encouraging students to create good powerpoints is giving them a rubric. Being familiar with the expectations always helps students to produce a quality presentation.

McKenzie also brings up a great point that "the best presentation is the most persuasive, not the most dazzling." Sometimes we get so caught up in making cool-looking transitions that we forget about the actual content! It's important to remember the purpose of powerpoint is to be an effective aid or side-kick, not to distract the learners with flashy transitions. It is, however, to the creator's advantage to weed through "blah" clip-art and find powerful images that fit with the presentation. One more key element to a good presentation is the presenter, of course! Know the content, be engaging, and have good eye contact.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Technology and higher order thinking/problem solving


I went to these websites to investigate...

Bloom's Taxonomy was addressed in both of the above websites. At Education World, each level of learning was explored in light of how technology can be involved. What I noticed was the vast variety of free resources available to us on the internet! There were great websites that can be involved in each level of learning. It would be possible to foster the same levels of learning without technology, but it is great to have the option available! The only issue is having to weed through websites to get to the great ones and then determining when is most beneficial to put them into use.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Post #1

Hello! I'm Danielle and I'm in the full swing of the MAT program at Trinity. It's been challenging and exhausting and I've learned a lot so far.

A little bit about me...
I'm a fresh graduate from Moody Bible Institute. I majored in Elementary Education and minored in Bible. I am a nanny two days a week for a set of 4-year-old twins. The other three weekdays I'm the 4th grade teacher's aide at a great Christian school. I love, love, LOVE being in the school setting. As far as hobbies go, I enjoy photography, music and yoga. I also love spending time with family and friends.

Why I want to be a teacher...
I have always wanted to be a teacher. I realized my "call" if you will, when I did a 2-week student teaching my junior year of college. Being in the classroom felt like home. I just love kids!