Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Global Learning Experience

For a week I did not have my Ed. Tech class due to my teacher being gone in Jordan, participating in global learning. He was able to meet with all kinds of people that are involved in the world of education. My class was able to Skype with him and a couple people he was working with. We heard from them and what they were doing, as well as having some of my classmates share a little about the PBL projects we were working on here at UNI. It was interesting to hear about things they were doing, and to feel a part of what was going on there. My teacher was in the middle of global learning, conferencing with different people, learning and sharing. This to me was very interesting, but what I had not realized until now is that my teacher being in Jordan was not the main person involved in global learning. It was my class and I, coming together and meeting with educators through Skype who were in Jordan, across the globe. Both sides learning from each other, thus we are involved in global learning. Now to some this might not seem right, thinking that global learning needs to be big! I mean it is called global learning, but even the little things are included in this global topic. It is where people from anywhere in the globe can communicate with each other in order to learn something new, whether it be working together on a huge project for months or Skyping for 20 minutes and getting a taste of what the others are doing. These are both types of global learning, it can be as simple or complex as someone wants to make it. My only question now is how much global learning have you been up to and how much more are you going to do now?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Using Problem-Based Learning

This year alone I have learned about 90 percent of what I now know about problem based learning. From what I can see this is something that every teacher needs to incorporate at least once in their classrooms. In many of my classrooms I have hear and learned a lot about PBL projects and have gotten a chance to create some. Let me tell you, it takes a lot of work to get these projects on their way, but that is exactly why I feel they are important. If they take so much time and effort don't you think that the students involved in them will also put a lot of time and effort in them as well? Well I certainly do. The latest PBL project I have been working on with my group, The Middle JAAR, is Breaking Ground for a Playground. This project was created through multiple Google Docs that are all linked through the main page which is linked above for those who want to take a look. My group chose to create a PBL that specifically reached out to the community in a way where students would be able to contribute in a personal way while still learning, in this scenario 7th grade blocked math class we created. This project was put together in a matter of 2ish weeks but still has some holes to fill. However, is a great basis for a PBL project that could be taken on by any determined and innovative teacher ready to take on a challenge. I much enjoyed the process of putting this project together. I feel projects like this one is helping me see teaching and learning in new ways, giving me the tools and knowledge to bring into my own teaching in the future.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Visit to Iowa R&D School

In my Computer Applications class, we made a trip down to an R & D school in order to learn a bit from a couple of their teachers. We were inviting to experience first-hand what one classroom had been working on in a  problem based learning project (PBL project). It was interesting to see what the class was working on and how things turned out for them. It was also eye opening to see that even though the class had set goals in mind for their project that some could not be reached, showing me that not everything always goes as planned, but still can be a success.Through watching some of the classes presentations of their projects I got a gimps of what a PBL projects outcome could potentially look like. The second teacher we met with in a conference room where her and a student shared a little bit about what they have been working on throughout the year. I listened in on what she had been doing with her students and the accomplishments she had achieved. I learned a lot about the process it takes to go through a PBL project and how big of an impact it can have on students and the community that is involved. It also put my mind at ease knowing that things throughout a project will change a great deal and to just accommodate according to those changes and the needs within the project. During this time I learned a lot from what she had to say. The whole experience was very interesting to me. I had heard and talked about PBL projects in class rooms, but never had the chance to see and hear about it first hand from students and teachers who were actually working with them in their own classrooms.