Monday, July 26, 2010
When I registered for this class, I was expecting a boring course about how to use Excel and boring things that teachers already use in their classrooms. Then, the syllabus and instruction manual was exposed, opening the door to new mysterious things such as Blogger, Skype, Audacity, Google Docs (I was a Yahoo! user), Aviary, Posterous, and many many more scary things. Soon after that, my exploration period began and my mind turned on and opened up to the wonders of the Internet that lie beyond the farms and frontiers of Facebook. I have to admit, I was very scared at first, especially with Dr. Strange's "15 hours a week" speech echoing in my head. However, I soon realized that EDM 310 is the way that a class should be and that new things are nothing to be afraid of. I can now say that I have a blog other than my Myspace blog, and that I have found many other blogs that have been very helpful to my intellectual journey.
This class has really helped me realize what changes need to be made towards education. The school system in Mobile County needs a technological revolution. Take Davidson for example, instead of building a dungeon fence around the school, they could buy better computers. They could develop a whole new curriculum and then teachers wouldn't need to sell pizza to use the copy machine for tests. Before this class, tests were an okay requirement because tests are common in determining what has been learned. Now, I do not want to plague my students with a test but assign them projects so they can really show everyone what they have learned. I think Randy Pausch demonstrated this method very well and has shown us all how powerful projects can be. Dr. Strange has also done this with his protests against burp-back education. It is like a light has been turned on for me. This class has also made and my son realize that it is possible to stay up past 10. I did some of assignments done earlier then midnight and those I am most proud of, because I still procrastinate a little bit.
I started telling people what we were doing in EDM 310 after the first two weeks of class. Everyone seems amazed that there are no tests and everything we do is visible on our blogs. I think these methods should definitely be spread because if learning takes the direction that we have gone this semester, perhaps more students will be encouraged and less will drop out. I think we all need to spread the ideas and concepts we learned and created in EDM 310 because we are the ones who will inspire the next generation to succeed. What better way to succeed than with free Internet tools? If everyone could just see what goes on in this class, more minds would open up to these ideas and education wouldn't just be a dusty old chalkboard anymore.
This class was a great inspiration and I think it truly will make my teaching career better for me and my students alike. I enjoyed the "self-learning" aspect and the fact that everything we have done is sitting here at my fingertips. I can look back on it, reflect on it, and grow on it. I plan on a green classroom full of computers and head fakes with projects galore. This is a different picture of my classroom than before I entered this class 2 months ago. I saw myself as any other English Teacher who sits at her desk amidst a pile of papers to grade. Not me. The center of my classroom will consist of students, not essays or reports. I will make the most out of technology and encourage creativity to allow learning to take place. REAL learning, not filling in bubbles.
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