CHANGE

change

Why do we continue to lecture, when the results keep telling us they are not the best way to deliver content? Why do we teach to only one learning style?  Students have changed, they expect more for their instructors and the same old boring lessons day after day are not going to be enough for them.  We all know why we do it because change is hard, it’s messy and takes a lot of energy. It’s not that we are lazy if we were lazy we wouldn’t be instructors. This job is not designed for lazy people. I have never worked so hard at a job as I have as an instructor. But I have to say the rewards are just as huge as the effort you put in. The day you get to pass your students their diploma’s, is worth all the hard work. It makes every late night and early morning easier.  It reminds me of being a parent. I can barely remember the sleepless nights and the exhausting days because the reward of a watching my children grow is a hundred times larger than any sleepless night.

Lucky for me I am a new instructor, I am not set in my ways. I actually don’t have any ways yet. Change is easier if you have never set expectations. My courses are planned, laid out and tied with a pretty bow but they aren’t mine. They aren’t my information, my research, I am not tied to them. It’s time for me to get creative, start using some of the new tools I have been learning about from my PIDP courses and put my students learning first. It’s time for me to start making some changes.

What You Should Know Before You Post on YouTube

I use YouTube not only as a source of informational videos for my students but also for myself. Whether it is for my own online schooling or for research on a topic for my class. To date, I haven’t been big on posting to YouTube only a few small items, but I am sure as I grow as an instructor  so will my YouTube posts.

My biggest concern with posting on YouTube is the same as posting to any site online. Where does it go? Who can access it? And what rights do I have? I came across a Ted Talk with Margaret Gould Stewart, and she explains a bit about YouTube’s policies and how you can protect yourself by registering under their content ID.

I have never heard of Margaret Gould Stewart before this video but after I read her Bio it sounds like she has moved on to Facebook. I am curious to see if she is in charge of copyrights with Facebook? I might have to do some more researching.

 

“If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn without any further resistance,” Sir Ken Robinson

Wouldn’t it be great if we could light a spark under every learner in our classroom? Whether it’s an adult or a child learner, see their sense of wonder and excitement. I know I am teaching adult learners, but I think that they still need that spark of curiosity to get them motivated and engaged.  I love that my course offers students a chance to be successful in multiple types of evaluations. I feel it’s important to keep our students stimulated and inspired, so we can achieve success.  I know that we will never stop testing our students. Written evaluations are not going away anytime soon. What I do like is the idea that we are changing. That we can take a classroom full of students and know that they are going to be diverse in their on learning. That they will excel in different levels of knowledge and skills. I don’t see change happening overnight, but I believe it coming.

 “Standardized tests have a place, but they should not be the dominate culture of education. They should be diagnostic, they should help”

                                            Sir Ken Robinson

 

Here is a great Ted Talks with Sir Ken Robinson. I find his talks very inspirational.

https://www.yutube.com/watch?v=wX78iKhInsc&list=PLD57AB085E6745C43&index=2

 

 

More Family Time, Less Marking Time

I love assessing my student’s knowledge, but who doesn’t dread the never endng pile of  marking? Students want their marks as soon as they have completed their exams. We live in a world of instant results. We order coffee and breakfast on an app before we leave the house. We have become accustomed to not waiting for anything, especially important results like our evaluations or assignment marks.

In my new course on media enhanced learning, we are sharing resources to use in the classroom. My favourite so far would have to be the pairing of google forms + flubaroo. I feel like google forms might be old news to lots of people but since it’s new to me I feel I need to share it just in case it’s new to someone else! You can create lots of different documents including worksheets and quizzes in google forms. It gives you step by step instructions. You even get options on answers styles, multiple choice or short answers.

I also included a link to flubaroo. Which you can add to google forms to make your marking even easier! I know as an instructor, marking is so time consuming. I am all for time-saving ideas so that’s why these two are a great addition to my teaching portfolio.  I am so excited to start updating some of the current evaluation in my course and maybe creating a few of my own with the new resources I am discovering.

I hope you find these links as helpful as I have.

https://docs.google.com/forms/u/0/

http://www.flubaroo.com/home

Gaming and Essential Skills in Adult Education

games

Objective:

Essential skills are the foundation, or build blocks, to all other skills. They are essential to our growth and development, whether its’s education, work or everyday life.  Higher education is entering into a new era of technology. It’s important to find new and engaging ways to motivate students in the classroom, and still focus on developing our essential skills. Is video games in the classroom the answer we are looking for? “Good video games are challenging, long, hard, and complicated, and they engage the player in active learning” (Bowen, 2012, p.59).

Reflective:

Active learning is about engaging and motivating our students in a variety of activities other than passively listening to an instructor’s lecture. We want to create that spark of interest and feed the flame of curiosity. Introducing apps and games into our classroom might be the way we can accomplish this. Video games have come a long ways from when I was a young. I grew up always thinking of them as just a toy. Something to intrigue your imagination, a way of escaping reality, or to explore mystical worlds for hours at a time. For the past few years, I have noticed more and more games being played in elementary schools. I was so excited the first time my son came home and asked if I could put a math game on his iPad so he could play math at home. That was just the beginning, now it’s reading and typing games, and I am sure the list will continue to grow.

Until reading the first three chapters of Teaching Naked, I still believed video games were for children. I didn’t realize the endless possibility of games for higher educations. There are games to stimulate real situations that you wouldn’t be able to practice any other way, like flight simulators for crash situations (Bowen, 2012).

Interpretive:

What better way to teach our students than with games that help teach essential skills like, problem-solving, thinking skills and continuous learning. In the article How Video Games In The Classroom Will Make Students Smarter, Jordan Shaprio (2015), explains how “Through metacognitive functions, learners recognize their own strengths and weaknesses and adapt or iterate their performance accordingly.”  With ways of customizing games for specific teaching needs, games can be a huge asset to any classroom.  Gaming in the classroom doesn’t just provide cognitive benefits, it also provides emotional benefits. McGonigal explains, “When those emotions activate certain areas of the brain, they also counteract feelings of depression, and for periods of time extending long after the game is ended, McGonigal said. Games encourage a sense of resiliency, and also teach gamers that failure is permitted” (as cited in The Awesome Power of Gaming in Higher Education, 2013). Video games are not just for children anymore. Reading these articles has helped me to understand multiple benefits to gaming in the classroom. I am excited that my children’s school has adapted to adding games to teach but I never could have imagined the full levels of learning that you could get from a game without doing this of research on the topic. My only concern with introducing too much gaming into classroom would be the loss of communication. In my opinion, this is an essential skill most effectively taught in person.

Decisional:

I always try to incorporate different instructional activities into my classroom. I have used different types of media in my teaching but I have not expanded into apps or gaming. I am excited about the new possibilities in education. The list of websites and resources included in Teaching Naked are endless. I actually felt a bit overwhelmed in the beginning because there are so many websites and games to check out. I am going to start slow and visit a few of the websites mentioned in the articles I read, as well as our textbook. I think my biggest challenge with this new information is finding the right resource for my classroom and my students. In   the dental assisting program, problem solving and critical thinking are a very important skills for our students to develop. This is an area I would like to focus my attention on. I have learned from past experiences it’s critical to start slowly when introducing new ideas or activities. Even though student’s levels of technology far exceed mine, using technology in the classroom can still be a new learning curve and change can sometimes be met with resistance.

 References:

Bowen, J.A. (2012). Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom    Will Improve Student Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Buck, T. E. (2013, October). The Awesome Power of Gaming in Higher Education. EDtech. Retrieved October 8, 2016 from http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2013/10/awesome-power-gaming-higher-education

Shaprio, J. (2015). How Video Games In The Classroom Will Make Students Smarter. Retrieved October 8, 2016 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2015/03/30/how-video-games-in-the-classroom-will-make-students-smarter/#1cdbb3aa1828

Image was retrieved from http://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/wp-content/uploads/sites/29639/2015/10/video-game_2141739b.jpg

 

 

Chain Notes – A PowToon Presentation

I have created a digital project on the Classroom Assessment Technique, Chain Notes.  Its a great feedback instrument to get fast, honest student feedback on their engagement and learning.  I hope you enjoy and learn something new.

Please follow the link below:

https://www.powtoon.com/online-presentation/bkvOfKoajm4/?mode=movie#/

 

 

What I Have Been up to With My Education

Currently I am working my way through my PIDP at VCC. I am almost half way, I am so excited!!! Going back to school has been a huge decision for me. One I have thought about often as my life changed over the years.  Originally I went to college right out of high school. I was determined to pick a career and get started working ASAP. I was happy with my choice but always felt I wanted to do more. I thought about going back to school for Dental Hygiene, but marriage, kids and the factor that there is no hygiene program in the Okanagan, changed my plans.  After 14 years, I found my calling, took the plunge and jumped back in school. I have to say one of the best decisions of my life. Things haven’t been easy. Being an instructor isn’t as easy as my fellow instructors have made it look. Thankfully the courses at VCC have given me great new skills to make things easier.  They help me to appreciate that every student brings different diversity, different learning needs and styles. All my course so far have opened my eyes to these new learning curves and given me the skills to help focus my classroom into a learner-centred classroom.

To date I have completed 3100, 3210, 3250 and near the end of 3260. It has been a long road to this point. I feel 3100 was one of the biggest challenges for me since it was my first course in near 14 years. It was a big one, with an essay, starting a blog, learning how to journal and much more. I had to learn how to use APA formatting, and how to create a blog, both came with their own learning curves but taught me some great skills I have been expanding a pone in the rest of my courses. My last assignment creating a digital project was so much fun. I never knew I could create my own educational cartoon. I can see myself using this in the future.

Since all of my courses have been online I feel it has also opened my eyes to different challenges my students face.  This is the new day and age and technology is a huge part. These course have taught me a lot of new technology and media, I never knew existed. I am so excited to start incorporating these new things into my presentation and into my classroom.  Part of this new technology has been a blog. I never thought I would enjoy creating a blog as much as I have. Reading my classmate’s blogs, has also been a great experience and very helpful in my learning. Reading their post and their life stories helps bring the online classroom together and create more of a comradery that is hard to find in online course. Through my blog, my life, my experiences, my struggles, my triumphs are posted online along with articles and videos I find useful as a beginner instructor.  I am looking forward to continuing to expand my blog or possibly starting a new one. Maybe one targeted more to the program I am instructing or to farther educated CDA in my community, the possibilities are endless. I found my easiest posts have been on something I am passionate about, finding my own articles, instead of commenting on my textbook has been much more interesting to me.

It’s funny that I found it such a huge decision to continue my education when all a long I have been continuing my education, just in different ways. I have always attended Dental conventions, society meetings, elective course but nothing quiet as big as registering for my PIDP. I am a lifelong learner but never realized it before taking these courses. The more I learn, the more excited I get about my next assignment or my next course. I am looking forward to what the future brings next.