Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Week 2, ED 722: Online Learning Theories

Week 2, ED 722: Online Learning Theories

I do agree with the idea that interactions, environment and connections play a role in how effective technology can be in education. Strictly utilizing teacher to student, or student to student interaction is not always the best avenue to success. Just like you would not use the same teaching strategy every day for every lesson you teach, you should vary the types of technology and the ways in which you use technology for it to be effective in the classroom.

Sometimes behaviorism is valuable. We use it when we respond to prompts for our online learning. Cognitivism is valuable when we are trying to use a new tool. LEarning Skitch this summer was an area where students utilized this type of learning. In order to engage with material, Constructivism was used. Last semester we were directors of discussions and tried using new mediums while also defending why we used such medium for ED 7718. Creating our learning hub, accessing and building our personal learning network, and using our MOOC’s are part of connectivism.

I have found from watching the video we are utilizing all the theories and mostly trying to become experts in the latest, connectivism, field. Being able to rework our learning hub or reformat our blogs is a way of utilizing the connectivism strategy as we are constantly self-reflecting. This is a higher order thinking skill that would have to be honed from a young age if we really want our students to be able to perform at this level.

“Learners will not learn from simulations if the simulations are not developed using sound principles.” This quote from the Ally article encompasses the material for this week, in my opinion. It is not a matter of using new and creative teaching strategies or a matter of using the latest instructional technology. It IS a matter of using both, together, in varying fashions. The four learning strategies are beneficial and needed in education, but they need to be used together to help all students become successful.

Being part of this program has helped me create a more technology-friendly environment in my classroom. Prior to, I used technology to teach, but my students were not necessarily using technology to learn. I am now in the process of creating lesson using varying strategies that match the technology I have access to and making sure my students are being assessed using technology as well.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Multi Cultural Literacy and Global Awareness

I noticed this article very similar to the ideas in chapter 1 of the Asia Society response we also have to read this week. Globally aware people take a situation, analyze, consider options, and try to solve the problem. In CT I think many AP classes address these global issues along with certain classes. I think the term "global" scares people. It is associated with higher education, which is something that needs to be addressed in order for our students to compete in a global market. Or, are we suggesting that only AP students are capable of competing in global markets? If that is the case, America is in trouble!

 We have a "Global Issues" class at our high school. However, it is an elective in which only upperclassmen are allowed to take. I don't know the exact curriculum of those classes that address these issues, but I do know there are students who create their own service learning project based on one of these classes. To combat that, it would be beneficial to create a service learning project on a global scale. Instead of collecting coats for the homeless in CT, maybe they could start an online blog that addresses these issues in other parts of the world.

According to the article, globally aware students: Are knowledgeable about the connectedness of
the nations of the world historically, politically, economically, technologically, socially, linguistically, and ecologically.

I think that the curriculum addresses these areas. Interdisciplinary-speaking I think students could increase their knowledge of just HOW connected all of these things are if the curriculum was more interdisciplinary-friendly.

Global Literacy Chapter 2; p. 31-43 Summary

Chapter 2: The Globally Connected Educator: Talking to the World - Not Just About the World

Here are ⅘ steps needed to achieve global connectedness, not just awareness! Laurie will be summarizing that last section of chapter 2. This chapter gives you a pathway to global connectedness.

Raising your awareness:
Twitter, YouTube, and Smartphones are great but teachers need to be taught the possibilities and opportunities afforded using these mediums. Global literacy includes not just ability to understnad global education but having and cultivating a network of global peers.Global awareness does not come down to one subject. It is a collective effort. Tips to achieve global awareness in all subject matters: listen/watch global news, read authors from different countries, celebrate different cultures/traditions, watch TV shows with global perspectives, i.e. The Amazing Race, watch foreign films, i.e. Slumdog Millionaire.

Making a commitment
AFter raising awareness, you must commit to becoming connected. How do you accomplish that? REad news in foreign languages using a translator or RSS feed, try a globally-oriented conference suing video or audio presentations, use blogging, tweeting or join a Google group, expose yourself to different instructional methods, invite students to your online presence such as Google group, infuse global connectedness in your curriculum. Try connecting to other classrooms via Twitter or Google +.

Developing your competence with contemporary tools
This can be completed after you have made your commitment and infused global connectedness in your classroom. Skype, Twitter,Google Apps, and wikis are ways teachers can connect and participate globally. Workshops are offered and speakers can connect via Skype to give presentations to your class.Twitter allows you to get real time information from around the world. Google Apps allows you to work together on shared documents. You could work together with teachers from another country!  A Wikispace could provide similar opportunities for teachers but also can allow students to collaborate globally with others from all over the world.

building your personal learning network

Once you have developed your skills in connectedness, you can generate your own hub where others can access your information. You can share your knowledge with others and continue to be connected with the globe! Once you start your own learning network, you have a network or people and places you can get information from and/or share. This is where you can begin facilitating connections of your students so they can start their own learning networks. The student blogging challenge is one where you can develop students writing while they connect with others. The Flat Classroom Projects is something that allows students to collaborate to solve real world problems. Video conferencing is something that many use already and allows students and teachers to connect and participate in virtual field trips or group discussions without leaving the classroom, physically.

Preparing our Youth to Engage the World: Chapter 1, Q1-3

I. From your perspective, in what ways are the societal and environmental
transformations here described affecting your students’ lives today? How will they
be affected in the future?

“Globalization, the accelerating traffic of goods, ideas, people, and capital around the world,
has leveled the playing field for workers all over.” This quote from page one exemplifies that with the increase in the internet market and selling/buying of goods online, today’s students are competing in a global business market. The idea that one will go to school, college, get a job and live successfully is not a guarantee. Today’s markets are globally competitive so students have to know that there are more people competing for their jobs here in the US. Also, they need to realize that someone from another country can run your company and be your employer. This was not the realization of students 30 years ago. People from other countries can take jobs in America as well. With the increase in technology, many standard, minimum wage jobs are also being taken away. Gas station attendants, for example, are almost non existent these days as they are run by credit card machines built into the gas pump station. So not only are college prep jobs at risk for our students, but so are jobs that don’t require higher education. This is a threatening thought.

II. In your opinion, what are the key reasons for educating for global competence?
What are the barriers such an education might confront?

Being aware of the world’s issues and understanding other cultures are reasons to educate global competence. If we want students to communicate, collaborate and compete with students from other countries we need to make sure they are aware of what’s happening in those countries and how their world’s function. Otherwise, we won’t be considered competitive. Because of the change in climate of the earth over the past few decades, there is an increase in jobs, studies, and industries that would be beneficial to know about if one was a student in today’s world. Energy efficiency, according to the chapter, is a big focus and increasing industry in today’s world. Teaching global competence is only going to benefit our students as it would make them aware of these issues and could focus on a solution.

III. In your current opinion, what distinguishes a high- from a low-quality education for
global competence?

Based on the reading, I think low-quality education for global competence would include making students aware of the issues in today’s world. A high-quality global competence would focus on finding solutions and “investigating” the issues. Being aware is one thing, but to be able to take an issue, research it, and find solutions is more beneficial to the job market and workplace. The student that is “hireable” is the one who can offer solutions, not the one who is simply aware.

Storify Creation

Thoughts on distance education

Distance Education: Past, Present, and Future. In reading the Farhad Saba article, I learned that while distance education has become more and more popular, it still needs better organization and structure. Basically, as technology improves, so does educational technology. However, distance education mostly included teacher posting modules that included lectures and assignments. The student self-taught and met needs of the assignment. When I received my masters degree online in 2009 that was basically what I did! There was little teacher-student interaction. Based on the article, the future of distance education is strongly based on how much this changes. This type of teaching defeats the purpose do education as a whole. Teacher - students interaction is essential to the educational model. "Transactional distance" as stated in the article is, "Is determined by the dialogue between the learner and instructor." I found this theory appropriate and functional in regards to the future of distance learning. In comparison, this UNH program includes much more interaction online between instructors and students than my previous online learning experience. It has proven much more beneficial to have access to instructors and the learning has been more in depth due to the interaction via Google+, handouts! and email

Monday, January 5, 2015

Global Introduction

Hi Everyone!

I am an English teacher at Bristol Central High School in Bristol, CT. I have been teacher for 10 years;  seven in middle school and the last three at the high school. I coach basketball and softball at BC and am involved in other activities!

I enjoyed a nice holiday season with family and friends in Bristol. I have five brothers and two sisters so I had many stops to make over the last couple weeks! I am looking forward to a vacation in Aruba this summer!