Overload

In the digital age, lectures can definitely be seen as boring.  But if there is a spin on it, I believe that it can be engaging.  Instead of lecturing, it can be seen as storytelling.  I believe that everyone likes to listen to stories.  So if a teacher or professor took that approach, students would be more inclined to pay attention.

I really feel that apprenticeships are a great way to learn.  As teachers, we did student teaching.  Classroom time taught me the material, content and theories.  But teaching in the classroom had me apply all of what i learned.  This, in my opinion, was the most useful training.  I learned the most by doing.  I feel that everyone, in every field, would benefit from doing this.

Teaching high school, I really feel like the Cognitive Overload video applied to my students.  Darren McNelis mentioned the issues that he had, being able to focus on academics.  He spoke about how difficult of a time that he had, because of his constant screen time and technology usage.  This is an issue that we face with a lot of our students.  Whether it’s getting them to stay on task or complete an assignment outside of school.  I believe that it all relates to the screentime that have.  They don’t give themselves any quiet time or time to reflect, they constantly need to be engaged with technology.

In my online course, I will try to incorporate my students strengths with technology.  I think that by gearing it towards their strengths and interests, it’ll make them more willing to learn the new content.  I will also make sure that they see the “why” or the reason behind learning something.  We, as teachers, can believe what we are teaching is important but if the students aren’t sold, it doesn’t matter.

Reference:

TEDx Talks. (2014, Nov. 6). Cognitive overload — rewire your brain in the digital age | Darren McNelis | TEDxTallaght [Video file]. Retrieved from https://amara.org/en/videos/JNHMjDiZmYdF/info/cognitive-overload-rewire-your-brain-in-the-digital-age-darren-mcnelis-tedxtallaght/

Try then Ask

I currently teach high school students.  They can range from 9th to 12th grade.  As for my teaching style, it’s pretty spot on with constructivism. I try to have my students problem solve and figure out the solution.  I really feel that by doing that, the moment really “sticks” with the students and makes a more meaningful impact.

Although most of my teaching takes place in the classroom, I have had blended learning tendencies.  Last school year, we started using the learning platform, Canvas.  Like other teachers in my school, I’ve been making an effort to incorporate Canvas into my students’ learning.  In my classroom, I’ve also been using a program called Get More Math.  This has really helped with my students rate at which they learn skills and problem solving abilities.  As for the content, I’ve taught math since the beginning of my teaching experience.  I’m also pretty comfortable with the technology used in the classroom.  When Canvas was rolled out, we were hit with trainings and video tutorials.  I found myself avoiding them and trying to learn through doing and then using the videos as a last resort.  As a result, I feel pretty confident with my ability to use the available technology.  I also took the same approach and have the same feelings towards Get More Math,

As I stated previously, I most identify with the constructivism theory.  I think the best way to learn is through doing.  Being able to problem solve and use prior knowledge to come up with a solution has always helped my students learn in the long run.  I really think this theory would connect with my online course.  In the past, I’ve felt truly successful and had understanding of the course when I was able to make my own connections to the information and build upon that.  I really feel this style will benefit my students in an online course.  I look forward to developing these ideas and theories and applying them to creating an online course.

Life Skills

I would ask, ” what skills do you think an individual needs to be successful?”.  It actually had me think back to my own classroom.  Have I always practiced what I’ve learned and believed?  Am I setting my students up for success?  Sometimes I need to put myself in check and stop what I’m doing.  I can think back to times at the end of the school year and having a student that is close to failing or failing that we want to help pass.  We get that paternal feeling and just want to help.  This is a battle that I have with myself, internally.  I realized after watching these videos that it’s my job to help them acquire these life skills and the rest it up to them.

I like that both of the videos focused on critical thinking skills and problem solving skills. These are huge skills that all individuals must have in order to be lifelong learners.  Being able to communicate is a skill that is lacking in children and adults.  Communication is key!  Being able to work with others and see others’ points of view are skills that are needed from school age to the workplace.  Being flexible and adapting to the situation is something that individuals encounter everyday.  The ability to be able to adjust and make things work is a huge life skill.  All skills mentioned in these videos are life skills, because we will continue to practice them in order to be successful throughout our lives.

Can I commit?

The question I had to ask myself was, can I commit to this question?  Will this question warrant the research that I need, to prove my point?  My answer to these questions was yes.  I feel that my innovation plan is so closely related to what I do, so I’m very passionate about this topic.  I believe that working on my innovation plan has really helped me to prepare for my action research topic selection.  With the two literature reviews, that I’ve done in the past, I have been able to find countless sources and studies.

The topic of my action research is going to being ePortfolio usage, with students in the secondary level.  The purpose for this is to determine whether or not this is a tool that can help prepare them for the future of becoming a lifelong learners and learning how to use and problem solve tools used in the 21st century.  My fundamental research question is, how do ePortfolios help to prepare high school students for their post-secondary lives?  I plan on using a qualitative and quantitative approach.  I’d like to be able to observe how ePortfolio implementation is going, but I’d also like to get feedback from those using them and and how have used them.