Monday, January 13, 2014

Teaching Reboot Starts Now

A new semester is upon me. A colleague mentioned today that we are lucky to restart twice a year. A new life a new opportunity to make it better- a reboot. As every semester rolls by I make improvements and adjustments. Last semester it was the addition of Open Educational Resources. This semester I am working on better integrating these resources, replicating past success and attempting to increase the visibility of democratic practices in my classroom.The ultimate goal is to present an alternative educational approach to the way our students are used to interact in education.

The dilemma is such an integration in a class that is essentially a content class in which students must acquire he basic teaching skills for teaching reading and writing in any school even schools that provide very little attention to democracy.

Right now I wonder how my students will accept these practices and the two graduate students that will help me work this out. I wonder how I can make sure they are making progress in their teaching of reading and writing while thinking about a more democratic option. Conceptually this is a simple problem but practically I am nervous. In some ways it is easier to fret openly before I start before I have names and faces. It is still conceptual but only for 10 hours more.

How does technology and creativity merge here?

Technology: some tools can be a great tool to increase participation, but to much emphasis on technology can take away from participation by creating added frustration. For example I thought about incorporating a Twitter backchannel to the class but now I am wondering if it is an overkill. Pinterest perhaps ? a choose your own?

21st century skills, I would love to add creativity to my class and reward my students for it but how? How do I provide a space for that in an already full class?



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