Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blog Post #13

For blog post #13, I chose to read the Wall Street Journal article by Stephanie Banchero and Stephanie Simon entitled My Teacher is an App. In this post, they discuss the pros and cons of hybrid courses and fully online courses. Fully online schools are springing up all over the country. Students are flooding into them, and the results have not been great. For some students that are a step ahead of their peers, it can be great. It lets them work past their grade levels, and they can learn at an accelerated rate. However, a learning-impaired student that goes into these classes will almost surely fail. On average, these students are struggling compared to their peers that physically attend class.
The only real advantages I see to this system are as follows:
1) They let advanced students work ahead of their grade levels.
2) High school students that have failed a course can make it up online.
3) Students that have to travel excessively can have a reliable source of education.
4) Home-schooled students can have a more structured curriculum.

The disadvantages that I see are:
1) The average student doesn't score as high on tests as normal students.
2) It takes away any type of social atmosphere,
3) It eliminates "soft learning" such as cooperation, toleration of different types of people and views, and working as a group.
4) Teachers lose their jobs.

I think that the best solution would be a hybrid class. Even in the post, it said that hybrid students are excelling, and they score excellently on the ACT. I can never bring myself to agree with having completely online classes. I have had them, and they are an inferior method of learning.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Final Project Progress Report

For our final project, my group has decided to do our project on how to make good use of the different skills we have learned in EDM310. For example, we want students, parents, and teachers to see the advantages of using programs such as Skype. This class has taught us to put aside our biases, and we want to spread the word to those that have not been fortunate enough to take a class like EDM310. We are planning on each person demonstrating the one thing they found the most useful in EDM310.

Blog Post #12

Read this blog post - Winning Equation: How Technology Can Help Save Math Education. Think about your math learning experiences. Do you think these ideas could have helped you? Write two or more paragraphs in which you discuss whether or not you think these ideas can help save math education.

Experts have concluded that math education in the United States is a broken system. They think that if we do not fix it then we are in danger of falling even farther behind other countries. In the early 20th century, the United States was world renowned for its creativity and and great strides in all fields of mathematics. However, today's statistics are very frightening. Less than one out of four seniors in high school are proficient in math. Higher math scores have been proven to be associated with students that are more successful in college and in the work place.

Introducing technology into the classroom has been proven to help students achieve more and also learn and retain more. The National Mathematics Advisory Panel recommended technology to freshen up an old curriculum, noting that "technology-based drill and practice and tutorials can improve student performance in specific areas of mathematics." There are many programs out there to help teachers educate their kids, and certain programs like "The Assistment System" can even give teachers guidelines for what their students strengths and weaknesses are in certain math subjects. It also frees up the teacher to focus on students that need more help than others. There is definitely room for technology in the classroom, but I do not think that blogging or a PLN will ever have a very great effect on math. I think that the best way to learn math is still practice, practice, practice.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Blog Post #11

This week, we had to watch two videos involving Ms. Cassidy. The first was First Graders in Mrs. Cassidy's Class and the second was The Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy. Ms. Cassidy uses an approach that is very close, if not dead on, to what Dr. Strange wants us to be like. She gets her students involved in blogging, and she helps lead them to useful places on the internet where they can learn. She gets them on the computers at least once a week, and her methods emulate greatly what we should strive to be like.

As a high school math teacher, I think it is nearly impossible to implement very much of her methods into my classroom. I mean, the idea of using Facebook to post assignments was pretty great, but a student suggested that. I just do not see an administrator approving very much of using math time to get on the internet and blog. I do think that the internet is a valuable tool to a math student, but I do not see her techniques in my classroom. I could use the internet to post my lessons as videos online, and I could also keep all of my assignments online for ease of access, but she never really mentioned that.

There are definite benefits to her approach to education. It helps get students interested and excited about learning. Her methods help them to be self-learners, and it points them in the right direction in terms of how to find useful information on the web (also how to avoid the bad).

C4K #2 - October Comments

For my first comment, the kid that I was assigned had to read The Frog and the Toad! She said that she thought they were very funny, and she enjoyed reading about them.

I actually read this book when I was a kid, and I told her that. I enjoyed it as well, and I said that I was so glad that she liked them. I suggested that she read the rest of the books in the series because they are good as well.

For my second comment, I watched Krishant read a poem about Steve the Superhero. Steve was a grotesque character who would basically fart and burp his enemies into submission.

I told Krishant that he did an excellent job on his presentation (it was his very first time on camera). I told him that I would never want to meet Steve because he seems like a pretty gross guy, and I congratulated him on having the nerve to even talk about him.

For my third comment, a young girl went on a trip to Alaska. She talked about how she enjoyed it very much. She enjoyed the wilderness, and she liked all of the animals that she got to see. She said she also didn't know that Alaska had such big cities!

I told her that I liked Alaska, and I have been there too! My brother is stationed there in the military, and he enjoys it as well. Alaska really is a beautiful place, and I told her that I would really like to go back one day.

For my fourth comment, I commented on Alana's blog from Leopold Primary School. She talked about how she went to "Little Athletics" which is a program where children go to get involved in physical activity. She then asked if anyone else like athletics and if they wanted to go to the event.

I told her that I enjoy athletics too, and I have always been involved in sports. I told her that I would like to attend, but I am too busy with school. I like to far away, and I'm too old!