Spring 2014 Semester – Week 1

A brand new semester is upon us.  We at Clarion University have had a challenging year so far due to budget problems and “Workforce Plans.”  Our College of Education and Human Services has been streamlined and by Summer 2014, we will be the “School of Education.”

ED 417: Teaching with Technology is starting out well, each semester students seem to be more and more comfortable with “new” technologies that I introduce.  There are still very few that search the web efficiently, but most catch on quickly.  The biggest struggle in this class is to get students to look beyond the technology they use for personal purposes and see how they can employ technology to teach and learn.  Unfortunately, it takes a long time for them to understand that employing technology to teach and learn means that they must stop thinking like students and start thinking like teachers.

ECH 415: Learning and Teaching Mathematics, Grades 1-4 is going to be interesting this semester.  To begin, there are too many students for a hands-on, interactive, concrete-focused class.  30 students in this class is too many.  Add to that, I’ve completely redesigned how I’m going to teach the class.  In the common terminology, I’m “flipping” the class.  I’ve begun recording lectures and posting them online.  Students will be required to view the videos and be prepared for classroom discussions, homework, and quizzes.  Actual class time will focus on activities and group projects.  Time will tell… I hope the students adapt.

ED 610: Mobile Educational Technology is a graduate-level class that I am teaching for only the second time.  I am always a bit uncomfortable with new classes and tend to make them a little too easy.  So, although the students may not complain, the content is not terribly challenging and focuses mostly on their exploration.

My biggest challenge this semester will once again be keeping up with my blog.

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About cupprof

Husband, father, grandfather, professor, outdoorsman, photographer, and perpetual deck builder.
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2 Responses to Spring 2014 Semester – Week 1

  1. sjmore says:

    🙂 It’s only fair! If we have to keep up with our blogs, you should too. Good luck on your challenge. 😉

    For ED417, I would much rather think like a teacher than a student. But thinking like a teacher don’t you also have to think about how your (future) students would interact with the information and how you (the teacher) can facilitate their learning.

    For ED415, how long are your recorded lectures? Just curious. I think I would like that better than the normal lecture and maybe an activity here and there. Math is definitely more intriguing when it’s engaging and not just lectures and notes.

    For ED610, it’s good so far. I think I’ll like the easy-going activities and exploration when it comes to my other class that I am taking; for when the assignments increase, I know which assignments I’ll want to do first.

  2. fedism says:

    That word “rigor” has been tossed around my district quite a bit. It sounds so drab and dirty, like a twig, or a rotting tooth. I think that’s what you’re up against with this new Mobile Educational Technology course. How do you forge ahead with new ideas and ways of teaching while creating a structured, learning-heavy environment?

    A coworker and I are generally the first ones to try new things in my building, and we’re encountering the same thing. Do you get the feeling that your colleagues judge your courses? Mine compare grades. I feel like I have eyes on me because one kid’ll have a 71% in Algebra, but a 91% in my Language Arts class. It’s about value for me. How valuable is the learning I’m handing out? We give our students new experiences and new ways of thinking. If that’s not brain-stretching “rigor,” then that word is more treacherous than I thought.

    I’m enjoying ED610. It’s interesting to me, and it’s open enough that I can explore and learn on my own. Thanks for that, and remember that “the first guy through the wall always gets bloody.”

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