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.