Innovation in Education

September 3, 2008 at 9:15 pm (Uncategorized)

As a norm, I believe it is easier to start with the familiar and work your way up.  There are many lessons to learn from stepping out of the comfort zone and trying things that seem impossible.  You are gaining confidence in your abilities and by each plunge, you are closer to overcoming difficulties. 

When I think innovation in education, I can’t help but think of my elementary memories:-( and how the teachers would stand in front of the blackboard all day and fulfill the Charlie Brown legacy (WAH, WAH, WAH).  Similar to Dr. Lowell’s statement about film and movies, education has also made a true masterpiece.  In a classroom 25 years ago, you didn’t see six computers in every classroom.  You didn’t see Airlines, Smartboards, Telephones, etc in all rooms.  Today; however, you do see those items in the classroom and much more…the educator using them in an effective manner.  We’re stepping into places we have never been in order to reach our learners. 

 I caught myself getting into that classroom routine of familiarity, when I realized my students required much more of me.  Once I stepped out and tried to fill in the gaps I realized the difference and began changing my thought process.  No mattter how we learn, content (main idea) must be spiced up (just like a turkey). 

In relation to blackboard and correspondence classes… things change so quickly that no one has time to get familiar with routines.  I can see the purpose of keeping things the same in order to keep it moving smoothly; however, that seems to suck all the fun from content (or learning in general).  Blackboard is a great form of communication (along with correspondence classes) for those with busy schedules.  It has truly been an innovation in education.  When I first began undergrad courses, I had no idea what a correspondence class was and blackboard was used at a minimum.  Now, almost all courses require it (which is great).  It seems to change so often and I feel like I’m teaching myself at times (which I guess that is the point…to be a self learner).  I think it is important to step out of your familiar zone and learn with your students (peers, etc).

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5 Comments

  1. Colby Johnson said,

    I agree with you 100%. Innovation in education is crucial or we will never move forward. I used to substitute in Louisville and almost every class had a Smartboard which wasn’t being used. The children would tell me they never used it or the teacher wasn’t sure how it worked. I can’t believe we actually have the resources, but lack the confidence. If we are fortunate enough to have these resources why are we letting them go to waste?

  2. amy03 said,

    You know after reading the end of your blog about correspondence classes and not being familiar with them it made me think of my first correspondence class. I had a book and all my materials were mailed to me. I had many essay type questions and reading to do. I was given a date to finish all of the material and worked on it without any daily contact from my proffessor. I basically had everything in my hand and mailed it to him when I finished. I went to a testing center on campus and took a final exam and never met the proffessor. He had contact information if I had a question but I did not use it. This class has came a long way from the course I took. We communicate with the proffessor and students daily. There is a timeline and we are not just given a date at the end of the semester. Innovation at work or just improving something?

  3. Diana Jackson said,

    Amy-
    Did you learn anything from that class? In my opinion, a lot of freedom is a waste of time. I know exactly what I would have done in that class…NOTHING, Procrastinate, and then worry later. I must have some guidance within a course.

  4. Amy Howard said,

    I had a full year to take the class but decided to finish in a semester. It was history and no I don’t even remember what part of history I studied about. It was reading and answering essay questions. It went down on paper then I forgot it. I was actually worried about the final, becuase I didn’t feel that I knew the material like I should. I passed but there wasn’t any gap closed and I was still distant from this instruction. Does that make sense? I didn’t have the desire to learn, as Dr. Lowell would say I was acting like a student and not a learner. It makes me think of how I was so unmotivated other than to just get it done. I watched a video from my gaming class and the presentor talked about how the most improtant part of instruction is engaging students, not content. We have to make them want to learn before they can even think about content. Do you agree? I know I wasn’t engaged and look how much I took from that class, zero.

  5. Diana Jackson said,

    Amy-
    I understand your reasoning. When you take a course (especially graduate courses) and you pay thousands of dollars, you expect to get your money’s worth. I don’t like spending two thousand dollars to teach myself. I could do that for free. It’s hard to not worry about your grade when you know that if you do not pass you get to spend another two thousand to try again. Sounds so comforting…I know. I think that is based on someone’s background experience. I grew middle class. I paid for everything…my first car, my clothes, my extra things (not mommy and daddy). We see young adults today that waste their time and efforts because they’ve been given NO responsibilities. It’s hard to break away from that reality (but it can be done and we will learn more).

    I see how important it is to motivate your students before learning. I think I watched the same video for gaming (Mark’s video). Very interesting and makes total sense. We must reach our kids at any cost. In our day (:-)) the teacher would use textbooks and an overhead projector (BIG DEAL). Not real motivating to say the least. Now we have so much more to use in the classroom to capture their attention. Regardless of the method, it’s important to know that you have motivated your students. What other reason would we have to teach if our kids were not motivated to learn? It would be a very boring atmosphere.

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