Homeschool (Pros and Cons)

March 28, 2009 at 1:18 pm (Uncategorized)

 

Pros- Avoids negative influences on behavior, more one to one interaction among educator and student, and familiar learning environment.

Cons- Lack of social interaction with peers, lack of access to interactive materials (SmartBoard, Airliner, etc), and lack of professional development.

Is homeschool the right choice for some students?  I think the answer must be made based on the individuals circumstances.  Socially, one needs that interaction with peers in able to interact appropriate when circumstances arise.  However, from the learning standpoint, homeschool is at times the best choice for students that cannot function in a normal school environment.  There should be guidelines for homeschool.  Parents (or teacher) should be well educated and equipped with the professional development needed to get the job done.  I see many students come into my classroom that have been homeschooled that are not on the academic level of their peers due to lack of education of the educator (which should be a criteria for homeschool). 

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Education and the Preserving of Culture

March 28, 2009 at 1:10 pm (Uncategorized)

Education plays a huge role in the preservation of culture.  When people are educated on the cultures and beliefs of others it enables us to keep those traditions alive.  However, one must be careful to preserve culture and not underestimate the abilities of students from different cultures.  Education is the foundation for upholding cultures.   Educators should be sensitive to those differences and approach with care and caution.  Education is based on the cultures of others.  We learn (and become educated) based on what we’ve learned from others.  In order to preserve culture, it must begin through education.  We should make sure to educate based on the many cultures of our world and handle with care in the educational setting.  Teaching and learning should be based on multiple views and enter the classroom open- minded.  

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SNS- Facebook

March 28, 2009 at 12:58 pm (Facebook- SNS)

I chose Facebook as my social network.  I like the way you can find more people in your community without needing their username.  I also like the way it is connected to your email so you can tell when someone has made a comment.  I’m still learning more about the network; however, at this time I think it serves as a very useful tool.  I plan to communicate with other teachers that I’ve worked with in the past and stay connected with friends and family via internet.

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Technology and Learning

March 27, 2009 at 8:16 pm (Uncategorized)

Technology helps us to learn in multiple ways.  The forms of technology we use allow us to have hands on manipulatives in order to grasp knowledge in different ways.  Games and interactive sites allow drill and practice in order to gain skills.  Educating with technology allows one to create a more engaging experience (environment) for students. 

Technology relates to learning in many different ways.  As mentioned in The Children’s Machine, technology creates an atmosphere for learning.  Not that it is always the best choice; however, when given the opportunity, students can learn a lot from technology.  When I think of technology and learning, I’m trying to think of the vast term and how they work together.  Many of my students, including myself, learn easier using technology.    Technology can be blogs (used among students and teachers), websites for research, and communication among others (from different cultures).  In my opinion, learning can and will in most cases occur through the use of technology.  The forms of technology continue to improve and change; therefore, creating more opportunity for change learning.  Making meaningful opportunities for learning that can connect to numerous ideas (such as technology) creates an atmosphere for more learning to occur (and more concrete practice of skills).

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Papert’s View of the World/ Any Changes?

March 14, 2009 at 7:15 pm (Uncategorized)

I would consider Papert’s view a dream for all.  If his effort for educational reform were to put in action we would most definitely see positive changes.  More involvement from all could only mean more educational value.  In order for us to move into “the age of learning,” one must be ready for the change ahead.  Schools today are not ready for this change; yet, they still embark on unnecessary adventures.  I must agree totally with Papert’s view of schools (having a one way to know and learn).  They do not promote healthy change as they are more focused on testing and reading as the key to knowledge.  We feed children with words and algorithms and expect them to remember for life.  We don’t allow them to explore and own their learning. 

Papert’s view on using explorations to help children learn is a wonderful idea.  The children’s machine (knowledge machine) can help many gain knowledge.  It is full of ideas and explorations that can lead to knowledge (beyond tests and books).    Mega change MUST occur before we can truly bridge the gaps.  As Papert mentioned, it will take the efforts of many to make this mega change and schools are not ready for this change (until they put aside testing and accountability).  We do need more involvement from the community, educators, parents, and students.  We need the access to such knowledge machines to allow for exploration.  Yes, the mega change must occur within us before it will change for our children. 

This book has helped me to review my own philosophy in my classroom.  I must say that many changes have evolved since the book was written; however, we’re by no means near the age of learning.  As an educator, I want my students to learn as much as possible, but to really make that difference will require effort on more than just (the teacher) me.  I think we’re closer than before due to the manipulatives and resources we have available.  As a child, I can remember having few/ limited resources in my classroom.  We learned solely using textbooks and chalkboards.  Today we have much more such as computers, SmartBoards, Airliners, software, interactive books, etc.  The knowledge machine has made a huge difference in our modern world; however, we’re still lacking the involvement of many. 

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