Monday, March 19, 2012
The virtual modality is a reality. As with the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic modalities, learner participation and satisfaction is grounded in stimulation. As more and more online resources become available to both students and teachers, the selection and use of these resources to support a student-centered classroom as well as authentic assessment are paramount. The tool, whether crayon or computer, is but a vehicle to stimulate the learner to pursue knowledge and understanding. Its proper use, though, is the fuel which will actually ignite cognitive growth.
Posted by Alan K. Campbell at 10:59 PM
The opening of the movie has a group of British athletes on a training run along the coast. The theme song, written by Vangelis, draws from the runners the very emotion and passion of what lies ahead. The lives of Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams are highlighted in the movie as they journey to glory in the 1924 Olympics. It is their passion, though, for a complete life which makes this movie relevant. Listen if you dare to be inspired...Chariots of Fire.
What "music" or "stories" from your classroom will inspire learners to glory?
Posted by Alan K. Campbell at 9:38 PM
Assessment is important because the process of knowing allows one to become a better provider. As we learn what our students know and do not know, then we can better facilitate for them what they need. The learner becomes more interested because their needs are being met on a regular basis. The class dynamic improves because the group of learners become interested in participating in what happens next. Classroom activities should be designed to satisfy assessment for learning. These activities, both formative and summative, should not represent the end but the beginning of the next adventure.
Posted by Alan K. Campbell at 9:10 PM
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Teaching is decision-making. As teachers, we make daily decisions about course content and management with the purpose and intent to create memorable learning experiences for our students.
Take a moment to reflect on your classroom. Is there any event which negatively impacts student learning?
Take time to teach your students how you want the event to be managed and you will begin to "buy back" time.
Posted by Alan K. Campbell at 12:25 AM
Saturday, March 10, 2012
When the thought of inspiring our students is considered we often think about special events: guest speaker, special project, or field trip.
For a moment, let's play out the dynamics of a field trip.
The teacher selects a location of value to supplement the curricular program of study. Students seek permission from their parents to attend because they want to go. On the day of the trip, there is great excitement because students feel they are "getting out of school". Students often wear their coolest clothes, put their favorite snacks in their backpacks, and get on the bus smiling. They are genuinely excited.
What if we were able to duplicate that excitement, desire, and inspiration at our schools? How would education be different if each morning our students got off the bus with the feeling of arriving for a field trip...wearing their coolest clothes, having their favorite snacks, and smiling with genuine excitement. Students would be eager to start their day. Learning would be an adventure. And, yes, when their parents ask, "What did you learn in school today?" there would actually be an answer different from "Nothing!"
What will you do today to create such a classroom, such a school, and most importantly, such a child?
Posted by Alan K. Campbell at 11:50 AM
Monday, March 5, 2012
The virtual modality is just as much a reality as the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic modalities. Some of our students learn best in the virtual environment because they are more engaged there than anywhere else. The catch is the assumption that the virtual environment and its independence provides an easier path to knowledge. It does not. Online courses certainly have their place and make the world smaller. The net value of any online course, though, is whether or not the learner brings a new skill set to their face-to-face interaction with other humans. There needs to be a balance. Online courses are a tool just as a hands-on lab or a Socratic seminar. There is no easy path to knowledge. The work must be done and self-discipline must be present.
Posted by Alan K. Campbell at 12:00 PM