Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Using Project Based Learning

The Middle JAAR has been brewing up another wonderful idea and applying our wonderful ideas to PBL. Project Based Learning  is a student-centered pedagogy in which students learn about a subject in the context of complex and realistic problems. The goals of PBL are to help the students develop effective problem solving skills, self learning, collaboration skills and intrinsic motivation. For collaboration skills students work in groups. Working in groups students can identify roles and assess what they already know, what they need to know, and how and where to access new information that may lead to a solution to the assigned problem. As the teacher we merely come up with the question and our students will develop the answer.As teachers we merely encourage their creativity and stretch their understanding.
 We asked our students these
Essential Questions: Our community playgrounds need to be remodeled, if you were to select one from the community, which one would it be and what would you do to accomplish the remodeling? 

Our Project Based Learning Assignment is laid out here 
Breaking Ground for a Play Ground 

After completing this PBL assignment, I can see how interesting PBL can be within the classroom. However it is a lot of work that goes into planning and assessing the project for the students. However I think the experience is worth it to the students.   

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Price Labs School Observations

Last semester I learned about 1-1 school districts that has a computer for every student in a classroom. I always wondered how that would actually work out, I mean I have learned how it effects learning for the students and how it also effects the teaching strategies of the teachers. Global Learning and Global Communication would be intertwined certainly within the classroom. The way the student can search and discover information quicker and more efficiently not to mention communication with other students in the United States or within the World. However, monitoring could always be rather hard. Sometimes I feel even throughout college Students are not able to freely bring laptops to class. However, this could not be further from the truth. In fact this class I am in now encourages me to search the web for answers CCA is awesome! Anyway I was able to see for the first time on Tuesday an actual 1-1 physic's classroom at Price Labs School.
This was pretty cool to observe, I was able to see how the actual process is used and applied within this classroom of seniors. They were all on their own laptops and linked to the same computer program where each student seemed to have their own specific task. One student had all the hypothesis's on estimation for the ramp. While another student would create a graph compiled by all the data collected and read off by another student. I think being able to see this type of atmosphere first hand was beneficial to me so I can see it up close. The students showed us their presentations they created for solar powered cars and how they used their computers to record and present their projects. These students also showed us a quick look into Project Based Learning, which is where Teachers present a broad question and their students will answer and create their answer in a public manner. The students of Price Labs created solar powered engines as their answer to their question.     

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Global Learning on Education

Global Learning goes hand in hand with Global Communication. Technology has made communication from what it was less than 50 years ago. Technology has not just improved our communication but our education as well. How we choose to to teach has changed as well and one new method of teaching is called Global Learning. Global Learning is basically using all the new technologies possible within the classroom. I think the simplest explanation can be identified from the title, Global means world-wide, Learning which means an act or experience where one gains knowledge. So using this method of teaching can increase understanding of a variety of different cultures and people. When I was in elementary school, we had pen pals and that was a way my teacher introduced us to the world. By writing letters my class was meeting new people, improving our writing skills and we were learning about life in different countries. Back then it was simple to send paper mail across the world, but Now it is even easier. With the new technologies available like e-mail, global chat rooms, cell phones and Skype.