Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin has many interesting and realistic ideas on her view of autism. One thing that I found especially interesting was when she talks about how many of the geniuses that created things would be considered to have autism. Compared to back then people do not look at a person with disabilities the same as they do now, today most people would never think that a person with disabilities would be able to invent things that will change our future.

One of the most intriguing parts of her speech is when she talks about the human mind and how we all think differently. We often do not compare our thoughts or imagine how other people think, but she makes it clear many people think in many different ways. People with disabilities may have a different way of thinking but it does not mean their thinking isn’t critical and that they just have a way of portraying it that is not the same as their peers. Temple seems like she is saying that many people are only one type of thinker and while this is usually true I don’t think that a person is only one type every time. Some people may think visually while other think in a variety of ways.

The idea of having mentors and everyone’s voice and needs being attended to is very important. As a teacher I want every student I come in contact with to feel they are using their minds to the maximum potential. They will be able to be heard in the classroom and my classroom will allow for them to share their opinions because I want to incorporate the idea of Universal Design of Learning. Student’s will be able to display their thoughts in many different ways in the classroom. 

Learning Environment

The video I made portrays my day to day interactions with my learning environment. Learning comes in many different way for people and students have the ability to study wherever and however they want. I have the social aspect of learning where students are meeting with friends at Starbucks while still catching up, then to the library where students are a lot more focused. Each student has an environment that suits their learning needs and abilities best and this video shows the variety of places and ways students do just that. Another clip shows an entire classroom working  together while listening to a teacher which is often a typical classroom setting for most of us. This shows the contrary of sitting in a lecture hall with hundreds of students who do not get the same interaction with their learning. Overall we can see it is clear learning does not always happen while in the classroom.

Building Your Personal Learning Network

In this video ideas are discussed about how teachers are never given the opportunity to receive feedback and that most of us will only get one word deciding whether we are satisfactory or not. It is interesting to think the people that are educating the youth are not learning how to make their teachings any better to be able to make children learn more. It is amazing to me that there are no systems to help the teachers improve when there are 11 other countries that have a system like this in progress.

I think that there falls to much emphasis on the kids in schools in today’s society that it makes it difficult for teachers to improve. A majority of the time a child is doing poorly the education system in the United States is the first one to point a finger at the student and as “what could you have done differently?” In the video he gives examples of other countries that make teachers sit in other teachers’ classrooms and go to weekly meetings to talk about methods and strategies. This could be why foreign countries have some of the smartest students it all goes back to the origin of how they were taught.

This idea of video taping a classroom seems to be a very effective way for teachers to reflect on the things they are doing and also to be able to see the classrooms response. Another thing that would be beneficial is sharing tapes with other teachers in the district in order to see how other schools teach and learn and they could also give back constructive criticism to help their fellow teachers.

http://www.crlt.umich.edu/tstrategies/guidelines

This website is from a Michigan school that talks about how teachers may be assessed throughout their position. The website seems to talk about a lot of things teachers can do negatively to affect the classroom but it does not focus much on the positive things that could help a classroom. There is no talk about the teacher evaluation with peers until much later on the page and does not focus on self improvement enough

After going through this website and watching the talk by Bill Gates it has come to my attention that in a society like ours we are going to have to take improvement of teaching into our own hands. Teachers must be willing to take the initiative to improve themselves and their fellow teachers to help our students learn in the best way possible.

Technology In the Classrooms

As our generation is growing we also know the world of technology is growing with us. We have gone through the advancements of books, to desktop computers, to laptops and online books. A majority of these changes have occurred in the classroom for many of us because that is often what we use technology for-our work.Other advancements include the social media aspect and the ability to do things online instead of in person such as banking, bills, and interviews or applications. Watching the growth over the years it is inevitable to know that it is going to continue to change and grow. A large amount of skills kids learn at school is able to be used in the real world. As a student at a large University I have learned a vast amount of things such as One Note, WordPress, Photoshop, Moodle and many more websites that I have learned here and used in another setting as well. Many people who are also currently students realize the difficulties they have when trying to explain technology to their parents because they were never taught and tried learning in a setting that they will not use it often. With this knowledge it makes it easy to realize how important learning at a younger age is.

When thinking about allowing the teacher to have the discretion to choose whether we use these advancements or not is a sensitive subject for many teachers and students. While we do not want kids taking the easy way out or being able to look all the answers up, denying them technology that they will eventually use is not fair either. These things are made for a reason and are accessible so students are able to do homework and assignments the easiest way possible.

Although these advancements are generally positive it is also losing a sense of communication around the world. Kids can now have the option to no longer do in person assignments or can show a project through a Smart Board instead of reading to the class and can send their teachers emails instead of asking them questions in person,which later can hinder their ability in a job interview. I believe teachers should be updated on the new technology even if this means taking a course or two a semester so they know what is out that could help their students. While using all this, I also believe it is important they do not solely rely on technology to teach their classrooms. Teacher student interaction is key for a successful classroom and if there is not a teacher to help students gain understanding it can make it extremely difficult.

The video exemplifies the idea of empowerment and the success and capabilities the internet and technology have created for everyone around the world. It also claims as a country we are becoming more intelligent with these things. It gives Skype and Facebook as an example since students can use these things to connect with teachers. One class my teacher has to travel a few times and instead of having class we will be meeting online to have our discussion, things like Skype allow this to happen and breed an environment for learning when you are not even in the classroom. Many of the time it will be easier for the teacher because many things submitted online can be checked also for plagiarism, grammatical errors and graded much quicker than if it is done on paper.

Overall I do not think teachers should be given the choice to use technology in the classroom because they could be depriving students of things that can help their education. If a teacher is older he or she may not want to use it because they themselves are not up to date on the things that are available to them. This is not the students fault and they should not be punished for the teachers lack of knowledge in this area. With that being said the teacher should be able to decide to what extent the technology is used in their classroom because they may have a certain way of teaching compared to another teacher.