Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blog Post 1

Krissy Venosdale and Sugata Mitra have great unconventional ideas about education. I loved the concepts presented in Krissy Venosdale's post If I Built A School. Her school is completely oriented around making kids enjoy learning. Letting students go explore different topics at their own pace and not teaching them to the tune of a state test is an incredible idea. Instead of forcing kids to sit still in a boring environment and learn something they have no interest in, put them in a place full of imagination and watch them learn because they love it. On the other hand you have educators like Sugata Mitra, who do not just have ideas, but have shown that anyone can succeed if they are determined. By giving Indian children computers with english text he is showing that anyone with the desire to learn can be successful. There are no barriers to learning. All that a student needs is positive reinforcement. One correlation that I liked between both Venosdale and Mitra was that both of their educating viewpoints involved not forcing the kids to learn, but letting them do it by themselves.

What do you want your students to know?

I want my students to know that not everyone is the same. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. There is no such thing as the ideal, prefect, cookie cutter person. I want them to know that being different and beating to the tune of their own drum is okay. I want them to be free to have their own style of creativity in my class.

What do you want your students to be able to do?

I want my students to do what interests them. I want them to be able to choose what they learn and guide themselves to learn as much as possible. I do not want to be the teacher that forces them to learn. I want them to love coming to school everyday because its not just learning, but a new adventure and experience.

What will be your primary way of teaching your students what you want them to know and to do?

I want my primary way of teaching to be a combination between the two methods of Venosdale and Mitra. I want to be able to give my students an incredible learning environment with every tool and resource readily available. I do not want to dictate what they do, but be there to help them solve problems and give them positive encouragement to keep learning. I know there will be lessons at the front of the class, just as there have always been, but I want them to be able to take that lesson and work at their own pace to reach their full potential. I believe in a lot of Sugata Mitra's findings in that if you let their curiosity inspire and drive them, their ability to learn is limitless.

What tools will you use in your classroom?

Along with the normal up to date technology, I want to have live animals apart of my classroom. Although I agree that technology is very important in our world today, I do not want my students loosing their connection to natural world around them. I want them to be able to go outside, see the animals, interact with them, and create not only a connection, but a deeper understanding. You may be able to read about animals and different topics on an Ipad, but until you work with something in real life with your hands it does not hold the same value.

students with animals

What role will students play in your classroom, i.e. how will they participate in the learning process?

In my classroom students will be the ones in control of their learning. They are naturally curious when it comes to new things. I want them to be able to find something that draws them in and explore it until they are satisfied with their learning.



  1. Maggie,

    Very great post and excellent answers to those probing questions about your future classroom ideology. I would love to have been in a classroom where the teacher had live animals for us to play with and learn about. I can remember this one time that I was allowed to bring my dog to class for show and tell and it was the most exciting thing I could remember doing (besides making my own butter in a baby food jar) in that class. So, I encourage you to take these ideas and allow them to grow and become real.

    A few suggestions for you post and future posts, you need to have the ALT and TITLE modifiers for any images you use in order to give at least passing credit to the owner of the image, or at least the place you found it since images on the Internet are very difficult to source. Here is a link to a document showing you how to do it. I also have a document on the EDM310 Facebook page that can show you as well. In addition to having those with each image, you should include links to the blogs, posts, or videos you are discussing in your blog posts. This is easily done with some simple HTML code in HTML mode of Blogger, however, if you just copy the URL of the page you are discussing, while you are writing your post, highlight the text you want to be the "link" and then click the Link button. A box will appear where you can paste the URL and once you've done that, voila! A link!

    If you have any questions about either of those things I just mentioned, please email me or come into the lab. It's much easier to explain in person.


  2. I love reading our assignment, completing my own, and then going back and reading others' posts. Although we have many of the same views and opinions on our teaching style, it never crossed my mind to incorporate animals in my classroom. But, that's what is so awesome about this open type of teaching. We can both allow our students to grow and learn in their own ways, enjoy themselves on the journey, and have the same positive outcome. We both want our students to be different, but want the same end results. Maybe one day you will actually get to bring this idea into a normal existence in your teaching career.

  3. Live animals! Interesting!

    See Bailey's comments.

  4. I enjoyed reading your post. The idea I like the best is live animals in the classroom. when I was in high school a few teachers had animals such as snakes and spiders. I remember learning about them, and even holding them. Getting to hold the snake is still one of my favorit parts of high school.