Friday, October 26, 2012

Creating Learning Experiences without the Textbook Reflection

This type of learning seems like it would be a great addition to a professional development day. We just recently had one and although it was helpful, I feel as though I got ten times the amount of ideas from this ten minute video than I did in our three hour meeting. The videos seem to be very well done and packed full of helpful (and mostly free) resources as well as other ways to collaborate with other teachers in the same content area. I think a few of these videos would be a great addition to professional development.

 As far as the actualy content goes, I watched the presentation on "Creating Learning Experience Without the Textbook".  At first I was really confused by the video.  There was no introduction so even though I knew what the video was about I wasn't sure what exactly they were talking about.  Besides that I have no complaints.  The content and the amount of ideas and resources they packed into the ten minutes were unbelievable.  I love the idea of creating learning experiences without a textbook.  For one, students are bored with textbooks theses days.  With so much technology in their lives students view textbooks as archaic and aren't as motivated to do the work.  Also, if you're not teaching from the textbook it is a lot easier to create real world experiences and make it more relatable to students which are both important because it is important to have real world skills these days and it helps motivate students.

I liked the idea of teachers and parents using videos to teach content.  My boyfriends sister was just telling me about something like this at her school in RI.  She is a junior and said her math teacher uses iPads to teach (this does require buying or renting an iPAD).  The teacher assigns videos for the students to watch for homework.  Then the next day they come into class and do practice problems on the content from the previous night.  This way the teacher can spend all of his time assuring the students knowhow to solve the problem (the students won't be doing this alone at home).  She also said she likes this because she can do the lesson as fast/slow as she needs to and doesn't feel uncomfortable asking questions in class.

I also loved the idea of QR codes and interactive field trips.  I think that both of these get the students excited and really eager to learn.  The QR codes act as a scavenger hunt and can really add to the learning that can't be taught using only a book.  Instead, students can see a video of what something would look like or see a map (great for visual learners!)

Overall, I think the videos would be a great addition to professional development days.  I have been at Haverhill High for a little over two months and have never heard any teacher mention any of these activities/programs.  I think that hearing all of these great sites and resources would be helpful to many of the teachers.  As far as the video goes, I think the ideas mentioned to create learning experiences without using the textbook are great.  They help create motivation to learn, create real world experiences and help students develop skills for the real world.

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