This year’s PETE & C was very rejuvenating and a great learning experience. I picked up a solid mix of new tools and new pedagogy. Many of the tools I was exposed to I have heard of or seen before, but I picked up new ideas on their usefulness. This is always enlightening, it also precludes the need to learn and/or pay for new tools and apps. I believe these experiences out and about, immersed in these conferences improves my overall concept of education.
My previous thoughts on some “Old School” practices, such as handwriting, which I am biased against due to my messy handwriting, and a few other ideas were challenged. I was forced to look at those notions and adjust accordingly. I see where some concepts, such as reading cursive is necessary for looking over primary documents and still a basic skill set that is necessary, albeit not often used.
I continue to push for student creation of content and challenge the students to think outside of the box, but I need to break projects and lessons down into smaller, more manageable or basic parts. This allows for students who may not be comfortable with these concepts to hopefully have a higher rate of success. (Author’s Note: since returning from the conference, I have experienced my theory in a real world learning situation. That will be a separate blog post.)
I am very interested in Mindfulness and creating a more effective learning environment in my traditional classroom and online class setting. The changes have been instituted on my part immediately, although in small pieces. I find that my students adapt better to incremental changes rather than one major paradigm shift. This is especially true with my Honors US II class.
As stated earlier, I am working incorporating these strategies and tools into my classes by modelling tasks repeatedly, and creating more and more video tutorials. My students have also stepped up and have been mentoring each other more, especially on the current project utilizing my class Padcaster.
As more specific ideas and tools are rolled out, I will add to the story at MrSal.edublogs org.
I am also breaking assignments into smaller assignments to try and monitor and reward students more often. I will follow up on the results via my blog.