Sunday, October 9, 2016

10/9/16, Sunday: Joys of a Three Day Weekend!

Magaña, S.& Marzano, R. (2014). Enhancing the art & science of teaching with technology. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research Laboratory.

Prensky, M. (2010). Teaching digital natives: Partnering for real learning. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2014).
Web 2.0 how-to for educators. Eugene, Or.: International Society for Technology in Education.

Well, entry #1 for my UMFEDU568 class, Communication Tools to Enhance Teaching and Learning in Proficiency-Based Education! The armload of books above have given me good food for thought (and my lucky husband much food for listening). Teaching Digital Natives gave me a kick in the pants, er. . .planning book, as it reminded me of a lot of work I'd tried and done earlier, before we got inundated by the challenges of changing to a PBE system. I did a whole flipped classroom initiative and had a class full of bloggers as well, and, in many ways, those risks were successful and a lot of fun. However, my colleagues and I have a joke about digital natives when that phrase is used to imply that students will be proficient at producing a professional product on line, or even be proficient at following directions. I was delighted to find that Prensky's points were about students' view of learning and information; he doesn't assume that students will automatically be able to follow instructions to post assignments with ease (or even find our google classroom page after six weeks, maybe?). 

I am less enamored of the Marzano book, Enhancing the Art & Science of Teaching with Technology. While Marzano's 41 classroom strategies provide a useful and extremely thorough framework, I've already found a few that don't seem particularly well-suited to technological enhancement, and I'd find the book much more useful if the authors simply admitted that fact right from the get-go.  Here's an excerpt: "Finally, ask students to share their learning goals with the class. Technology tools can be used to encourage every student to participate. Assign each student a number in your gradebook, and use a random number generator online or in your IWB [interactive white board] software to randomly select students to explain the learning goal. This tool allows you to select a range of numbers to match the number of students in your class (such as 1-30, if you  have thirty students) and push a button or spin a dial to randomly choose a student to restate the learning goals. Alternately, select students by name using a random name generator." (Marzano, 28).  I know this is a technology book, but that example screams to be prefaced with "While the old labeled-popsicle-stick technique still works well, it's possible to have some fun with technology and use random number generators. . . . ". The tech cart gets in a bit before the horse on a few occasions here. 

Last but not least, Web 2.0 How-to For Educators is clear, simple, and informative--not much philosophy yet.

So in a few moments I'll tweet this blog address and go live! I have more to say, more to share. . . . In closing, I'll share a favorite poem about most Sunday nights in a teacher's life to celebrate the fact that this is not a normal Sunday. Then I'll go read my current book (Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel, by CW Gortner)!

Homework--by Russell Hoban

Homework sits on top of Sunday, squashing Sunday flat.
Homework has the smell of Monday, homework's very fat.
Heavy books and piles of paper, answers I don't know.
Sunday evening's almost finished, now I'm going to go
Do my homework in the kitchen. Maybe just a snack,
Then I'll sit right down and start as soon as I run back
For some chocolate sandwich cookies. Then I'll really do
All that homework in a minute. First I'll see what new
Show they've got on television in the living room.
Everybody's laughing there, but misery and gloom
And a full refrigerator is where I am at.
I'll just have to have another sandwich. Homework's very fat.

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