CBC’s The National talks with Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy and various educators from California and Ontario on engaging students by using new teaching strategies through the use of YouTube videos. Khan Academy is a non-profit organization whose goal is to create easy to understand educational videos for anyone to use for free so they can learn and understand the topic at hand at their own pace.
We need to look at learning as the product of educational self-organization. If you allow the educational process to self-organize, then learning emerges. It’s not about making learning happen. It’s about letting it happen. The teacher sets the process in motion and then she stands back in awe and watches as learning happens.I think that’s what all this is pointing at.
Sugata Mitra talks about his experiment called “Hole in the Wall” where he deployed a computer near a slum in India and was amazed at how the children were able to teach themselves biotechnology without prior knowledge of English or biotechnology at all. He asks that we may need to rethink the way that we approach education.
A talk given by Ken Robinson with the need to change education paradigms. The traditional concept of schooling has become antiquated and we need to start thinking of new ways teach kids in our schools.
A short film I found very interesting, this video talks about the importance of technology education and the importance of learning how to program as computers have become entrenched in our lives. It’s a highly empowering video that encourages kids to learn how to program. Ever since I’ve introduced the video to my mentor teacher, many technology teachers in the York Region District School Board have become excited over this video and have shown it to their classes. This video is intended for all ages but have the greatest impact for those in grade 9 and 10 as it helps show them the possibility of going into the computer science/technology field when they choose their courses for grade 11 and 12.
Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions out there, many teachers know that to be true. Not only do we get to help kids grow and learn about the wonders of the world, we get to also help change the world, one kid at a time. There is a lot of learning to be done in and outside the classroom. However, I believe that in order to keep kids engaged, we need to change the idea that teachers are being viewed as a “fountain of information” to teachers being viewed as “learning facilitators”.
A lot of students often become disengaged in their learning because traditional teaching have become very boring and very stressful for students as kids are expected to sit in classes for 75 minutes per period in a classroom listening to a teacher lecturing them on topics as prescribed by the curriculum without any breaks in between for them to calm down to absorb more information. From my experience during my practicum block, I’ve observed students’ interactions with their teachers and found that having lectures longer than half an hour causes students to become completely disengaged from the lesson. However, if students are able to do their exercises and then have short lessons in between, their level of engagement rises because they are able to immediately practice what they have been taught to reinforce their learning.
One of the greatest things about technological education is that it’s a very hands on program which offers tech education teachers to custom tailor their courses so that they can experiment with different teaching styles which are not found in classes teaching traditional subjects such as math, English, history and etc. Teachers in technological education programs have been removed from the centre of learning to the side often guiding students to learn the materials presented by the teacher. Students also get the opportunity in learning how to teach new skills to themselves and most importantly able to solve problems by themselves or with peers. This is crucial in a students’ learning development as problem solving is a transferable asset that can be proven useful later in life. Thus, the material becomes centre stage to what students are learning in class and the teacher is there to merely facilitate the learning and answer any questions or concerns that the students may have or to clarify what they don’t understand. With this method, differentiated learning flourishes as students have both the choice of how they want to tackle the assignments and be able to work at their own pace.
Based on the observations I have made during my practicum block, by having teachers as facilitators, students have become a lot more engaged in their workload and teachers have been able to engage one-on-one with students that may be struggling with the work assigned to them. Without this method, students would be dragged along during the course and those who don’t understand would fall behind and become disengaged from the material completely and will likely fail out of class. Thus, being able to do this in a technological education course, it has been highly beneficial to both the teachers and the students.