Sep 01

Drive with Headlights on

Transformative Assessment in higher education can be compared to hands-on active learning in lower grades. To evaluate higher education programs, schools and faculty were using student surveys to determine program effectiveness. However, these tools often failed to measure student learning and gave poor understandings of program effectiveness and faculty success. Those current assessment tools failed to tell the whole story (Lorenzetti, 2004, 3). Therefore, the Transformative Assessment Project (TAP) was developed and created an active learning tool for students and assessment methods for schools and faculty to more accurately determine student progress and learning.

For baseball players to learn to hit a ball, they must practice swinging the bat and perform active participation in batting practice and in games. Student learning abilities must be exercised in similar methods by allowing students to active participate in hands-on activities as well. When drivers operate a vehicle at night, they need headlights to see. Students need tools with which to work and successfully manage hands-on learning activities. These hands-on activities create assessment tools for teachers to evaluate active learning methods of students in the moment, not after they have learned the material from a book.

To start a TAP, teachers create a rubric that outlines areas of emphasis for students and what they should master in the plan. Teachers keep track of student learning and progress throughout the program and evaluate progress. The transformative plan will focus on different aspects of student progress and allow teachers to manage teaching techniques to meet student needs. This learning style is based on learning processes, not evaluating learning outcomes from only one teaching method.

References

Lorenzetti, J. (2004). Transformative Assessment in Higher Education. Distance Education Report, 8(6), 3-7.

Aug 30

Learning through Play

learnplay

The learning environment includes many elements of schools and classrooms, including facilities, room arrangement, students, resources, climate, and support (Wilmore, 2014, 607). Each of these elements plays critical roles in the learning environment and creating positive learning experiences for all learners. Students must feel ownership and comfort in their classroom environment. They must experience a safe relationship with their teachers and leaders. When students have a partnership in their learning curriculum, they will have a positive attitude and accomplishment in their learning careers. Through appropriate and positive relationships, students and teachers become co-learners together in the classroom as they experience and explore the learning environment (Goh, 2002). By learning with their students, teachers become familiar with student needs and abilities and can better plan and prepare appropriate learning material.

An appropriate learning environment must include elements of simulation, stimulation, and interests for all learners. An atmosphere of simulation creates a safe and controlled environment in which skills are developed (Mifsud, 2012, 25). A simulated environment for all learners creates an environment of play and discovery or exploration. In the pre-kindergarten environment, teachers create active learning centers with which students interact and explore on their own learning styles. Students learn through play; therefore, they experience active learning participation in the classroom. This active exploration element of the environment creates positive experiences with which students can develop all areas of growth and become fully developed individuals.

References

Goh, S. C., & Khine, M. S. (Eds.). (2002). Studies in Educational Learning Environments: An International Perspective. River Edge, NJ, USA: World Scientific. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Mifsud, L. (2012). Creating a learning environment. Synergy: Imaging & Therapy Practice, 25-29.

Wilmore, E. L. (2006). Learning Environments. In F. W. English (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Leadership and Administration (Vol. 2, pp. 607-608). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Reference. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3469600355&v=2.1&u=minn04804&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w&asid=313af9fff1c8bd280a672232a3a32720

Aug 24

Planning Activities with Student Interests

handson   Of the four futuring methods highlighted in this section, educators can combine two of them to work together for learners in classrooms. Polling and visioning have similar uses to be combined, and modeling and gaming have similarities to combine as well. Polling is used to collect data from others through interviews, questionnaires, and conversations to determine needs and interests. By polling individuals, educators can be aware of directions in which to follow for appropriate learning material and curriculum. Visioning is completed when educators review past events and experiences and evaluate effectiveness of programs and studies. To conduct visioning strategies, educators can use polling techniques of interviews and conversations to assist in decision-making choices. If programs are found to be ineffective or uninteresting to student groups, educators can redesign study programs. Modeling uses things to teach concepts. Educators can use real-world models to represent complex systems (Cornish, 2004, 79). Through the use of hands-on manipulatives, students can experience complex learning material and experience visual representation of curriculum included in textbooks. Gaming is associated with modeling as students use real-world situations by playing different roles. Similar to student use of hands-on manipulatives in modeling, students can use gaming techniques for hands-on experiences as well. By interacting with real-world experiences, students gain visual knowledge as well as book knowledge.

References

Cornish, E. (2004). Futuring: The Exploration of the Future. Bethesda, MD: World Future Society.

Aug 23

How are decisions made?

brainstorming

 

One of the methods schools must embrace to grow their programs and provide the best atmosphere for students is brainstorming. Members of the teams must consult and collaborate with one another to plan and develop programs to meet student needs and community needs for student employment goals. Each team member must include his ideas and feel comfortable and confident on the team to share and add valid input. Brainstorming is useful to identify possibilities and opportunities for any task, project, and program (Cornish, 2004, 79). Team members must collaborate to discuss ideas and risks and decide on problem-solving methods for adapting or restructuring programs.

Brainstorming is similar to visioning as well. Team members collaborate with one another to review past events, decide current situations, and plan possible changes or revisions. By brainstorming or creating idea maps to discuss program directions, team members can see priorities and know how to determine the route of program futures (Cornish, 2004, 131). During planning sessions, teams must collaborate and share with one another their vision for program future and successes. Through this collaboration, brainstorming, and visioning, teams are able to see and hear ideas from one another that individuals may not recognize on their own. The teamwork approach creates more ideas and can be vocalized through brainstorming and visioning sessions.

References

Cornish, E. (2004). Futuring: The Exploration of the Future. Bethesda, MD: World Future Society.

Aug 16

Computers as an Education Guide from Past to Present

The Cybernetic Revolution

Computers have caused a tremendous amount of growth in schools and businesses throughout the years. Computers have evolved into systems from the first computer that filled an entire room to small handheld devices that are easily transported with daily use. Companies have seen big improvements with computers as a benefit to production and efficiency of work and time. The U.S. government supported the use of computers to remain current and ahead of other countries (Cornish, 2004, 17). With government support and push for computer growth and expansion, schools have been forced to increase computer knowledge as well. Much of the early computer knowledge was gained through self-taught professionals and grew into schools investing in computer departments to pass on that knowledge and learning expertise. Colleges developed computer science departments and curricula to teach and train professionals in the field. However, much of the computer knowledge was acquired through hands-on learning experiences on the field and in businesses.

Through knowledge of computer courses in colleges and technical schools, students have developed teaching techniques to benefit younger students in classes as well. Computer professionals have worked to develop methods for young school students to learn with computer programs and educational learning apps on tablets and phones. Students no longer destined to learning from textbooks or paper materials. They have computer programs and apps to supplement curricula. Because students learn in many ways and with different learning styles, computers have opened up many opportunities to present lessons and activities to meet different learning styles and needs. Computers make it possible to think about learning in a new way (Shaffer, Gee, 2006, 4). Because of the advancement of computers and computer-aided instruction, teachers have the capability to meet many student learning needs and structure lesson plans and activities of multiple interests.

References

Cornish, E. (2004). Futuring: The Exploration of the Future. Bethesda, MD: World Future Society.

Shaffer, D. & Gee, J. (2006). How Computer Games Help Children Learn. Hampshire, England: Palgrave MacMillan.

Jul 29

Confusing Technology and Education

techedTechnology plays an important role in education; however, it is not to be confused with education itself. Modern education practices receive benefits from technology as many learners respond to education through methods of technology. As educators think about the future of education, they must strengthen the definition and purpose of education. Education is often compared to two other industries: journalism and publishing (Hieronymi, 2012). That comparison is incorrect on many levels. Education is the training needed to make use of information and ideas while journalism and publishing transmits those ideas. Educators are coaches who provide individualized instruction to transmit information and ideas. Education information is transmitted through technology using computers and devices; however, these devices are methods for delivering information, not understanding it. Educators are charged with coaching students to think for themselves. The capacity of technology should be celebrated but not confused with the training required to gather information and ideas.

The question is presented regarding if technology will replace education or make education less expensive. While educators teach and provide college education, they do not provide complete college experiences. Colleges provide the campus experience, which is an education of a different sort (Hieronymi, 2012). Educators are in the business of training minds, and technology is an element of information transmission.

References

Hieronymi, P. (2012). The Chronicle of Higher Education. Don’t Confuse Technology with College Teaching.

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