Jul 17

Technology alters future education trends

networking

With the technology interests of the younger generation, education is forced to keep up with the culture and develop courses and educational settings in regards to technology. Of the list of trends, there are two that are important to the future and direction of education: mobility and social networking. Students are no longer impressed and energized by flannel boards, chalkboards, and overhead projectors. Computers and hand-held electronic devices, especially devices that allow them to connect socially in the moment, drive them. Individuals no longer have to wait for the latest news reports to be published in newspapers or broadcast on television. Through the power of social media, the latest local news and worldly news is immediately available and received. With this kind of immediate technology advances, education is forced to relate similarly and appeal to student technology interests.

Education professionals must learn to provide computer-based course work and forums and even online advancements for students to connect in social collaboration. There is little need for students to attend class in a classroom with technology available to them to connect through online forums and course rooms. They can connect at home, work, or in coffee shops and socialize with others even when they are attending class. For the younger technology generation, life often revolves around community, thus it is important for education professionals to develop methods of social learning communities.

Not only are students interested in technology but many teachers are using computer-driven devices and resources as well. Through social media, teachers are networking with other professionals locally and across the globe to expand their curricula ideas and understand education issues. Many teachers post lessons and activities via online forums for students to receive and respond. They also network with education professionals to discuss classroom ideas and situations and collaborate best practices to share. The future of education depends on technology usage and advances to maintain student interest levels.

References

Wilen-Daugenti, T. & McKee, A. (2008). 21st Century Trends for Higher Education: Top Trends 2008-2009. San Jose, CA: Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG).

Jul 16

How Technology has affected the Learning Environment

sesame

Many educators experiment with different methods of educating and teaching preschool students. They try multiple methods from hands-on activities to worksheets to video games and television. Young students learn in as many ways as there are learning methods and styles. In 1966, a group of friends discussed if television could be used to educate children (Goldstein, 2009). A few years later, after declaring television programs as a waste for young children, preschool educational programs were born. From these findings, scholars discovered and decided that television could be effective tools for preschool education.

Education developers introduced Sesame Street programming, yet had much work to do to determine the direct involvement of the script. Scholars felt the developers should revisit classrooms to determine student needs and interests. Developers had not thought about using television as children’s educational tools and were not sure how to mingle the two. After much study and collaboration with intellectuals and scientists, educators and developers determined that television was not the wasteland of culture it was once imagined to be.

There are multiple teaching techniques and methods to expose young students to learning concepts and developmental areas of learning standards. Educational television programs have been ways educators and media experts have collaborated to teach and meet student learning styles and needs. Televisions have made their way into many homes and living rooms throughout the years; therefore, it has been easy to develop preschool educational programming and be presented to many people at a time. Programs and commercials have opened up many ways to explore modern art, design, and media. Early television programming introduced later technology experiences through videos, computers, Internet, and new media educational sources. Because Sesame Street developers thought of ways to mingle television and education, the creativity of modern art and design has been presented and carried on for years.

References

Goldstein, E. (2009). How We Got to Sesame Street; Art on Screen. Chronicle of Higher Education, 55(19), B13.

Jul 12

The Future of Higher Education

edfuture

The trend of changing life cycles as the population ages must focus on whose responsibility it is to teach work and training ethics. Colleges teach education material to prepare students for each field; however, they lack in teaching them work skills. As colleges prepare individuals, preparation for work is divided between education and training (Yankelovish, 2005). The workplace has the task of professional training rather than college courses partnering with businesses to teach work skills.

Young adults are entering the workforce later in life than their parents because of their desire to experiment with career and family choices. As they enter the workforce, they are unaware of proper work ethics and skills to successfully play their roles in businesses. They are uniformed of proper resume writing techniques and, in addition, are unaware of proper interview procedures, if they are able to secure interviews from their resume presentations. If young adults are able to land jobs based on their interviews, they are uniformed on proper hiring and employment practices as well as proper procedures for resignations. Due to desires to move frequently among jobs and feeling that other jobs are better, young adults are inconsistent with job tenures. They often do not stick with a job long enough to build rapport or retirement; therefore, they lack the ability to obtain secure and stable futures.

Colleges must consider partnering with schools and workforces to train teachers on proper responsibilities to work skills and ethics. When college courses focus on the education of classroom material and schools focus on work skills necessary to carry out that education, new teachers will be prepared and understand how to search, secure, and maintain jobs with which they want to continue for many years.

Yankelovish, D. (2005). Ferment and Change: Higher Education in 2015. Chronicle Of Higher Education, 52(14), B6-B9.

Jun 12

Building Trust without the Mask

mask

“We wear the mask that grins and lies; it hides our cheeks and shades our eyes. It is time to take off the mask” (Bruner, 2008). There are many times and situations in which educators feel they cannot show their true selves or true personalities for fear of being vulnerable. When educators remove the masks and show they are real humans with feelings and common experiences, students can be open to removing their masks as well. However, educators must feel safe to remove the masks in schools. They must belong to support groups or build strong relationships with colleagues of whom they trust. They must have avenues with which they can share and vent in safe atmospheres with no fear of losing trust. The same is true for students. Teachers must build relationships with students to show they can be trusted and they are safe to share inner thoughts and feelings. Through trusting relationships, students and teachers learn to honor one another and comfort levels are established. When masks are removed, teachers educate the whole child far above academics alone.

References

Bruner, D. (2008). Aspiring and Practicing Leaders Addressing Issues of Diversity and Social Justice. Race, Ethnicity & Education, 11(4), 483–500.

May 28

Partnership and Collaboration

In my profession and position as Early Learning Administrator, I am charged with marketing the school and maintaining a constant flow of student enrollment. Each year we graduate a large group of students who promote to kindergarten; therefore, we must have a continuous stream of students moving up with each age and grade level. Our goal is to build the youngest classes of infants and toddlers and maintain quality early childhood education practices to retain students as they age to each class group. Because of the need to grow the school and add new enrollment, we must focus on marketing and selling our school among competitive area schools.

My colleague, the children’s minister at the church in which our school is affiliated, provides many children’s events and activities to grow the ministry and encourage young families to attend church services and classes. Because there are many churches in the area with similar programs and activities, she must market her programs and ministry areas to create exposure and interest. Through each of our events, we collaborate frequently to combine our activities and share volunteers and staff since the events reach to the same age group of children and similar clientele. Most recently, we have planned and organized summer and fall events are children prepare to finish school and start school again. My colleague’s event is focused on fun children’s events and my events are focused on gaining exposure to our school through fun events.

The original intent of our collaboration was to combine calendar dates, volunteers, and expenses of special event rentals. We collaborated to plan a summer camp carnival and a back to school carnival. My colleague’s intent was to provide fun events for her ministry children and families to celebrate the school year. My intent was to create times for the public to know our school exists to gain enrollment exposure for marketing purposes. We shared volunteer staff and only took one date on the church and school calendar. We shared expenses to rent carnival equipment to eliminate exhausting one budget over another.

Collaborating to share events allows us to share calendar dates and volunteer staffing and be budget conscious. My colleague benefitted a great deal by providing fun events for her ministry families to share and celebrate a day together. I benefitted by gaining new enrollment students for the school and by creating new exposure for future school news and programs. Collaboration in my profession can be enhanced and grown by establishing communication between collaborating professionals. Each person must be open and willing to be actively involved in the planning stages and fulfill her tasks of contributing to the event or activity. There are many roles to complete in collaborating and in the planning of events and activities. Each person has a role to play and is equally important in the process. Collaboration can be viewed as a journey with many elements and people involved.

Leonard Sweet (2008) explained eleven roles necessary to complete tasks and fulfill partnerships. People must find and develop relationships with at least eleven character types to complete tasks and manage the journey. Each one of those character traits fulfills an important role with which is necessary for any task. There is an editor, a true friend, an encourager, and even a butt-kicker to keep on track and moving in the right direction. Each one of those character traits is necessary in collaboration and completing the partnership journey. Professionals establish partners through work settings and relationships as well as through professional learning communities (PLC) through technology. Some of those eleven character partnerships may be found through online PLCs and valuable professionals in which to invest, share, and collaborate.

References

Sweet, L. (2008). 11 Indispensable Relationships You Can’t Be Without. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook.

May 25

A self-reflection assessment tool: What kind of Leader are you?

leader

Self-reflection is a great way to evaluate and assess work duties and communication skills. As a leader in early childhood education and one who recruits, hires, and supervises staff, I must be efficient in communication skills to set the tone and attitude of my staff. Employees take on the personality of the leader; therefore, I must maintain professional attitudes and characteristics to create a positive work environment. Effective communication is a key aspect for positive school experiences and work environments and plays a crucial role in employment candidates with whom I interview and observe. I often add a working interview component to the hiring process in which I ask interview candidates to volunteer an hour of their time in classrooms so I can observe work habits and compatibility. Working interviews allow me to observe where candidates will be the best fit, and interviews allow current staff to have input regarding candidates as well. This collaborative method of hiring staff creates a teamwork approach and gives current staff a sense of ownership and adds value to their positions.

I searched the Internet for leadership assessment tools on effective communication and found two resources: Leadership & Management Shop (2014) and Speak Strong, Inc. (2014). Both tools are effective self-assessment tools to evaluate leader communication and offer explanations and improvement suggestions.

When I answered the questions for the Leadership & Management Shop (2014), I scored a 79 on a scale of 100, which stated that I am a pretty good leader with scope for improvement. My score of 79 was at the top spectrum of the second bracket of scores. There were five categories of answers to choose from never to always; however, I usually eliminate the lowest and highest choices because there is a lack of perfection and there is some performance. Therefore, in reality, I scored myself from seldom to often.

When I answered the questions for the Speak Strong, Inc. (2014) assessment tool, I scored under the Harmonizer label. A Harmonizer is people-oriented with a relaxed pace. As a Harmonizer, I am social, friendly, and interested in relationships. This label fits well with my position as school administrator because of my responsibility to connect teachers to students to student families. A large portion of my position is public relations and maintaining positive school environments to build enrollment; therefore, I must build positive relationships with school families and my teaching staff so they build strong relationships as well.

With every task, leaders must reflect and evaluate themselves to maintain high standards and professionalism. Employees look to leaders as examples of work ethics and effective communication. Leaders must exhibit strong and positive communication skills and set examples with staff so those skills trickle down through the organization.

References

Kehoe, D. (2014). Leadership & Management Shop. Western Australia. Retrieved from http://www.dkmanagementtools.com/free-leadership-self-assessment-tool

Runion, M. (2014). Speak Strong, Inc. Cascade, CO. Retrieved from http://www.speakstrong.com/

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