Archive for October, 2013

Online Discussions

I have not had the pleasure of getting to use online discussions in any of my classes yet, but I do believe that I would have benefited from online discussions in most of my classes. In some of my classes, there is the problem of having so many people in the class that not everyone gets to voice their opinion, and I believe that everyone has the right to be heard in class no matter how often or uncommon they speak in class. The students who do not talk frequently in class are the ones who would benefit from online discussions a great deal. With online discussions, these students would be able to voice their opinions whenever they feel like it, and their opinions would be heard instead of left silent in the class. I believe classes like English and Religion would benefit the most from online discussions. With discussions in these classes, the students could talk about different books more in depth and further their knowledge on each subject. The only non-academic discussion forum that I use on a regular basis would be twitter, and with some of the people I follow, it keeps me up to date on issues such as school functions, old classmates, and upcoming events that I need to attend. 


Power Search

The ability to go online, search multiple websites in seconds, and not have to leave the comfort of your living room has made it easier for students to find what they need for classes they are taking. With so much information available at our fingertips today, students are not forced to actually acquire the knowledge they need to learn. In the past, students would have to go to the library and research topics, and as they read about the subject in books, they would actually retain some of the material and be able to use it in the future. The students in today’s society have it easy compared to what it used to be, and with Google ever expanding, student projects are becoming easier and easier. All it takes is a second, and you can find whatever you want in minutes. Students just regurgitate the information they find online and put it into whatever they are doing. In everyday life, technology we have today has changed the way we all live today. The biggest issue that is making this change in society is social media. Social media has made people today more antisocial and allows people to see what is happening on a global scale at their fingertips. Another way that society has changed is video games. Instead of being physically active, people would rather sit inside and play games all day. These are just a few ways that technology and power search has changed academics and society as a whole.

Gaming for Life Skills

In this video, a group of people used a video game to help students learn how to become more social. The video game is set on an alien planet, and the students have to navigate the planet trying to find the broken parts of their ship to get off of the planet. To find the pieces of their ship, the students have to interact with aliens and decide what the aliens are trying to tell them by using only facial expressions given to them. The students must choose actions that will resolve an issue if the alien is upset or angry, and if they choose the wrong response, the aliens frustration will increase instead of go away. This actually helps students know what to do or say in real life situations, and with their experience from the game, they will be able to help a friend who is frustrated by recalling the answers they used in the game to make the situation go away. Over all, the students who play the game are learning to interact with other people in the real world in a more efficient way. If students were taught how to do this at an early age, it would set them up for success in the future, and they would be able to better handle face to face interactions with other people.

I believe that Project Based Learning is a better way to teach in the classroom, and I wish I would have been exposed to it more often in high school. With project based learning, students are not just sitting in a classroom looking at a board with writing on it. Students are forced to dig deeper into the material that they are learning, and at the end of lessons, the students understand the subject of the lesson more in depth. This can do nothing but benefit them in the end. An example of project based learning in the math classroom is students are asked to go out in the world and find different geometric shapes in nature and make a power point of what they have found. In traditional learning, students would just have different shapes drawn on a board in front of them, and they would copy what they see and not get to find out on their own where the shape exists around them in everyday objects. I did not have the pleasure of learning through project based learning in all my classes in high school, but I did get to see a glimpse of it in my physics class. When we got to the subject of velocity, acceleration, and trajectory, we built and shot rockets on the football field, and after we shot them, we used the time it took the rocket to get to the top of its curve and the angle from the ground to the top of the curve to determine the velocity and altitude of the flight. The time it took to build and shoot the rockets in class was one of the most enjoyable experiences I had in High school, and I can honestly say that I looked forward to going to school on the days we were working with rockets.