Sunday, June 15, 2014

Blog Post #6

Conversations with Anthony Capps

I heard many examples of how technology has become an integral component of learning throughout the conversations of Dr. Strange with Anthony Capps. These discussions give us a first-hand account of an educator in the field teaching his students through many of the methods we are learning in EDM310. These videos allow current EDM310 students to see the value of learning to incorporate technology into their teaching methods in order to be successful in their teaching careers.

Students with MacBooks

Mr. Capps discusses a program, iCurio, which I was not familiar with. His description of the site show just how valuable of a resource it can be. The first way in which it is helpful is by serving as an online search engine. This search engine differs from those we are accustomed to because of its search restrictions. In order to protect the students from the inappropriate material on the internet, iCurio has been filtered to only show educationally relevant materials that have been approved. It also provides a personal storage space for each student. By giving each student a space to save their work, they can have their work available to them at any time. iCurio also serves as a virtual organization tool. Instead of having files placed in the wrong places, the students know exactly where to find them. The historical figures directory also sounded like an excellent tool for student projects. By inputting a standard set of search criteria, the students have access to academic sources that help them find the people they are trying to study. Overall, iCurio sounds like an excellent resource that provides the students with a safe and organized tool that allows them to expand their learning abilities.

Discovery Education is another tool Mr. Capps highly recommends in the video. He discusses the importance of visual learning for the students. He describes the site as, "images and videos created by experts to allow students to research about many topics." Teachers can also use it as a resource to gather more information about their lessons.

In the video, Don't Teach Tech - Use It, a very important ideal is brought up regarding how the students are introduced to using the different computer programs. Mr. Capps argues that a "scaffold" approach should be instituted. You cannot just give the students a project that needs the use of multiple programs to complete. Instead, you must first assign smaller items that allow them to get accustomed to each piece of technology one at a time. As they use these programs they began to master their uses. By allowing them to "build" upon the earlier foundations set through earlier assignments, the students are able to show their mastery in the larger projects later on.

The final video, Additional Thoughts About Lessons, gives future educators a good tip about lesson planning for the school year. Mr. Capps uses a Russian doll analogy to give a visual of the process. To be successful as a teacher, you must break down your material into units so that the material is not overwhelming. This way the material is efficiently spread out in order to maximize student learning and retention as well as covering the required materials.
Matryoshka Dolls

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