Krissy Venosdale is a gifted education teacher in the elementary and intermediate schools. She has a very colorful and inviting educational blog called Venspired. Mrs. Venosdale is very passionate about learning, and making everyone feel like they are apart of the experience. On Venspired Mrs. Venosdale provides teachers with resources, posters, and fun classroom ideas!
In Mrs. Venosdale's blog post If I Built A School she describes what her dream school would be if she were given the chance. Her dream school is filled with vibrant colors, a huge fish tank, and a comfy cafeteria. She would have laptops, iPads, cell phones, and more. Students and learning would be the focus, not tests and homework. She truly has an amazing imagination!
My dream school may not be as creative as Mrs. Venosdale, but I have a few ideas. First I would want the student's work to be the decorations through out the school. I want some framed on walls, some on bulletin boards, some hanging from the ceiling or where ever possible. I just feel that it is so important to show students that we appreciate their creativity and hard work. I do not want books. I would have an iPad for every student to use for books, and work in the classroom. I agree with Mrs. Venosdale about not having grade levels. I would prefer to have phases that students would have to complete. Phases that are not based on age or tests of memorized knowledge. I would want lots of teachers who shared my same passion for continuing to learn. I know that I will never stop learning and I want teachers who can accept this also. I do not want extremely large classrooms because I believe its hard to provide individual help to students who may need it. I want the cafeteria to provide healthy well balanced meals, and to look like a kids cafe. I want to have an art studio, and a computer lab that would be open to students after school as well. Most of all I want students to enjoy learning.
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
In this video Eric Whitacre forms a virtual choir from individuals around the world whom have never met. It was absolutely breathtaking. I was beyond shocked at how amazing this virtual choir sounded. I had no idea it was possible. My first reaction was, I have to share this video. I am really speechless at how beautiful this video sounded coming from a totally virtual choir.
Teaching in the 21st Century
In this video Kevin Roberts shows that teaching in the 21st century SHOULD be different than teaching in the past. He asks what you would do if asked a simple question like: "how do I fix my car?" Well my first answer was I would just grab my phone and use the search engine, such as Google. That was Mr. Roberts point exactly. In the 21st century we can access so much knowledge at the click of a mouse, or the touch of a screen. Mr. Roberts brings up the question that, if we can access this much knowledge, should we be teaching the knowledge or how to really use these resources to teach ourselves. I believe we should be teaching the skills used to decipher information online, and how these tools can be used for our benefit. Technology is always changing and teaching the skills versus just the information benefits the students and the teachers. I also love that he explained the difference between "engage" and "entertain". Engage pertains to learning and is longer lived than entertain. I hope to engage my students with skills that can be used through out their life to continuously teach themselves. This way they will never stop learning.
Flipping the Classroom
Flipping the classroom is a great concept that allows all students to learn at their own pace. The lesson is taught the night before on video at home. This way students can come in already prepared with questions. The teachers moves to the middle of the room to be engaged with the students. This allows students to move ahead if needed, or ask for more help since teachers will not be at the front of the room actually teaching lecture. This approach sounds wonderful. One of the questions were about students who did not have computers, and what would they do. Well schools would offer those students to watch the videos that day before class. There is so much time that is consumed by teaching a long lecture at the front of the room. I feel like this will allow so much more one on one time with the teacher and students, because the students will have watched the lecture the night before.