Saturday, February 16, 2013

Blog Post #5

If You Built A School

Krissy Venosdale is an educator, and in her own words, she is "a learner, forever". She blogs about teaching, technology in the classroom and the gift of education.

Krissy talks about having the opportunity to create her own school, and if she was presented with a "Willy Wonka" moment, how she would create her own school. She said her school would be huge with a grand neon sign saying, "Welcome: Now Entering Innovation Zone". There would be colorful walls, comfortable seating. The library would resemble a giant tree house and science classes would do projects more than once a year. Grade levels wouldn't be determined by age, but by how the children perform academically. Her ideas we're amazing!

I was actually kind of challenged when I read this blog post. If I could create my own school, it would be extravagant. It would be colorful, but not so overdone that it's overstimulating. I think I would like having different departments and with each department, have it decorated appropriately. For example, the science pod could have the walls decorated with all sorts of plants and animals, the solar system and a huge mural of our planet. The history pod would have different event in history painted on it, like the Declaration of Independence, the Pilgrims and the Mayflower and other different events. There would be an outstanding technology department and computer labs with instructors to help the students with projects and teach them how to blog so they could reach out and communicate with other teachers and students around the world. There would be a huge arts program, mainly because I love music, theatre and art. I loved Krissy idea of having a "tree house" library, so I would have to make that happen some way, some how in the school I would create. I mean, what kid would not want to go sit in a tree house and read a book? It might actually encourage them to read if they get to sit in a big tree house inside the library.

I would also like to have a languages section in the school where children can be introduced to different languages and cultures from around the world. They can pick a language or two that they want to learn and from there, begin to learn the ins and outs of the language/culture and maybe even get connected with another child from a country that speaks that language. I think it would be an amazing learning opportunity!

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

Oh. My. Goodness.

I remember singing Lux Aurumque my freshman semester, here at the University and I fell in love with this song. Eric Whitacre is one of my favorite composers! This video was absolutely breath taking, and what made it even more amazing is that none of the 185 singers have ever met, nor sung together. Some one took different videos of them from Youtube singing and created this virtual choir. It's amazing what technology allows us to create!

Teaching In The 21st Century

The video talked about how teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge. Students can get information from anywhere at anytime by using smartphones, Google, iPods, and the television, and how important it is that these students know how to correctly use technology in the classroom. Roberts also believes that students should be active learners instead of passive learners. Students should know how to collect data from reliable sources instead of the first link they see on a search engine and know how to process and relate to the data they are presented with when they find it. Students should also learn that technology is useful for more than just entertainment and that there is so much that technology can offer them when used properly.

As a future educator, I really hope to use different types of technology in my classroom to enhance the students' learning experience. My job as a teacher is not to entertain them for seven hours a day, but to help then actively learn and keep them engaged in the activities we do in class. I plan to not only teach them how to use the technology correctly, but how to apply it in everyday life. Now, a class of third graders won't need to know right then if they need to "rent or buy", but using the technology in the classroom and learning how to find reliable sources and how to process the information presented will help them determine the that answer later down the road in their lives.

The "Flipped" Classroom

Flipping the classroom sounds like an excellent idea in theory, and I'm sure it works well in different classrooms. I love the idea of the students being able to access the content online and being able to watch and re-watch the information until they grasp the concept. I like how to helps the "middle" and "slower" groups of students be able to understand what is going on in the lesson. My main concerns are, how will the teach know if the students are watching the videos, and how is this a benefit to the fast-pace learners? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for learning at your own pace. I just don't understand how a teacher would test the students on the same information if they are all learning differently. Would the fast-pace students being taking a test on harder material while the others are lagging behind?

I think if I better understood the system of flipping the classroom, I would definitely use it in my classroom. I really love that students would have access to the material at all times, especially if they miss a day for whatever reason. I just need to learn more about it before considering applying it to my future classroom.


  1. I like your addition of languages.

    OK. Learn more about flipping!

    Thorough, thoughtful, well done!

  2. Hey! Krissy's ideas were great huh? It sparked a lot of thought from me in what I wanted in a school. At my daughters school the have reading lofts in all the kindergarten classrooms. They have book shelves and the kids love them. I'm not a huge music person like most people, but I loved the virtual choir. My kids watched, and loved it too. I've never seen anything like it before. I LOVED the idea of flipping the classroom. I think it could grow to be a massive change in how teacher teach and how children learn. I'm sure there are way to know if a particular student watched the video. Maybe requiring a parent signature or something as a requirement. Great blog!