Thursday, November 21, 2013

C4T #4

Andrea Hernandez's EdTechWorkshop Blog

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Empowering Students Through Meaningful Jobs

In Andrea Hernandez's Empowering Students Through Meaningful Jobs blog post, she mentions that her inspiration for creating jobs in the class came from Alan November's Digital Learning Farm. She mentioned that during the times of farming, children were useful and necessary contributors to their families' farms and livelihoods. Once children's work became going to to school full-time, that feeling of usefulness and importance faded. She mentioned that digital tools offer the possibility of exciting upgrades to these jobs, allowing students to learn through doing while making authentic contributions to their communities. Andrea Hernandez mentions in her post that she has her students apply for the positions she offers.

Examples of classroom jobs are as follows:

Global Connectors: Tweet, look for and organize possible learning connections, manage maps

Researchers: Research information in response to questions that arise.

Official Scribes: Take notes, write weekly summary post on classroom blog

Documentarians: Photo and video documentation of the week's activities

Kindness Ambassadors: Make sure that all community members are included at lunch and recess, remind community members of habit of the month, model and recognize kindness, give appreciations and remind others to do so.

Librarians: Keep classroom and virtual library shelves in order. Add books to class GoodReads shelves, keep GoodRead-Alouds wall updated, set appointments with Mrs. Hallatt

Graphic Artist/Designer: Design things for the classroom and class blog- graphics, bulletin boards, displays, etc.

Job Requirements:
Previous experience is helpful, but not required. You will be able to learn on the job. Most important qualities: proactive, self-motivated, desire to learn. All classroom work must be up to date in order to be considered for a job.

My Comment on "Empowering Students Through Meaningful Jobs"

In my comment, I introduced myself and explained where I attend college. I also explained that I was commenting on the post as an assignment in Dr, Strange's EDM310 class. I thanked Andrea Hernandez for sharing such valuable information. I asked her if she has her students keep the same job the entire year or if she changes up the students' jobs. I told Andrea Hernandez that I look forward to implementing digital jobs in my future classroom. I invited Andrea Hernandez to visit my class blog and the EDM310 class blog.

"Grades: What Would Houdini Do?"


Andrea Hernandez begins this post by stating that she gets a daily "great work provocation" email that is supposed to provide a bit of inspiration, challenge, perspective, change, etc. She then mentions that often, the emails are too obscure, and she deletes them. She then shared today's email:

Houdini never found a pair of handcuffs he couldn't escape from. What are the manacles that are tangling you up? Time to pick the lock?

Andrea wrote that this email resonated. The manacles that were tangling her up were grades. She wrote that when she took her job, she knew she would be expected to give letter grades because it is a job requirement. Andrea then lists some reasons that grades were tangling her up like handcuffs:

1. Andrea states that grades do not jive well with her personal philosophy of teaching. She believes in working with students where they are (not where she wishes they were).

2. Grades do not provide the most useful feedback. Grades often tend to be subjective.

3. Grades do not motivate the ones who most need motivating.

4. Having to give grades makes it tempting to go for the lower levels of Bloom's because those tend to be the easiest to quantify.

5. Grades are not authentic. Andrea asks the reader, "Do you want your blog posts graded? What about your lesson plans? What if you mess up a lesson? Should you get a zero? Does this motivate YOU to be a better teacher?" Andrea then writes, "I do not want my posts stamped with an A, B,or C, but I do very much want feedback and conversation."

My Comment on "Grades: What Would Houdini Do?"

In my comment, I introduced myself, explained where I attend college, and explained that I was commenting on the post as an assignment in EDM310. I explained to Andrea that I do understand that grades do not always provide useful feedback. I told Andrea that although I am not a professional educator yet, I have learned through my creations of lesson plans in my college courses that having to give students a grade does, in fact, make it tempting to choose one of the lower levels of Bloom's because those tend to be the easiest to quantify. I thanked Andrea for sharing her post!

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