The most prominent difference is that my students are learning – I hope! I can honestly say that I made it through my math courses by memorization. I was very good at memorizing algorithms and comprehending difficult information. I look at my students now, and I know that many of them would not survive in my high school math class. They simply do not learn the same way. For one, they are not as good at recalling information. Therefore, I cannot simply just give them facts and then test them.

I believe one of the best moments in my class is when the students are working through our daily warm-up problems. Students are challenged with problems that are created to apply the information that they have learned. They are encouraged to ask each other for help and work together to come up with the solution. As mentioned in the text, A New Culture of Learning, it is important to give your students many resources to cultivate their learning. One of the most used resources is their peer. This is mentioned again in the article, 5 Ways to Be a Better Teacher. Educators in today’s classrooms need to be a builder of relationships. Students need to be given the opportunity to collaborate with their peers, building interpersonal relationships that instill “respect and cooperation.”

The article also mentions the use of technology. The only time I was given the opportunity to use a computer at school was to write my English papers. I don’t think I was even introduced to a calculator until my calculus class when I was asked to purchase a graphing calculator. It scared the crap out of me! It came with a huge instructor’s guide and had all these different colored keys. I remember thinking – I can do this with pencil and paper so why do I need this monstrous thing. My students today look at pencil and paper as I did a graphing calculator. In the video, The Potential of Unity, I was most impressed by the opportunity of people from all around the world being able to come together in this module to work together to create. It gives people from many different platforms to unite to build together. I am not a gaming person, and all of this lingo still seems to fly over my head. However, I can still understand the concept of this engine and its potential to the students of today. I can totally see many of my students entering this site and, using the tutorials, building some great games together.

Technology and communication! Today’s classrooms are not *learning* without them.

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aksharosBrandi,

I totally agree with you about your comment on how education has changed. I was much like you in that I memorized a lot of facts in math and never really learned it until I took my college class that was aimed at teaching elementary students. Crazy! I also remember trying to memorize their, there, and they’re–what a task!

Boy have things changed. We are about collaboration and technology now a days. It is really about changing with the times. i agree we need to change and technology and collaboration is where it appears to be. I have found that collaboration and technology through this class has required me to think more deeply about what I am doing. I can not just log on and learn bits and pieces here in there, instead I have to be engrossed in what I am doing in order to complete the task ahead of me. Although at the time, I am not grateful in retrospect I am will be because I will have learned a lot more.

Haha! I also had the same experience as you with the graphing calculator. I remember I was the only on in high school to buy one. I was told by my math teacher that if your parents can spend money on expensive basketball shoes that can afford this calculator. At the time, I know my parents were struggling financially but they managed to budget in a calculator. It turned out, I was the only student to get one and at the time I never used it. Fortunately, I got my moneys worth later on when I used it in college. Thanks for taking me down memory lane, Brandi!

I look forward to learning about technologies so I can use them in my classroom! Shauna

bsportiePost authorI remember using my graphing calculator a lot also. Now, it’s normal to see them introduced in middle school (maybe even elementary). You can use them on the ACT and SAT, so its important that our children use them more often in their secondary education. There are also so many great uses for them.

I also find that I have to be completely engrossed in our classes. Thankfully, the readings that have been chosen are really easy reads and an interesting subject.

BonnieBrandi, I love your comparison of your initial thought of the graphing calculator to that of your students. It was classic! Like you, I think some of the best days are the ones when my students are collaboratively working and discovering together. In my class I encourage students to help each other out and ask one another questions. Collaborative work among students empowers them and helps to foster a sense of shared responsibility. The article How Collaborative Learning Leads to Student Success gives the example of an assignment which requires group collaboration. This single assignment will require students to communication thorough, work as team players, and focus on precisely the information they need. (http://www.edutopia.org/stw-collaborative-learning-college-prep). These skills are valued beyond the classroom as employability traits as well.