From my Inbox today: The U of M Department of English and the Shelby-Memphis Council of Teachers of English invite the best student writers in the Memphis and Shelby County area in grades 7-12 to participate in WordSmith Writing Olympics 2012 on Feb. 12 in the U of M UC Ballroom at 8:30 a.m. All Memphis area schools are invited [...]
I am coming off of two full days of Google Apps training, so I’m a little tired. But I am so excited that the University of Memphis Conference on Mobile Teaching and Learning is finally here! I am really looking forward to speaking with folks from K-12 public and private schools, as well as higher education faculty members from other [...]
What’s the harm? Is there really any harm in continuing to emphasize basic reading and math skills? We know the statistics for struggling readers, who are below grade level, need help. We also know that reading skills are critical predictors of successes with social studies and science. This type of curriculum was successful for my generation and my parents’ generation. [...]
Next week, I begin teaching a 7-week online course on integrating the Internet into teaching and learning. This is one of four courses required for a graduate certificate for K-12 instructional computing applications. Like most faculty members, I am constantly evolving my projects. In this one, I am upgrading the electronic portfolio for this course, and I thought I would [...]
In my email today, I received this notice from a friend of mine about a call for book chapters that his colleagues were editing. This sounds like an interesting topic and an opportunity for publishing student research in teacher education. Here’s an excerpt from the call: Over the past decade, teacher candidates have used the World Wide Web as a [...]
This morning I was reading Tom Barrett’s blog over at Edte.ch. He recounts a story about Creative Commons licensing that went terribly awry. Tom is a former classroom teacher and educational technology evangelist. In fact, he and his colleagues originated a series of Google Docs presentations that are know world wide for ideas to use some technology in the classroom. [...]
I love Posterous. It’s dead simple sharing. I used to say dead simple blogging, but it’s more about sharing than it is about blogging. But Posterous is designed to only work with only one cellphone number, which just doesn’t work in a classroom that you’re trying to take advantage of students’ mobile devices like cellphones, smartphones, iPhones, etc. I wanted [...]
Consider this video: “A Vision of Students Today.” While this is indicative of college students, what does this mean for learners in your context? In addition, the Pew Research Center recently reported: Cell-phone texting has become the preferred channel of basic communication between teens and their friends, with cell calling a close second. Some 75% of 12-17 year-olds now own [...]
On March 9, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton announced via Twitter that Memphis was filing an application for Google Fiber for Communities. This initial tweet was followed with a post on the mayor’s blog From the Mayor’s Desk. In his blog post, Wharton asks you to “Imagine a promising inner-city 7th-grader collaborating with classmates around the world while watching a live university lecture.” Wharton is asking his readers to imagine e-learning in our K-12 classrooms. This call to imagine e-learning in Memphis classrooms comes less than a week after the US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology released a draft of their National Educational Technology Plan 2010 titled “Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology“. This plan calls for readers to embrace the use of e-learning as the catalyst that will propel our schools through the 21st century. With this political focus being put on e-learning, let’s explore how this will look in the K-12 classroom. First we will define e-learning, next we will look at a few of its benefits, then we will note a few barriers to its implementation.
As I reminisce on my undergraduate Education Psychology course and graduate courses that promoted the need for incorporating constructivist practices in the classroom to “prove” you are a student-centered educator, I often contemplated the effectiveness of the constructivist teacher in the classroom. Before revealing my perspective, let’s identify some key points related to constructivism.