Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Class Reflection-Week 4

Wow, this was a lot to take in, again. I find so much useful information in these classes, I come home and tell my roommates about what we did and they're jealous (because in their classes, they tend to talk more about theory and don't get the hands on experiences).
First of all, I really enjoyed the video about Gamers saving the world. These incredible tools (i.e. computers, the internet, etc.) were not developed simply as porn finders and gaming boxes. If we utilized them to their true potential, they could be helpful in building and maintaing a better world, rather than cluttering our mind with unnecessary things. There are steps toward this. The X-Box Kinect and Nintendo Wii, for example, gets people out of their seats and involved in the games they're playing, literally. If we created games that had meaning (without beating you over the head with it, please) and showed real consequences they could be used as effective teaching tools.
Second, I really didn't get the whole point of the gallery walk with those answers pasted on. I can somewhat see where we were going, but it didn't quite come together in my mind, maybe it was just me. I looked at other peoples (and the Professors) and they seemed so darned overcomplicated, too many sections. Maybe mine was oversimplified, we only had four sections.
*edit, yes it was a good object lesson in that it showed how people think differently, so maybe what seems simple to me, could be complicated for others, and vice versa (500 readings about vectors for example...).
Third, I enjoyed the real advice about products and tools that can be used for assessment. This was particularly helpful for someone who has taught previously because there are many things I didn't know about, and many things that were a nice refresher.
Successful class, not so successful trivia night at Conor O'neil's afterwards, unfortunately. Clearly they did not read the section on assessment, because their questions were awful.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I have a confession to make

I'm a geek.
Specifically, I'm a movie geek.

So, when "watching" the superbowl, I wasn't watching for the game (Packers won, take that Mom!)I was watching because they were debuting a Captain America: The First Avenger trailer:



A Thor trailer (directed by Kenneth Branaugh no less!)



Cowboys and Aliens (directed by John Favreau, who also did Iron Man)



and last, but not least, Battle Los Angeles (starring Aaron Eckhart, one of my favorites)



Enjoy the trailers, know that I'll be spending at least $200 this year going to movies. I'm just glad they're able to get them all in before the world ends December 2012.

Class Reflection-Week 3

I find it easier to create two posts, rather than reflecting on both. Not that it couldn't be done. but my mind separates them naturally.

Class was interesting, it was a lot of information to take in (and by the end of the night my brain began to hurt just a little bit, hence a disappointing standing at Conor O'Neils weekly trivia).

In particular, I found the discussion of emotion logical and overlooked. Too often we think about how students are learning, without taking their feelings, thoughts and emotions into account. Too often I've had terrible days where I don't get anything I'm doing (Math 1050 [College Algebra] emotional breakdown in class one day comes to mind), but never did I have a teacher who worked through these emotions with me. I'll be honest, I still hate math because of that long ago breakdown (it was epic and sobbing, I was having a really really bad day), but it needn't have been so dramatic or life-changing if someone had helped me through the learning process to begin with so at the end of the semester I didn't feel so out of place and unprepared.
I was also struck by calls for better planning, something that I've long felt goes unrecognized. In conjunction with better planning comes the need for constantly revising and adjusting those plans. A plan doesn't function forever, it needs to be reviewed for every new audience it gets.

Finally, I think we need to recognize that students(/patrons/whoever come to us) are not blank slates (tabula rasa), they have backgrounds, emotions, needs, wants, cultural heritages to preserve, and lifestyles that are important. We have to take these into account, however minutely, or we risk losing them among hurt feelings, embarrassment, and perceived slighting.