Monday, June 20, 2011


During the time I was in this course, many of my previous thoughts on learning were solidified and a few were modified. I have always felt that group work was my best chance of getting a student to be engaged. This was how I enjoyed school the most and it seemed to be the way my students enjoyed it as well. This class also gave me a better sense of myself and also gave me a deeper understanding of why I chose the assignments that I did. With evidences shown in many of the readings and their writers, such as Orey, I was able to conceptualize the impact of my choices of instruction. I also was able to define the differences between true instruction and learning. I never thought of it in this way, but when I began to my lesson planning process was much easier. It helped me to focus the goals of my learning outcomes.

I did make some small modifications on how I implemented some of my assignments throughout the course. This was mainly due to ideas and encouraging comments from my classmates. One in particular is the presentation of a mind map or concept map. I never had a presentation process, mainly because I could not find one that I liked. One student mentioned a process including an interactive white board. I plan on implementing this next year when I gain access to an interactive white board.

In the long run I am going to focus on two main things. First is to convert all of my concept mapping activities into a virtual format. I like the flow of the lesson much more and the students are able to give me more in depth and higher Bloom's responses. Secondly is to add the presentation component to the concept maps using the interactive white board. My goal in this sense is to go completely interactive with the students. I want to shy away from as much pencil and paper projects as possible. I want to make them all virtual.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Social Learning in Practice

Developing systems i a classroom is essential to effective instruction. In my classes these systems have always included a social aspect to them. Student's love to work together. They thrive on that social interaction. It can present problems at times with behavior and work ethic, but the benefits completely outweigh the downfalls.

In creating group activities, I have recently been able to incorporate technology to increase the effectiveness of the student output, both during class and after. During class time, I have the nicety of having laptop carts at my current school. On any given day each student can have a laptop with internet access to help them along with their daily activities. I can also incorporate group work with multiple or single computers within a group. These can be adjusted to determine the level of participation among group members.

Outside of the class is also an area in which I am able to use social lessons along with technology. I have ranged from creating blogs, having an online thread or email chain that discusses the assignment, or even videos with the abilities of the students to peer review and comment. All of these tools give the student a higher sense of interaction that they would not receive otherwise. Having that social aspect is not required of a classroom, but it sure does help.


Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.