Essential Question: What are the challenges in shifting content from “what” to “where” and “how”?

The shift has several challenges starting with the teachers’ attitudes toward this shift. Things are consistently changing in the field of education and now the shift is technology, which changes so rapidly. Some teachers get stuck in their ways and they tend to have a harder time adapting. As a teacher you see change all the time in curriculum and it seems to go around and around old techniques get new names. Technology is now the method of delivery as well as “construction “ on the student part. This is very different then when I was finishing Ed school in 2001. I knew how to use the computers and different techniques to deliver information. I also knew about Word processor and other basic programs to have the students create documents or maybe even a PowerPoint presentation. Now it is Blogs, slideshows, animated short films, podcasts, basically digital everything.

Teaching in a rural area I could really capitalize on this because many of the students don’t have the amount of technology at home that we do at the school. I personally need to implement more into my class to help keep the kids engaged. I try different things here and there but nothing consistent yet. I know the students have phones but this has been an issue in classrooms. The students will just sit and text and not pay attention so the cell phone has been banned in the classroom.

Another challenge is the idea of letting students find their own information and trying to learn from it. That would mean giving up the “reins” as a control freak teacher that is tough.

As I write this I am thinking of a way to have the students search methods of multiplication and have them find a video. I have not gotten past that part. I cannot decide what they will do with this information. Do I wait and use this techniques to introduce division since we have already received instruction on multiplication and its meaning?

The facilitator role is hard when you are worried about the students learning their skills correctly so they can apply that basic knowledge later.

The next challenge then becomes knowing when and where to use this type of instruction. In Savoonga we have used some programs that were very explicit and scripted to get our students to be able to read words consistently and fluently even those that didn’t always fit into the “rules of English” that we have. That has helped many of our students and I feel that knowing when and where to use the explicit instruction in conjunction with the self directed learning is tricky.

That is just the perspective from a teacher. Next there is the Administration’s perspective. Are they on board? Does the Administration have a clear idea of implementation and do they support it with clear goals and guidelines? With out good leadership and a path to implementing with support some or many will not use technology to its full potential.

Courtney I had the same dilemma with multiplication and division that you did. I finally concluded that division only requires 1×1 digit multiplication and they get that pretty easily. Division is its own animal. I think it is what singlehandedly turns kids against math. I found that modeling the division concept rather than teaching the algorithm lends to a lot of self-discovery that makes the algorithm make more sense later on.

Oh I think division leads itself wonderfully to modeling and taking it into the creating and the how of this week. As they can experience the creating and modeling, then maybe the algorithm can make sense to them. Even when doing long division, but that is the hard thing.

Your blog post made me wonder if Should assign my students to take one concept from each chapter and have them find resources to teach that concept. Either one way per student, or having them find two or three each and compare and contrast and see if they learned anything new.

heather I like that idea. I am just teaching my students how to search appropriately for their topics. Staying on topic has been tough for my class. The skimming and locating facts has been the hardest.