Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Summer of Continued learning

It's only been a month since we've been off school, to relax and like most teachers I've taken a vacation, gone somewhere and tried to unwind.  But also, like most teachers, I've been doing some learning to keep myself up to par, to strive, as always, to be my best for the students.  That means learning new programs (we've moved from CS4 to CS6 and take my word for it, it's very different), but also learning new methods of teaching or building the "passion for learning" for my students.  

A friend of mine talked me into taking a MOOC in the first month of school off.  What does MOOC stand for?  According to Wikipedia it stands for
"A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for the students, professors, and teaching assistants"

The MOOC is on Genius Hour, how it works, things to consider, the principles behind Genius Hours, and so much more.  There is a sharing of information, material, and networking.   This program lasted 4 weeks, with myself working on a Genius Hour Project, adding Genius Hour to my Information Technology 11/12 classroom.

But that's not where the learning ends.  I'm also reading "Flip your Classroom - Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day" by JOnathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, the gentlemen who started this practise and have been gracious enough to share their learning and the learning of others while following this understanding.  

This is a podcast of Alan November interviewing the authors, chemistry teachers from Woodland Park, CO, discussing their  models of flipped learning.  To learning more go to this link or network at the Flipped Learning Network.

Here is the designers of Flipping your Classroom and Mastering Flipped Classrooms.

Learn with me.  Differentiation is where it's at.

Does this seem like a person on holidays?  I've been redesigning my courses that are online because I differentiate in my classroom, teaching 5 subjects at once, at different levels of learning, doing Adobe CS6 programs, as well as animation and movie making.  I do nothing but answer questions to what they are learning online, probe and prode for students to learn more, and continually demand for the kids to add to their e-portfolios, explaining what they have learned or not learning, and what has happened today in school.

What is it about the educational profession that we continue to learn even when we're on holidays?  I firmly believe that our passion in learning ignites the student's passion in learning and once that flame is lighted, you cannot turn it off.

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