Sunday, April 28, 2013

C4T #4

Ideas and Thoughts: Learning Stuff Since 1964

My last CRT had be reading two blog posts by Dean Shareski. The first blog post I read was titled Connected From The Start. In the post, Shareski announces the publishing of a new book titled Connected from the Start by a woman named Kathy Cassidy, for which Shareski wrote the foreword. He quotes what he wrote for the foreword for the rest of the post. He praises Cassidy for her work, saying she is "a shining example of what one teacher [can do] with some grit, curiosity and passion". Cassidy wasn't always tech savvy, but she learned how to do many things, like blogging, and she learned how to apply it to her teaching. The book itself is about teaching kids early on how to use technology.

In the comment I left, I said that I agree that it's important to start teaching kids as early as possible how to use the different technology we have available. Technology is advancing at an astounding rate, and our kids have to be able to keep up, just like us! I noted that a lot of supplemental learning can be done through Skype, Twitter, and blogging, and that those tools make learning more fun and engaging for children.

The second blog post I read was If You Hate Doing Assessment, You’re Doing it Wrong. In this post, Shareski describes the way he does his end-of-term assessments. He allows his students to do their own final assessments by providing them a short guideline on which aspects of the course to evaluate themselves on. He states that reviewing his students' final assessments gives him insight into his students' learning as well as his teaching. He enjoys seeing which aspects of the course had which level of impact on different students. At one point, he compares teaching to golf, saying "you never really perfect it but it’s great fun in trying to get better."

I commented that self evaluation really is a great way to get students to think about what they learned over the course of the semester. It also gives them a chance to be honest and provide constructive criticism over what the teacher did well and things that can be improved. This gives the teacher some good feedback and allows them to reflect on their own course, and this gives students the opportunity to show how much they've learned.

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