Monday, July 5, 2010
Blog Post 9
In Morgan Bayda's post An Open Letter To Educators she talks about her experience as a student at a University. She also references a video made by Dan Brown also called An Open Letter To Educators.
In both Morgan Bayda's personal experiences as well as those expressed in Dan Brown's video it is said that the educational experience, or the university, hasn't changed in 100's of years but meanwhile society all around is in a constant changing state. Morgan shares that in her experience as a student she spends most of her class time trying not to fall asleep, listening to a professor recap readings that no one has actually done because they know their grade sits on how well they can recall facts on the two tests, a midterm, and a final exam. Dan Brown recalls similar experiences where he spends on average $100 per class on textbooks not actually used because information is more readily available on the internet, he's just studying facts from powerpoint presentations given by the teacher in order for the students to regurgitate those facts on a test and that is what they are graded on. Not on how well they can apply the material in real life but just simply how many facts can we recite correctly. He didn't feel like the university he was attending or any other was preparing him, or other students, for the real world.
In my own personal experiences it is very similar. Though I must mention that this is not the case in every single class. There are teachers out their that recognize the change in society around information and see that they have to change their teaching style in order to help their students. However, for the most part it is pretty much the same, go to class, listen to a lecture, take notes, memorize, test on what you have memorized. Usually there are no actual applications of the material we are learning or how to use it in our future careers.
As stated in Morgan's blog as well as Dan Brown's video, society is changing and the education institution should recognize the need to change as well.
ALEX stands for the Alabama Learning Exchange. It is a website designed for teachers, students, as well as parents. Upon reviewing the website I found many useful things. There is a workspace for teachers to build lesson plans from, a vast amount of shared lesson plans ready for teachers in virtually every subject, helpful web links for students and teachers, and numerous podcasts available for review.
It seems that teachers have a login id in order to use parts of the website like their personal workspace but students and parents don't need a login in order to browse the vast amount of information available. There is even a link to the Alabama Virtual Library.
I definitely will be bookmarking this website for the future since I plan on teaching in Alabama. I think it will be very helpful with finding information to help with my teaching as well as drawing from lesson plans already found successful by other teachers. I will also be recommending the website to my future students because of all the links to homework help available as well as any other educational material.
I also checked out the ACCESS overview page to make myself familiar with this as well. It is a distance learning program offered to all Alabama highschool students via an e-learning classroom. With Access students are able to achieve advanced diplomas and many other things. It was very interesting to read about and I definitely think it is something I want to take part of in the future.