On the Horizon for Esemplastics

This class has done me a great service, pushing the way I view teaching in a more digital direction.  I have always seen myself as a bit more forward thinking in the realm of education, utilizing a SmartBoard, student response systems, and digital video in my classroom, but, as many of us in the education system, have been handcuffed to the old ways of using pen and paper.  Long have I wished for the days of not having to hear, “I forgot my homework at home!” or “My dog/turtle/baby sister ate it!”  This PLE may just be a partial solution to this problem, among other things.

By November 2011, I will be three months into a new school year.  By that time, I will have set up my PLE’s front page with articles having to do with each of my classes’ discussion topics, under their corresponding sub pages.  By that point, I will have also set up the moodle section of my PLE so that their is a course for each of my classes, that my students will enroll themselves in, and we will have weekly assignments that they will be able to collaborate on, much like the classes we take here at Post.  Hopefully, this will save me time on grading, and possibly save a few trees as well.  The educational world seems to be going in this direction anyways, with the wide use of smart devices, and rise of the use of eBooks, mentioned in the 2011 Horizon Report.    But I will still have a technology section on the PLE which I plan to use almost as a “hotline” for my fellow teachers at school, where they can post questions or concerns about their use of technology in the classroom.

By May 2012, I will have begun utilizing the PLE for showcasing and critiquing of my Media Arts classes’ projects.  Instead of having to wait a full weekend to ask me a question of how to do something, whether it be about filming or editing, they can post the question with a video of their problem.  I also plan on using Pixlr to add a whole new dimension to my art lessons.  I know nothing can beat actually sitting down with a nice thick art paper and pastels, but digital art is starting to be used more widely, as I found out in this class.

I feel that I want utilize my PLE more for my students, rather for the general public.  As an educator in today’s world, I am in charge of getting my students ready for this flattening digital world.  I think this PLE will be a good start for that.

References
Johnson, L., Smith, R., Willis, H., Levine, A., and Haywood, K., (2011). The 2011 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

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One Response to On the Horizon for Esemplastics

  1. I think your concept for your PLE site and your 12 Month Horizon plan is a great tool to help your students. You seem to be one of the visionary leaders that more schools need to help them adapt to a more digital, student-centered learning environment. The fact that you already utilize a Smartboard and digital video in your classroom puts you ahead of the majority of teachers (at least this is the case in the school that I teach at!) This website will definitely be a great motivator for other teachers when they see the benefits that it has for your students. Creating wikis and courses through Moodle that will allow your students to collaborate with one another and always be able to contact you or their peers for questions is awesome. This will allow your students to learn how to think and solve problems, rather than just repeat and memorize information. We need more teachers that are willing to incorporate technology into learning as you are. Hopefully, as you said, your website will spark interest in other teachers to do the same. That is the only way we will be able to teach 21s century learners successfully and prepare them for the real-world. I am a physical education teacher and hope by beginning to incorporate technology into my PE classes, I will lead by example and get others to do the same. Great site so far!

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