My teacher preparation at SUNY Potsdam, as well as my experiences in K-12 and undergraduate teaching, has focused on the importance of a student-centric view of education, with a focus towards social constructivism (Vygotsky, 1978).. All students have the ability to learn, and all students have the right to learn, and to have a say in how they learn. This has led me to seek out various methods and tools to motivate and assist a diverse group of students across a wide range of content areas and age groups in meeting their educational goals. This does not mean that the focus is on the content of that particular grade level or age group, but also has a focus on practical skills that will be useful to the student as they continue in their educational or vocational career, such as collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and analysis skills.
In order to teach both the content and the skills listed above, I have focused on researching, and then applying, various methods of student-centered learning as described by Hannafin (2012), where the student determines the goal, means, or both, of learning. These types of learning environments include service-learning (Jacoby, 1993), problem-based learning (Barrows & Tamblyn, 1980), and project-based learning (Kilpatrick, 1918; Adderley et al., 1975), The addition of technology into these methods has allowed my students and myself with opportunities to organize, collaborate, and interact with the content in a more meaningful way, and to experience the content in a way they may have not been able to without the technology (Churchill et al., 2012).. Furthermore, the addition of mobile technology allows the students to practice these skills not only in the classroom, but from anywhere they can. This combination has aided my students into becoming self-directed learners, in organizing their thoughts, and presenting the information they have explored in a more professional manner. This can be seen best through the use of student iPads at their field experience sites in W210, where students can share information with each other, or with students, record reflections, and share artifacts with the rest of the class.
Going forward, I would like to teach and explore courses that focus on the use of mobile technology in the classroom, and to incorporate the design and development of mobile applications that support student-centered environments. These courses can focus on pedagogical methods, technology adoption and integration, computer science and design.
In order to become a better teacher, I have set my goals as follows:
As part of my duties as an Associate Instructor with W200 and the CEL (W210, W410) courses, I have assisted in the design and development of W200 curriculum, course content, and assessments (particularly, the addition of new Social Studies Case Projects and Social Studies Data Collection and Analysis In Class Workout #9) and the design and implementation of a final exam assessment for Fall 2012 W200 students(with adaptations), piloted in Spring 2012 after approval by the Lead Associate Instructors. I have also adapted and developed W210: a Survey of Computer Based Education. In W210, I designed the Technology Analysis Project, a project-based approach for students to explore a particular technology in-depth, a mobile programming activity for a student introduction to visual coding using tutorials, and a Pedagogy Video, Instructional Design, and Web Design project utilizing the Problem-Based Learning approach.
Status: In Progress
In addition to my classroom teaching of W200, W210, and W410, I have had the opportunity to present several workshops on the use of SMARTBoards in the classroom for undergraduates, associate instructors, and teaching professors at IU. I have also had the opportunity to provide assistance in the instructional design of online courses at the Center Grove Community School Corporation by providing feedback to instructors. Currently, I am working with the Graduation School of the Monroe County Community School Corporation in facilitating their 1:1 iPad initiative, and assisting teachers in developing lessons using the technology.
Status: In Progress
As part of my teaching duties in both W200 and the CEL, I am provided with feedback from my students through course evaluations. The comments on my evaluations(Instructional Consulting Observation Feedback, W200 Final Evaluation, Fall 2011; W200 Final Evaluation Spring 2012; W200 Midterm Evaluation, Fall 2012) have been used to adapt and strengthen activities, response time, and general classroom management strategies.
Adderley, K., Ashwin, C., Bradbury, P., Freeman, J., Goodlad, S., Greene, J.,…& Uren, O. (1975). Project methods in higher education (Vol. 24). London: Society for research into higher education.
Barrows, H. S, & Tamblyn, R. (1980). Problem-based learning: An approach to medical education, Springer, NY.
Churchill, D., Fox, B., & King, M. (2012). Study of affordances of iPads and teacher’s private theories. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 2(3), 251-254.
Hannafin, M. (2012). Student-centered learning. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 3211–3214). New York, NY: Springer.
Jacoby, B. (1993). Service-learning in today’s higher education (Vol. 156). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Pub.
Kilpatrick, W. (1918). The Project Method. The Teachers College Record, 19(4), 319-335.
Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in Society. London: Harvard University Press.