Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Implementing My Learning

As a result of taking Teaching & Learning with Technology, I have already begun to create changes in my classroom. So, my list of "ten most important items" is actually a list of the ten changes I have already begun making, or hope to make, as a result of this course:

Six of my ten changes are based on information I learned through our textbook, e-Learning and the Science of Instruction.

* Following the coherence principle, I will remove all unnecessary graphics, sounds, animations, and transitions from presentations in order to help my students focus on processing only the most important information.
* Following the continuity principle, I will copy and paste directions into the text part of assignments created in Google forms. I will stop just posting links to the directions documents when I am in a hurry, so my students do not have to go back and forth between the two windows.
* Following the learner-control principle, I will use pictograms to create "how to" tutorials. I will stop using videos, so my students can control the pace of their learning.
* Additionally, following the learner-control principle, I will limit project choices in my classes designed for students with low academic test scores. I will not provide them with as many project design options, since most of them are novices who struggle with the ability to self-regulate.
* Following the segmentation principle, I will break the direct instruction lessons at the beginning of units into smaller portions. I will stop presenting everything in one lesson to allow my students to process information through smaller chunks.
* Following the cognitive theory of multimedia learning, I will create a wordless classroom while my students are reading and writing. I will stop talking and playing lyrical music during this time, so my students' working memories do not become overloaded.
* By making these small adjustments to my current lessons and classroom management strategies, I will create a more focused environment for my students to learn.

My remaining changes are based on my experiences of completing projects for this course.

* I will continue to use podcasts as my own tool, instead of just having my students create them as assignments. I will use these podcasts to share my learning and practical ideas with other educators, or I will use them as a way to share ideas with my students.
* I will continue to regularly design lessons that utilize my students' blogs as open portfolios of their learning and expressions of their individuality. I will also encourage them to share their blogs with others.
* I will convert my old PowerPoint direct instruction lesson into Prezis in order to clearly show the relationships between concepts and to overcome the limits of PowerPoints.
* I will remember to use the tools I have collected. When I am preparing lessons, I will search through my Delicious link collection or resource until I find the perfect tool to create an engaging and meaningful lesson.
* As a result of challenging myself to create projects that were the best demonstration of my thinking, resources, and technology skills, I have begun to feel a renewed sense of intrinsic motivation. I am not just learning to discover novel ways to help my students learn--I am learning because I am enjoying the process.

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