Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog Post #5

If I Built A School...

Krissy Venosdale writes about her dream school in her blogpost titled, "If I Built a School." I love Krissy's imagination and creativity.  She describes her school with a cafeteria that is like a coffee shop.  Also, she wants her school to be a treehouse! This is such a great idea. I know I would look forward to going to school in a treehouse.  Also, think of all the field trips the students could go on to learn about nature and biology through hands on experience.  I appreciate Krissy's fun imagination, which is hard to find these days.

If I had the opportunity to build my own school, I would make it near a beach or a lake.  There would be a huge garden near the school to teach the students how to grow their own food.  There would also be a farm with many animals to help the children learn about farming, health, diet, and nutrition.  These are essential skills that have been slowly ignored today.  There would be a large courtyard with many games, trees, and flowers.  I would make sure my school had a language building to start the students young for learning new languages.  The cafeteria would have vegetables from the garden and meat raised on the farm.  Additionally, starting in the third grade, I would implement a program to teach children about economics.  The students would have jobs in each classroom that changed each week.  For example, a student would water the plants one week or check and record the temperature outside daily the next.  All of the students would learn how to make saving and checking accounts, write checks, and balance a checkbook.  Each month, the students would participate in a marketplace selling either art creations or bought products to sell and consume.  If I built a school, this is how it would be.

Virtual Choir

Erik Whitacre is a classical composer and conductor who studied at Juilliard.  Whitacre does a presentation for TED in 2011 on how he discovered the first Virtual Choir 2.0 by cutting choir members through youtube.  Erik conducted his music silently and waited for his responses.  He ended up auditioning and syncing two thousand voices from fifty eight countries.  This video was amazing! I had never been exposed to any concept like a virtual choir.  Without technology, these choir members would never have had a chance to create this music together.  Moreover, technology enables people to connect and learn from each other.  Applying this to the education system will possess the same concept.  Thank you for recommending this video.

"It's great just to know I'm part of a worldwide community who I've never met before, but who are connected anyway."

Teaching in the 21st Century Kevin Roberts

Dr. Strange converted Kevin Roberts Prezi presentation Teaching in the 21st Century.  This was a thought provoking and interesting video.  I believe that we were already supposed to watch this according to the previous directions in the beginning of the semester.  This was a cool little video, but the mp4 version kept skipping.  I prefer text file or textbook to limit frustration and to speed up the reading and learning process.  This video described teachers as filters for knowledge rather than the main source.  Teachers should be there to validate, synthesize, leverage, communicate, collaborate, and problem solve.  These are essential skills to pass on.  I can recall many of my teachers growing up incorporating these life skills and information evaluation and application throughout my years as a student.  College life, however, is a lot different.  This is a great video that makes you think a little about knowledge, education, and technology.  Education is not about teaching specific information; on the other hand, it is about teaching the necessary skills to acquire the best information.

Why I Flipped My Classroom ---Flipped Classroom FAQ

Katie Gimbar created a video about why she flipped her classroom. She was teaching math, and realized that 90% of her class was spent on content and review while only 10% was spent on actual application.  Katie also noticed that she had very challenged students and unchallenged, bored students.  In order to fix her problem, she decided to assign videos that mapped out the concepts that would be covered in class.  This gave the students a chance to work at their own pace and ask questions while still being able to rewind, pause, or work ahead.  This created more classroom time because it gave Katie more time to spend on application of the concepts in different groups based on levels of understanding.  This gave her a chance to give effective differentiation and challenge all of the students.  I loved Katie's video because that is a problem that many teachers are having today with students.  This helps give students an individualized learning plan that does not just cater to the majority and also keep the accelerated learners challenged.  Thanks Katie for sharing why you flipped your classroom.    

Dr. Lodge McCammon's FIZZ - Flipping the Classroom 

Dr. Lodge McCammon is from Raleigh, NC at The Friday Institute.  He believes there is a problem with education in classrooms today because classrooms are inefficient and not engaging for the students.   Moreover, he describes lectures as, "a one shot deal and not engaging."  McCammon thinks that lecturing does not engage the students because  He wants teacher to flip the classroom through his product called FIZZ.  Kids can watch the FIZZ video lecturing to get their information.  This makes it possible for students to watch the video countless times for review while creating more classroom time. This increased classroom time means that more students can collaborate, apply, and publish their findings.  McCammon is convinced this is more engaging for students.

Ms. Munafo Flipping the Classroom - 4th Grade STEM

Ms. Munafo is a teacher at Hilburn Academy.  She does a great job explaining why teachers and students would benefit from flipping classrooms.  Basically, she coverers the same information that Katie Gimbar and Dr. Lodge explain from The Friday Institute.  She also mentions that students who do not have computers at home can use the computers or iPads in the classrooms before classrooms.  Coming down off of that, I was not in total agreement with this method because Dr. Lodge's video was the first that I watched, and it lacked the detail that Katie and Ms. Munafo's videos explained.  Overall, I have just fallen in love with FLIPPING classrooms just as long as we can rely on all the children to do their video homework.  I guess I could not use this in third world countries because a lack of supplies, however I plan to do what I can with what I have.



  1. "...She describes her with a cafeteria that is like a coffee shop...." as having instead of with

    "Additionally, starting in the third grade, I would implement a program to teach children about economics." Rafe Esquith has some good ideas along this line. What about no grade levels and advancement based on readiness and abilities?

    "This was a cool little video, but the mp4 version kept skipping." What kind of internet connection did you have. Actually, I would like to talk to you about this to see if I can correct the problem. Call me. Thanks

    Thorough, thoughtful, well done! Thanks!

  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog post it was very informative. It was thoughtful and clear. I love what you said about your own school I would love to come visit.