ED 655 Module #1

Assignment 1: PLE Brainstorm & Connections

Learning Activity by Owen Guthrie (assignment not copied here in its entirety)

Begin a brainstorm list of your learning network by answering these questions…

Your list may be lengthy. It may include family, friends, and colleagues; it may also include groups, resources (such as journal subscriptions), and web sites…

Once you have a somewhat comprehensive list, evaluate how efficiently the network is working for you. What are the key strengths? Are there obvious gaps? Are you stuck in predictable ruts…

Kat Geuea- PLE Brainstorming plus peer discussion

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The brainstorming pictured above was the result of my introduction to this subject one year ago.  I made this infographic in the same format that I wrote it into my notebook.  I also wrote a blogpost  after I read several pieces of material addressing Professional Learning Networks.  I have since subscribed to several technology email posts and have joined the ISTE.  Sadly, I do not find myself reading the emails, logging into ISTE, or looking at their monthly magazine.  I think that I probably will when I have fewer things on my plate.

As educators, I think we should be active learners.  We should be willing to learn new things and change the way we do things.  However, and I have given this a lot of thought over the past year, we are so busy!  I guess, in the context of PLEs, we should choose contributors who give the most meat in the smallest packages.  Where can we learn the most with the smallest investment of time?  Time is a teacher’s greatest nemesis, especially where technology is involved.  

Right now, I have access to some pretty helpful resources.  SmartBrief on EdTech sends very helpful tips through email, the ISTE has hundreds of apps/programs that have already been evaluated and reviewed by teachers, and even our school district sends us emails with with security tips.  Also, since I have been enrolled in the ONID program, I have learned about technology that I have been able to integrate into my own practices in the classroom.  There are even more ways that I plan to expand into more innovative uses of technology in the future.  However, it still comes back to time.  There is never enough time, so I just keep plugging away.  I read, plan, and integrate what I can, when I can…

  • Mica . Hi Kat, I agree with you that we should be active learners. Besides we should be willing to learn things, I also think that we should be willing to share our thoughts and what are the things that you take away. Sometimes, we can learn from others’ thoughts and know people by knowing their thoughts.(1 like)
  • Owen . Hi Kat, it is hard to balance all the resources we can sign up for, and all the learning opportunities that exist with our personal capacity to make use of those resources and opportunities.One way to extend our PLE greatly is to sign up for a high stakes program. ONID can serve that purpose. 🙂 Nice job and I hear you on “what I can, when I can…” 
  • Rachael Yes, I relate to what you wrote about having and taking the time to read through information even when it is conveniently sent to my inbox! I recently let my membership in ISTE go, primarily because I wasn’t using the resources that I had available to me. Initially when I got it, we were using information in our PLC meetings, (I even got to go to an ISTE conference!) but I found that my limited time squeezed it out of my priorities.
  • Marquette I like that you said educators should be active learners. I think that learning new things while students are learning can be beneficial for both teachers, and students. How do you plan on integrating technology in the future? I would like some ideas to have for myself. 🙂
    • KatI want to have an adaptive LMS for students who need extra help outside the classroom.  I want to change my grading program to include standards and get rid of the 100 point grading scale.  It is garbage. I want to continue to find creative ways to engage kids online.

Module 1: Reflection – Experts & Novices

Reflection and Writing Assignment (not copied in its entirety) – Owen Guthrie

Benander (2009) contends that “experts negotiate the learning space differently from novices.” Reflect on your own experiences with that. Compose a brief (no more than three paragraphs) post …

Kat Geuea Reflection and peer comments

In 2005, I was placed in the position of being a novice who was supposed to be an expert.  I was hired as a history teacher who was also supposed to teach 2-sections of beginning art to 9th graders.  I told my employers that if I could teach Macbeth, I could teach anything.  It was a very interesting experience.  Needless to say, I didn’t tell the kids that I hadn’t taught art before.  As I taught my way through the book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, I did what I told them to do; I stood at my desk and drew while they were drawing.  After I encountered a problem and worked it out myself, I could ask the students, “Are any of you having a problem doing such-and-such? Here’s how you overcome that…”

You see, sometimes we “experts”  forget to think about what “novices” may not know.  We assume our students have background knowledge that they may not have.  We do not take our lessons down to an actual novice level, but instead teach from a expert perspective.  For example, I recently found out that most of my 10th-11th graders do not know what “case-sensitive” means.  They were getting stuck in the login part of an assignment’s instructions!  I’m sure many art teachers forget the small hurdles they needed to jump over as they were first learning to draw.  I am also sure that because of my early interest in history, when I was their age I had a deeper base of understanding than the majority of my students.

According to Benander (2009), “Reminding oneself of what it feels like to be a novice can provide important insight to help create the structured experiences required to to help students move out of the novice stage.”  I was not surprised to learn that compassion was often the end result of novice experiences had by experts.  How can experts change their perspectives and practices without actually having to enroll in and attend a class that they teach?  We have to be able to imagine how to anticipate difficulties and predict questions as we create  learning experiences.  

  • Good job, Kat. Nicely done. Yes, experts do forget what it is like to be a novice. Sometimes, especially when designing learning experiences, it can be valuable to put ourselves in the shoes of the learner. That’s pretty hard to do. One of the common questions I ask instructors who are new to online is to take a course before they try to teach one. The experience can be invaluable. Nice work! 
  • Ryan Hey Kat, I really appreciate this post, it struck a cord with something I think about personally. I don’t consider myself an expert in practically anything. Certainly not teaching. I think I might be close to expert knowledge in writing, but I’ve only been doing that professionally, or academically, for 9 or ten years now. Anyway, in my class, I find the easiest (or most fun) things for me to teach are humanities stuff, discussion topics in which I slip writing assignments and philosophies. I don’t know a heck of a lot about the kinds of topics I jump into before I present them, and finding those topics and researching them and ordering them into a lesson plan just seems a lot lighter and dynamic for me. Personally, I think writing can be difficult for me to teach because of what I already know about the subject. I find myself projecting knowledge on my audience and assuming they know more than they do. Sometimes, when I catch it, I feel a little overwhelmed by that gap and so I just really try to teach the same key concepts over and over in the short few months I have my students. But man, it’s weird, the stuff I don’t really know about is so much fun to talk about and a blast to teach. 
  • Marquette I really liked this post Kat. I think that experts do forget what it feels like to be a novice, and that can be frustrating. Did the students ever find out that you had never taught art? And if they did, did this change their attitude toward you?I wonder how novices being taught by a novice act toward their teacher if they find out that their teacher is not an expert.
    • Kat No.  I never told them.  I learned my lesson the semester before that when I was a long-term sub for English for the first time.  I taught Macbeth to 12th graders at in an inner-city school on the outskirts of Baltimore. They ate me alive when they learned that I was a novice in Language Arts.  lol.  I think they liked me, but they didn’t have much respect for me.

Author: admin

This is the launch of my masters journey!!

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