Tuesday, September 18, 2007


This is fascinating! I've been out of the loop so long from education classes that I had no idea there were various "models" for designing your teaching. My biggest question at this point is, "How do I feel about all this, and how can I start to utilize it?"

While I'm still a bit intimidated by Dick & Carey, I feel like there might be a gestalt out there that I might be able to glimpse. Teaching Technology has caused me to move away from formal, structured planning because so much of what my students need is "just in time" learning. Especially in the Fall, when I have the slower readers, trying to anticipate their needs well ahead of time is difficult for me. Each year I write myself notes on my lesson plans: Slow down here, Use this app here, and so forth. And each year I not only need to incorporate the previous year's suggestion, but have tons more for myself. Would it help me be a better teacher if I tried to use one of the models to organize my teaching? Perhaps.

So how do I learn more? The Internet has many sites that demonstrate application of this week's models (Heinich, Molenda, Russell and Smaldino's ASSURE model, and Gerlach and Ely's model), and we're supposed to start thinking of lessons we can create using each of the models. I want this to be an authentic experience for me, so I'm going to dig a bit more and try to see ways in which I can actually use these models!
And then there's the new Office 2007 work. Wow! At first I thought it was all just bells and whistles, but this week's assignment included formatting papers for APA and MLA, and Word 2007 rocks. How I wish this tool had been available when I was writing English papers!

Of course this call into question what we need to be focusing on in the classroom. It's just like the debate over teaching DOS - do the kids really need to know about the fundamental structures when the software takes care of doing all the labor for them? I think the answer is a resounding, "Yes!" How many times have I been able to sort out why some Windows app wasn't working properly because I knew "how the computer was thinking"? The same goes for teaching MLA in the classroom: just because the software will take care of the formatting for you, you still need to know if it's doing things the right way. How many professors are going to deduct points from a paper because the computer didn't handle the formatting correctly? And how will the student respond to the deduction? I can hear it now..."The computer made me do it!"

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