Wednesday, October 30, 2013

KaBOOM!

Monsters, little men, towers, more monsters, and a plethora of explosions.  Neat!

My three hours of game time flew by.  I finished up and realized "Wow.  I learned so much!"  I felt like I had only just sat down at my computer, but was so drawn in by the game, and learning all the different tactics and strategies that I completely lost track of time.

Speaking of strategies and tactics...isn't that something that learning entails?  Strategies, tactics, and even plans of action are all valuable components of learning.  How neat is it to think that gaming and schooling really do have some things in common!

I enjoyed reflecting on all that I had learned in the game, while reflecting on the idea of "The Flow"

1:---Each wave required a different type of strategy, dependent on what types of foes were dawning upon my territory.

2:---If I died...the digit next the the pretty red hearts would go down one...
       If I did something awesome, happy, jovial music would start to play (if I had the music on) :)
3:---I had to know which towers should have defense, as well as if/where to plant the militia
4:---I had to be aware and conscious of where my defense was happening in relation to where my foes were approaching from
 5   ---Not realizing that I was killing daylight due to blowing stuff up....:)
  6---  I knew I could start the level over...and....over..and over once more....
7----It was just me, some little guys running around on the screen, some gorgeous landscaping, a few towers, and some bad guys. :)  I had no real reason to fret about my score or plan of attack, in comparison to that of others.
8:  ...time flies when you're having fun blowing stuff up, or throwing arrows at your quickly approaching enemies.
9: Something is accomplished in each and every wave.  It may be that I have victory over my enemies...or possibly that I die and will need to restart the entire battle.

Zee Flow is very apparent in this video game, and I very much enjoyed reflecting on its attributes in comparison to that of the flow, as well as learning and educating in general.

(I never thought I would ever hear myself say this) 

Game on, friends. Game on.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Math Playground...What's it all about, anyway?

As a student who absolutely despises math, I am always on the look-out for any kind of resource that can help me in my journey through the world of mathematics.  After watching this recording, I sat back in my seat, and said "Wow."  I honestly believe this site contains each and every bell and whistle needed to draw students into the world of math...and will actually get them to start having fun with the subject!

Colleen King has done a wonderful job of creating a colorful, innovative, engaging resource for students to use as an aid in doing math. In her presentation, she talks about the many different games and activities on her website/apps, and includes the many benefits of having created these two resources.These resources reflect the 5 steps in Technology Integration in the following ways...

1: Entry- King displays this component of technology integration by way of creating games/activities that reflect the content and material that is being taught in the classroom.


2: Adoption-King uses the games/activities to encourage students to explore technology as they learn how to maneuver around the website and learn what kinds of computer skills are required for each game/activity.

3: Adaptation- King has created the games/activities in a way that the scores for each student are recorded, which will allow teachers/facilitators to keep track of the progress of each student.

4: Infusion- King allows students to choose what kind of game/activity they want to engage in as they work on developing their skills in different types and levels of math.  Students can pick from more "arcade" styles of gaming, or a style of gaming that places an emphasis less on speed and agility, and more on word usage and common sense.

5: Transformation: King will open up doors of opportunity for students to engage in mathematics in a way that appears to be more fun than work!  What student would not jump at the idea of  playing a "shoot 'em up game that counts as working on their knowledge of mathematics!

As I think about having my own classroom, I first acknowledge the fact that (as a Preschool teacher) I will not be teaching components of mathematics that are deemed "difficult".  Though, I am very aware that I will likely have students that will have difficult grasping onto the concept of the mathematical material I am presenting in my classroom.  This being said, King has strengthened my awareness of the importance in looking at school from the perspective of the student, and thinking about how I would best learn a material that is difficult to grasp.  Students of all ages want to feel exited and be engaged in what they are learning about in the classroom, and King emphasizes the importance in always being aware of this very truth.

Feeling encouraged in the midst of my journey into teaching,


Emily

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Why all the hubbub about Global Learning?

Before working on the Global Learning project for this class, I can honestly say...I really was not aware of how beneficial this type of learning can be;, not only for students, but educators as well.

The ideas that come from doing research for this type of project are numerous!  For example, when my group first started to work on our project, we looked at ideas from educators from both the US, as well as other countries so we could focus on how we could best collaborate with classrooms who have similar standards and methods to our own, as well as classrooms who might have different methods of teaching.

Now, I understand that the point(s) I brought up in the above paragraph are general, and may not seem to be all that important when it comes to actually teaching students something about the process of creating the project,but I beg to differ.

The whole process of introducing students to other methods and ways of learning will not only help them to  collaborate with students who are instructed under these methods, but it will also introduce them to possible methods or ideas that will assist them in their own learning, and enable them to find a method of learning that is more efficient and effective than the one(s) they are accustomed to already.

So, back to the original question: Why All The Hubbub?

Why not?

Why shouldn't we we branch out and engage in a type of teaching and learning that wil enable both students and educators to approach education in a different manner, all the while collaborating with other students and educators and teaching and learning about methods that, without this collaboration, may not have been thought of otherwise.

Just a little food for thought as I continue my journey through this thing called...Learning.

Until next time,

Em


Friday, October 11, 2013

Brainstorming.

This past weekend, I spent quite a bit of time, collaborating, and forming ideas about what in the world the theme of our Global Project should be.  An hour into this endeavor, it finally clicked.  I would like to let you in on what that  theme is, but I would hate to ruin the surprise. :)  Well, once this "click" took place, brains started exploding.  Ok, so exploding might not be so accurate, I suppose one might say that ideas began exploding....from the brain of both my group member and myself.  It was a beautiful boisterous, ball of brainstorming...and it felt wonderful!

What I love most about brainstorming sessions is the magic of how one idea can spark the beginning of another idea, which will then result in at least three more ideas, etc....

How refreshing and liberating is it to let your ideas and creations be brought to life, in order to contribute to the big picture.  I know I used this little meme in my last blog, but I must repeat...."How neat is that?!"


Thoughts on Dede and Christiansen....

 


  As I reflect on what I read in the work of Dede and Christiansen, and think about how I might apply those ideas to my own teaching, I, honestly, am overcome with a feeling of excitement, nervousness, but mostly anticipation of how I can integrate some of these ideas and use trial and error in my lessons. 

I know I talked about this in my post in the discussion thread, but I really am in awe of how the sky is really, truly the limit when it comes to education.  The advances in technology have opened up (virtually) every window, door, portal, and any other type of outlet that will enable students to learn.  Technology offers endless options for students learn through.  All learning styles can be catered to through technology.  

]How neat is that?!  

As a way to display how technology can help cater to learning styles, I have posted a link to this blog.  The excitement I have for the opportunities presented to students through this ability to accommodate grows as I learn more and more about even just a smidgen of what technology now offers!

I believe that is all the "rambling" I have for now.

Until next time,

Emily

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/addressing-different-learning-styles