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Educational philosophy


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Educational philosophy

  1. 1. Patricia Green<br />MCOM 520: Selection and Use of Instructional Technology<br />Date: April 26, 2011<br />Narrative Writing:<br />Educational Philosophy<br />The basis of the learning process within the classroom depends highly on the teacher’s creativity, passion for the profession and intellectual knowledge for the content and being able to effectively impart his or her values, goals and objective to students who are made up of different components. Growing up in a third world country limits the privileges of advanced technology being integrated in the classroom and the sophistication of a learning environment that is suitable for learning. Reflecting on PreK-12 school brought back memories of teachers using cartridge paper to create charts as a pictorial means of making the lesson visually appealing. During these years, the focus was on gather as much notes as possible for approximately one and a half hours because standardized test were solely based on the information dictated by the teachers. I can clearly remember abbreviating words in order to record as much notes as possible. There were some classes that were very interesting like the computer class, which strangely, only lasted for forty five minutes. However, my Business Teacher made a difference because she exemplified an ideal traditional facilitator. She used unique approaches to show how business was an integral part of our lives and society. <br />The term “to learn” is relevant and dependent on various factors that can make the verb accomplished or unaccomplished. Various factors that contribute or interfere with the process include: the teacher, environment, content, interest, learning styles, delivery of information, feedback and disabilities. Different persons learn through different mediums. It is vital as educators to invest in analyzing the students in order to ensure that materials are delivered in a manner that it is clearly understood by all participants. In understanding how students learn, it is imperative to know the students’ learning style; this will help to develop coping with strategies to compensate for their weaknesses and capitalize on their strengths. “Students preferentially take in and process information in different ways: by seeing and hearing, reflecting and acting, reasoning logically and intuitively, analyzing and visualizing, steadily and in fits and starts. Teaching methods also vary. Some instructors lecture, others demonstrate or lead students to self-discovery; some focus on principles and others on applications; some emphasize memory and others understanding” (Felder, 2010). With the advancement of technology and the provisions being made for inclusion in the learning process, selection of the appropriate technological medium is vital especially when dealing with students who have disabilities. “To be effective, instructional multimedia should address the unique sources for learning differences that influence success. More specifically, it should emulate the instructor's experienced, intuitive ability to recognize and respond to how individuals learn differently and creatively foster interest, value, and more successful, independent learning” (Lever-Duffy and McDonald, 2011). The Nemours Foundation, 2011 defines learning disabilities has problems that affect the brain's ability to receive, process, analyze, or store information. These problems can make it difficult for a student to learn as quickly as someone who is not affected by learning disabilities. Certain kinds of learning disabilities can interfere with a person's ability to concentrate or focus and can cause someone's mind to wander too much. Other learning disabilities can make it difficult for a student to read, write, spell, or solve math problems. <br />Technology is universal, interacting with almost every part of our lives, our communities, our homes. The integration of technology in the learning process is vital. Students gravitate more towards a lesson that is technologically based rather than a dictation lesson. Research is the number one reason to use the internet in education. Students have a wealth of information open to them. “Integrating technology into classroom instruction means more than teaching basic computer skills and software programs in a separate computer class. Effective tech integration must happen across the curriculum in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process” (Edutopia Staff, 2011). Technology can aid in meeting the needs of students in the learning process through its effective use in assisting students with learning disabilities. Students with a hearing disability will find it difficult to keep up in class due to various issues that will interfere with their learning process, such as: pitch, tone and rate of the teacher’s voice, acoustics of the room or seating arrangement. These elements are major in the classroom communication process and effective learning. How to use a computer along with various programs and devices is very important when imparting knowledge to students with disabilities. Students and teachers should be able to manipulate the adjustments made to the machine to cater to effective learning. “Technology also changes the way teachers teach, offering educators effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess students understanding through multiple means. It also enhances the relationship between teacher and student. When technology is effectively integrated into subject areas, teachers grow into roles of adviser, content expert, and coach. Technology helps make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun (Edutopia Staff, 2011).”<br />Students learn through engaging in hands-on activities, it serves the basis of linking theory to the practical aspect of a concept. “A significant trend in the data shows students are learning more through "hands on" instruction than they did through lectures only” (Arnold, 2003). This is a vital medium for educating students. They are self-directed, responsible and accountable for their work; it brings about the purpose of why they are learning that particular concept. Coupled with hands-on instruction is the importance of classroom environment with adequate spacing, lighting, acoustics and design. The classroom must be designed to support free movement, easy access to materials and programs overall it must be conducive to facilitate learning. The use of space in a learning environment can significantly affect teaching and learning. “Education for the 21st century needs to be designed in relation to what we know about learning, with the flexibility to respond to what we do not know about the future. This is the challenge, to create true classrooms of the future” (McGregor, 2011). In teaching a class how to prepare a budget there are numerous information that can be found about its importance, how to construct a budget and its purpose. There are also publicly trading companies that make the company’s financial statements available on the internet, this will give the students some idea of how to create a budget. However, in making this lesson more practical, students could plan a trip for a particular holiday within the semester and prepare a travel budget. In engaging in this activity, students will research the necessary information needed to understand the preparation of a budget and its format. They will be required to use Microsoft Excel to design a budget using information gathered through conducting research on the internet and communication with peers, family members and small business owners within their community. The end result is significant to each student because the lesson is not just geared towards learning about designing a budget but making it applicable to real life situation, therefore, its importance stands out even more and the process is more memorable.<br />Every teacher knows that a safe, clean, comfortable and attractive classroom can stimulate learning and help build a classroom community. In designing the ideal classroom students will be seated in a circular shape in an environment with walls painted in light cool colors preferably light blue, pink and green with enough lighting through windows that allow fresh air, the beauty of the sunshine and the view of lush vegetation. The classroom must be technologically equipped with laptops for each student with the required programs to promote high level learning and programs to assist students who have disabilities, a smartboard, speakers, microphone, pointing device. The necessary technology to accommodate students who suffer from disabilities must be in the classroom. The environment would have a circular shape which represents education on the same level. The classroom will have enclosed cubicles where students work collaboratively on group assigned tasks. A mini library consisting of books and journals covering a wide variety of content area will be strategically located in the classroom; a secured storage area for portable devices including an enclosed laptop and ipod/ipad charging area. Making the most of the classroom environment is achieved through carefully considering the needs of the teacher and the needs of the students. All seating arrangements should accommodate an inclusive learning environment.<br />Designing a classroom that supports learning in an ideal environment can be very daunting especially when various factors restrict the improvement. However, through considering individual needs and the needs of the students this can aid in making the most of the classroom environment. My ideal classroom supports learning through its circular shape by defining it on the same level, constantly moving through various learners who add varying ideas and concepts to enhance its process. “The flexible learning space is viewed as contributing positively to student engagement, collaboration, flexibility and learning” (Etheridge and Neill, 2008). This classroom is designed to cater to the learning needs of all students as best as possible. Students will be comfortable in a sophisticated classroom that is well equipped with current technological devices and programs, resources and materials. This classroom is designed to serve the main purpose of imparting knowledge to students in an effective, creative and innovative manner allowing them to be accountable and responsible for the information gathered through research and application.<br />References:<br />Arnold, Julie. (2003). Hands-on Learning for Freshman Engineering Students. Retrieved<br />from<br />Edutopia Staff. (2011). Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum? The reason are many. Retrieved from<br />Etheridge, Rebecca and Neill, Stern. (2008). Flexible Learning Spaces: The Integration of Pedagogy, Physical Design, and Instructional Technology. Marketing Education Review. Volume 18, Number 1.<br />Felder, Richard. (2010). Learning Styles. Retrieved from<br />Lever-Duffy, Judy., & McDonald, Jean B. (2011). Teaching and Learning with <br />Technology 4th Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.<br />The Nemours Foundation. (2011) .Learning Disabilities. Retrieved from<br />McGregor, Jane. (2011). Understanding and managing classroom space. Retrieved from<br />Bibliography<br />Gibbon, Peter. (2003). Why Teachers Matter. Journal of Education, Volume 184 Number 3.<br />Rosemarin, Shoshana. (2009). Who is the best teacher? Do different kinds of students have different preference? Gifted Education International, Volume 25, pp 48-55.<br />Wolk, Ron. (April, 2010). Education: The Case for Making. Retrieved from Educational Leadership.<br />