Fergus1s’s Weblog
I hope this blog is somewhat educational.

Jan
18

One of the greatest challenges that I have, in general, and in a traditional learning environment is sitting still. Over the years, and through my degree, we have often discussed different learning styles, and ways that people process information as they learn. I am a kinesthetic and visual learner, so audio stuff doesn’t really work for me. A lot of the time, if I am listening to a lecture, I have to go over it numerous times before the info sticks, or I need to re process it by paraphrasing the information.

I know these days, because of the internet, many different topics that people want to learn about are going to be accessible to kids at the click of a button. This is great, for the most part, but when you learn the way I do, sometimes the human element is still important, and we shouldn’t overlook the need for people in the classrooms, and real organic bodies that we can still relate to. Many of our students will learn independently, but some of us may need a mixture of instructional styles, in order to fully maximize our learning potential.

Combining the different types of intelligences with different types of learning styles is one of the greatest challenges that a teacher faces today. We need to know the needs and personalities of each of our students so that they can learn about subjects passionately. Everyone has likes and dislikes, preferences, and such. But we still need to pay attention to the needs of each person that we teach.

As I write this, I am going over yesterday’s lecture again, so that I fully understand what we talked about. Learning at my own pace is great. Thank goodness, I am a proficient multitasker…otherwise the learning process would take much longer! Just a thought.

Jan
15

A brief introduction about myself…my name is Sarah Ferguson, and I am in my third year of my ed degree in Arts Education, with a major in Visual Art and a minor in Literature. I have a BFA in visual art, with a major in intermedia studies, namely drawing and video…and I write like a demon. Some of my interests include writing, drawing, philosophizing, playing guitar, and being generally creative in everything I do. Sometimes this means learning to think outside mainstream thought patterns, and I pride myself on being an inventive, original thinker.

Much of my family is from Saskatchewan, and I am a dyed in the wool prairie girl. I really do miss this place when I go away, although I do love to travel…

Technology doesn’t really scare me, per say. I have had a lot of experience with it over the years, and love the challenge of learning new things, especially in regard to communication, the internet, and computer art. Of course what I learn is usually relevant to my interests, but I think most people are that way. I have worked with other forms of technology, especially cell phones, having worked in a call center for a large American phone company for a few years. I don’t think technology is as scary as people might think. A lot of it relates to common sense, and patience.

I feel that addressing technology in the classroom today is paramount. Students are bombarded with information continuously, through a variety of sources, but especially through the internet. Anything is available to our students, and anything they want to learn about is just a click away. So I do agree with us becoming more “facilitative” and less of a role as fountain of knowledge. We also need to be checkpoints for the knowledge that is being absorbed, and we should use the knowledge that our students bring into the classroom as springboards for new approaches to education. Naturally, there are limits as to what is deemed appropriate, and it is important to tread carefully, but nonetheless, we do need to acknowledge that students will access suggestive and sensitive information and teachers definitely need to keep this in mind when they are dealing with students in their classrooms.

I also feel that using technologies via the internet as part of assignments is a great way for students to incorporate learning into their lifestyles. Rather than keep it separate from the classroom, why not make it part of the learning experience? Interactive learning stimulates interest, and subjects will stick faster if the student is engaged. The internet and technology are perfect for accentuating learning abilities in students, by letting them interact, not just locally, but even on a global scale. It is an exciting time to be a teacher, because of what is available to students today.

I expect this class will help me adapt technology to the learning environment and will prepare me for teaching in today’s age by providing me with new tools and approaches, so that I can maximize the learning potential of my students. I hope to learn as much as I can about what technology can do for learning environments, and I hope to have fun while I do it!