Tag Archives: Teach/Learn

Guest Blogger

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and this time I’m doing something different!

I’d like to introduce a guest blogger – my husband, Paul.  It’s interesting that we’ve been simultaneously working on our teaching diplomas…only mine was for adult education, and he is focusing on secondary education.  We’ve had lots of great discussions about pedagogy vs. andragogy, how to engage learners, and what makes teachers awesome.  Paul needed to write a few blog posts for his current field experience, and I thought this was a cool opportunity for us to have our teach/learn journeys on the same page.  I hope you enjoy reading what he has to share!

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The truth about teaching naked

It’s hard to believe I’m in the last week of PIDP 3240 (online)!  And that means it’s time to wrap-up the blogging – for now.  It’s been a busy, but enjoyable, 8 weeks…lots of great discussions with peers, some cool new web 2.0 tools to try, and of course having the motivation to blog regularly.

When I resurrected this blog for PIDP 3240, my initial post was about teaching naked (eek!).  I was confused…why is a course about media-enhanced learning using a book that says get technology out of the classroom???  Working through the course text (entitled ‘Teaching Naked’) and through the online discussion forums, I’d like to share a few things I have discovered about teaching naked.

First truth: There is no need to remove clothing.  Ha!

Second truth: Technology in learning is inevitable, and it can be a very good thing.  The best, and most common way for students to first be exposed to new material is online.  Technology has given us more content and more ways to deliver the content.

Third truth: Face time is too valuable to waste.  Our classes need to deliver something more than what students would get if they just stayed home and accessed the online resources.  We need to make class time meaningful – something they don’t want to miss.  If they can just get all the info online, why bother showing up?

What really hit home for me about Teaching Naked was that students need and crave connections – with their instructor and with their peers.  Technology is great, but it is only a means to an end.  Students want instructor contact, discussions, opportunities for feedback, engagement, social/professional bonding.  And instructors want the same thing.

Teaching is about balance.  The perfect mix of technology, teaching practices and human contact…32fc16026a36617a7e0c066b45013ec3

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Meditation for teachers

A PIDP 3240 colleague commented on my recent blog post (Online learning -> brain damage???), thanking me for addressing the topic and shared her views on the importance of meditation.  And she’s absolutely right!  In this world where we are surrounded by technology, our brains will surely benefit from a little bit of meditation and striving for mindfulness.  I discovered this website: The Mindful Teacher, which aims to help teachers reclaim peace and cultivate attention.  The website provides opportunities for discussion, resources, online courses, and even daily morning, midday, and evening guided meditations.  To start your day with a meditation geared for teachers, check out the daily morning meditation here!

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Taking the Tech Out of Technology

it20students20lab20classI LOVED this article!!  I posted it on our PIDP 3240 discussion forum and it generated a lot of commentary.  Peers were intrigued, interested and totally engaged in discussing this article.  In the article, the author states that instructors who were involved in the Virtual College at his school were actually not interested in technology at all….they wanted to learn ways they could increase social interaction.  Likewise, students wanted instructor contact.  Although we get very excited about new technology and great new tools, we still need to maintain the human connection.  The author sums it up well: “A blend of teaching practices, technology, and basic human contact just might be the recipe needed” (Buemi, 2015).

I tend to agree very much so with Buemi.  Although I like the options that technology gives us, I still like the human connection, between students and instructor.  Linking back to the hybrid course delivery model, this is a great way to achieve exactly the perfect recipe that Buemi describes.  Does anyone else see the risk of technology interfering with human connection in the classroom?

“Our excitement over the latest technology has started focusing on the wrong thing. It ought to reside in the praxis of teaching, not the tool.”

Source: Taking the Tech Out of Technology

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Educational ACDC

Here’s an interesting spin on teaching!  And no, I don’t mean the band.

  • Active Learning
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Discovery Learning
  • Community

“ACDC Leadership and Consulting was created by Jacob Clifford in 2007. We are dedicated to creating student-focused teaching resources that make learning exciting, powerful, and fun. We offer teachers, schools, and districts a variety of programs, activities, and workshops. […] we have what you need to get students out of their seats and into the curriculum.” http://www.acdcleadership.com/

One example of a student project using the ACDC program is having the students create a music video using course content as lyrics.  I remember taking anatomy and physiology and wishing it could be converted into song lyrics…the terminology would be much easier to remember if I could sing through it!

Here’s another example of using movies/music to help student remember content that may be difficult to recall:  (I shared it with my nursing class and they loved it!)

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Nursing: High-tech/Low-tech

home-image-1With all this discussion of bringing technology into nursing, it’s important to remember that there are some essential nursing skills that are very low-tech.  I kind of alluded to this in my post on Virtual Reality…these are the skills that can’t be taught with technology alone.  I’m talking about:

  • intercultural skills
  • interpersonal and communication skills
  • caring qualities (kindness, warmth, compassion)
  • etc.

Don’t get me wrong…we need technology to help us learn and advance, but we cannot be nurses without these low-tech skills.  As the American Sentinel University states so clearly, technology may be fine for nurses, but “technology can only work for patients when it’s combined with highly competent, relationship-based care. And this is why nurses must embrace their low-tech skills, as well as develop new high-tech competencies.”

To read more of this article: http://www.americansentinel.edu/blog/2012/05/30/nursing-skills-high-tech-vs-low-tech/

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No letter grades here!

Here is a little further reading to my last post.  Apparently there are colleges that don’t give letter grades…not many, and none that I found in Canada.  But here’s a look at some colleges in the States that have innovative grading systems.

Web

Check out this article for more information on how they score their students: http://www.bestcollegereviews.org/colleges-without-letter-grades/

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Is school more about grades than actual learning?

Here is an interesting live debate, weigh in if you like!  Is school more about grades than actual learning?

I was interested in this topic after marking the first assignment for my nursing school class.  One student made the comment, “oh, we thought it was just an easy assignment so that everyone would get guaranteed full marks as a head start on their final grade”.  In personal appointments with more than one student who was unhappy with their mark, it was very obvious that they were hoping I’d change their score.  Yet, it was very clear when they questioned my marking, that they did not understand the assignment.  I felt then, like it was more the lost points they were worried about then learning why they had lost the marks.  importance-of-grades-to-college-students

It was the same when I marked the midterm exams…  I sent everyone their mark and also let them know what the average score was.  I received 4 emails back (in a class of 38), with students telling me they were disappointed in their score because they were anywhere from 0.2-0.4 points below the class average.  As well, I had one student who was disappointed with her mark – 92%!!  In fact, it was the highest mark in the class.  This kind of response from the students, with a focus on the actual score, rather than the exam content, made me question whether the course means anything to them, or if it’s just a grade.  Perhaps the assessment tools (exams and assignments) need to be re-vamped.  Or, maybe, as this article suggests, the students should appreciate the challenges and the valuable lessons they learned in college, and strive for self-improvement as a result of hard work.

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Book Review

My college is offering an instructional development workshop, and unfortunately I am unable to go.  But it sounded interesting, so I Googled the title of the workshop, and discovered that it is actually discussing the topics from the book “How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching” by Mayer.51b2baegk6pl-_sx333_bo1204203200_

Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of the book to provide my own review, but I did find one report that summarized the views of 25 health professions faculty educators.  Being in nursing, this review was very relevant!

The book covers seven topics, discussing them separately in each chapter:

  1. Students’ prior knowledge can serve to help or hinder learning.
  2. Students’ organization of knowledge impacts how students learn and apply what they know.
  3. Motivation determines, directs, and sustains what students learn.
  4. To develop mastery, students must develop the skills, practice integrating them, and know when to apply them.
  5. Goal-directed practice coupled with targeted feedback enhances learning.
  6. Level of learner development interacts with “course” climate to impact learning.
  7. To become self-directed, learners must be able to monitor and adjust their approaches to learning (pages 4–6).

What I liked about the review was that it assured me that the book is relevant for those teaching in the healthcare subjects.  Quite often, educational resources are geared more towards undergrad students, and not those in trades or vocational programs.  But based on the reviews, this book seems pretty great. I’ll be looking to pick up a copy of this book ASAP!

Click here to read the book review and see if it might be helpful for you too!

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Thankful

It’s appropriate to reflect on the topic of ‘Thankful’ on this Thanksgiving Day.  My Facebook feed was filled with friend’s posts of family, turkey dinners, and pumpkin patches.  There are so many things I am thankful for, it would be difficult to sum them up into a photo or status update (although pumpkin pie is pretty high up on the list).  Of course I’m thankful for family and friends.  But I’m also thankful for so many amazing opportunities in my career as a nurse, and now nursing instructor.  It’s a very rewarding career – one in which I feel like I often receive more than I give.  And I am seeing that teaching is very much the same.  It’s an honor to be helping students in their learning journey to become nurses.  It’s a privilege to be a small piece of their education and nursing influence.  So for each of my students, I am thankful.  I’m a mere ripple in their lake of learning, but for me, that is huge.

Here is a cute video from my favorite Kid President – his list of 25 reasons to be thankful (now if only he could become the next real president…):

Happy Thanksgiving!

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