Thursday, November 27, 2008

Educational leadership is not accepting for what is, but preparing for what isn’t.

Educational leaders should not be teaching to students just to prepare them for our past, but working with students in a collaborative learning environment that will allow these learners to construct their own knowledge to prepare them for their future. This forward thinking will allow the learner to build on the previous knowledge acquired to create new and unique knowledge; and not simply focus on the same or similar information from the past. The learner of today and tomorrow will prepare themselves for the problems of the future and the knowledge yet unknown to solve these problems; and not accepting for what is, but preparing for what is not yet discovered.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Creativity in Higher Education

George Bernard Shaw said, “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will”.
Providing higher education students with a collaborative extraordinary learning environment is one that allows for imagination that fosters student creativity. This creative higher education learning environment drives the student to pursue new ideas and approaches to an ever changing world.
Educational leaders in higher education that provide a creative environment for students to imagine what they desire, will create a pedagogy where the learner can will what they imagine so they can create what they will.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not just a classroom, but a fun extraordinary learning environment

With the perceived need to teach to the test, and focusing on improving standardized test results; administrators and teachers have focused on cognitive development in the classroom. Cognition is the foundation for learning, but building upon knowledge through the affective domain is the key to learner motivation. Technology in the classroom is allowing education to change rapidly, and one of the changes that will increase learner motivation is the use of 3D learning environments. Examples of this form of technology include, Holographic Google Earth, Good Maps, and Earth Album, where the world itself can be discovered and felt by the learner.
In a 2005 National Geographic geography survey of 510 American students aged 18 to 24, thirty-seven percent of respondents could not locate Iraq on a map, although American troops have been deployed there since 2003. In an earlier survey, National Geographic (2002) concluded that twenty-nine percent of these students could not locate the Pacific Ocean, fifty-eight percent could not find Japan, and sixty-nine percent could not locate Great Britain.
The 3D learning geography learning environment allows for student-centered education that focuses on learner engagement and motivation through various ‘fun’ problem-solving activities that provides for discovery and exploration. Also, this fun form of education provides for the educator and learner to construct knowledge as they experience a supportive environment that will provide solutions to future global problems.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The 4 C’s of Student-Centered Learning

Culture: How we do things here…The educational leaders of today will build a model for the future that allows for an extraordinary learning environment. To accomplish this goal we need to move the learning environment from a teacher-student competitive educational system, to a teacher-scholar collaborative educational system based around student engagement.
Climate: How it feels here… Move from the classroom where students are responsible for student success; to the collaborative learning environment where everyone is responsible for student success.
Context: How it looks here… Move from a passive teaching classroom; to an active learning environment.
Content: What we use here… Move from the classroom/library as a static repository of information transfer from the teacher; to a classroom/library as a dynamic learning center for knowledge and learning through technology.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Educators as Facilitators

The 21st century student goes to the internet for research and information acquisition before they use the library. Now is the time for educators to bring information skills into a collaborative and supportive classroom environment to facilitate student centered learning. Today the Net Generation navigates the internet with ease, but they a reluctant to approach library staff and faculty for research using technology. Libraries and digital information resources can play an important role in the education of today's learner.
Technology advances like Web 2.0, blogs, and wikis open the classroom environment in multiple directions by opening communications that allow for an interactive way to share information among groups of people and construct knowledge through critical thinking about information. Currently, most education takes place outside the classroom and provides for learner discovery through the lens of technology. The challenge that faces the educator is to facilitate learner information literacy to allow for how the learning takes place and not what the learner needs to learn. We need to force the learner to take a risk by creating a trusted environment to discover and build the knowledge of the future.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Student-Centered Lifelong Learning

With many of our teachers currently stuck in an out-of-date belief system that students need to pass a test to move forward or be retained; and with teachers struggling with the use of technology in the classroom, the learner is actively seeking technological advances in the learning process.

The Educator of today will articulate to their students the process of lifelong learning skills. This allows the student to take an active role in their learning from memorizing and repeating information, to exploring through self-discovery to perform and transfer self-learned information to solve new problems.

To accomplish this goal, we as educators will facilitate a student-centered learning environment that allows for students to learn on their own, teach others, develop communication skills and collaborate with others, develop lifelong learning skills, public speaking, followed by self-assessment of their work.

With the tremendous amount of human knowledge available with current technology, not to mention what the future has in store; the scope of knowledge does not allow for the traditional educational system and the beliefs of the past to be effective.

The teacher of today needs to drop the notion that if we don’t teach them (the student), they will not learn our information. We as EDUCATORS will replace this antiquated thinking with the forward thinking that allows our students to be lifelong learners. By preparing independent self-motivating lifelong learners to learn in a student-centered technologically advanced global learning environment, they will learn their information to be successful in their lives.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Validation and Educational Leadership

The effective leader is one that displays consistent behavior and that is respectful through personal validation of others. Validation is to focus on someone's feelings, accepting someone's feelings, understanding them, and followed by nurturing them. By validating someone, we provide a safe environment for them to share their feelings and thoughts with respect. This process allows people to feel that their ideas were heard, acknowledged, understood and accepted. As educational leaders validate the people we work with, we enhance those around us, and add value to them in a learning environment without dictating to them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Technology...Transforming teachers into educators:

With advances in educational technology, teachers are now becoming educators. In the past, many classroom environments relied on punishing tools to allow teachers to achieve the outcomes they desired of their students through guilt, intrepidation, and embarrassment of the learner. The classroom teacher using a “stand and deliver” approach, followed by measurement or evaluation as a test of student learning does not create an educational environment that allows for student engagement. The educator of today creates a meaningful emotional relationship with the learner by allowing for student engagement through the use of technology in the classroom, and ultimately followed by assessment as a way to test if the learning objectives were achieved. By implementing technology into the pedagogy, it provides a learning environment that encourages the learner to participate in the learning process. Furthermore, this positive emotional support for student centered learning translates into student centered practice to create a “Learn by doing” educational experience. As the digital age advances into the future; and as those of us in educational administration look through the lens of these advances in educational technology, let us move the teacher forward to the educator of the future.

Friday, October 3, 2008

ED 400 - 10/6/08 - Authentic Learning

Authentic Learning – Dan Eller – 10/6/08
As educators in higher education, we are always looking for ways to make information more meaningful to our students. Authentic learning allows for this “meaning” by presenting students with problem-solving activities that employee authentic, real-world questions that enable students to participate in a learning community. In this learning community there exists many sources of knowledge, but the teacher is but one source of this knowledge.
Higher education today attracts a participatory learner engaged with state-of-the-art technology; students can use their online collaborative abilities to develop their academic pursuits. This community collaboration goes beyond the walls of the classroom and teacher delivered instruction, to encompass all that is waiting outside the traditional learning environment. This places the learner in somewhat of an uncomfortable, non-directed learning environment where the teacher can act as the guide to facilitate this broader learning world. By incorporating this pedagogy into our teaching practice, we continue the future exploration of knowledge by our students, and ultimately provide a stable foundation for this student driven knowledge to become student driven practice.

Monday, September 29, 2008

ED 400 - 9/29/08 - Constructivism

The tagline for Cal Poly SLO is "Learn by doing", Diana G. Oblinger notes in the article, Authentic Learning for the 21st Century: An overview, "Learning-by-doing is generally considered the most effective way to learn". As educators we need to design learning opportunites for our higher education students that allow for individuals to construct their own understanding of new information by guiding them in a practical setting. Teaching to the test where students memorize facts and equations will not engage students in personal experimentation of building on knowledge from the past to explore the knowledge of the future.