Tuesday, February 24, 2009

SMART Notebook or PowerPoint?

Since I started this blog as part of a technology course, I'm going to have a little fun with this and find out where everyone stands on this topic: Do you prefer SMART Notebook or PowerPoint for class presentations? I love using PowerPoint for my notes and presentations, but I'm just starting to get acquainted with SMART Notebook and I can see some obvious advantages. But...lets see what everyone else thinks........

Friday, February 20, 2009

Curriculum Framing Questions

All lessons in today's educational system are based upon an objective and/or standard. These objectives may take weeks to be measured, or could be measured in a single class period. And whether a teacher is developing a lesson to teach a specific state standard, or they are writing an objective to outline what their class is discussing that day, the goal remains the same: to ensure the students have mastered the objective through the teaching process. Curriculum framing questions provide a way for teachers to establish clear goals for their students on three levels. Essential Questions are open-ended questions which focus on broad concepts, which may even apply to other disciplines. Unit Questions are also open-ended, but cover content specific concepts and could span the entire length of a chapter or unit. Content Questions have a set of defined answers and most often cover specific facts.

My unit topic for this particular class is "Africa: Before, During, & After World War II". As much as any continent, Africa's history has been shaped by forces from outside its borders. We will explore Europe's influence on Africa's social and political structures before World War II, and how the war itself affected it. The class will then see how today's Africa was shaped by these events. These are my curriculum framing questions for my unit:

Essential Question: How can war change the world?

Unit Questions: How can war effect a nation directly involved in the conflict? How can war effect a nation not directly involved in the conflict? How are colonies effected by their parent nation's conflicts?

Content Questions: How did World War II lead to independence for some African nations? How did European nations change the social classes, economies, and migratory patterns of Africa? Describe the infrastructures left in place by European governments.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My First Blog Post

The original purpose of this blog is to satisfy a requirement of the "Intel Teach to the Future" technology course, but I plan to branch out into other areas of discussion in the future. The class and its resources are already proving to be valuable assets in my teaching. The instruction focuses on preparing students for the future by utilizing technology, advanced instructional design, and project based learning. So far, the greatest impact on me personally has been the use of web-based resources. I have tried to incorporate the use of the internet in my classes though my Lex-Connect class pages, but I can see how these new resources will enable me to carry it to a new level. Using curriculum framing questions will also help me in my planning and instruction. They basically take the traditional standard or objective for each lesson, and expand it onto three levels of learning.