Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Defining Globalization

Today as we were reading "The World is Flat" in Econ I asked my seniors to define/explain Friedman's levels of globalization in words and in sculpture. Here is what they came up with:

Globalization 1.0 (Top left): The countries of the world came together to make one globe and shrank it from large to medium. 

Globalization 2.0 (Top right): We created America because it was becoming part of the globalizing process, and its companies, along with other European countries' companies integrated to make their economy grow. The companies were able to control economies and expand overseas, working side by side.

Globalization 3:0 (Bottom right): Our sculpture was all the countries stacked on top of each other to resemble the world becoming flat and united. Our rainbow of colors shows all the different countries/ethnicities who will take part in 3.0. Since more countries are taking part in globalization and competing with one another, our world is becoming small and flatter. 

It actually worked out quite nicely that 1.0 and 3.0 made similar sculptures, but that 3.0 was much more flat than 1.0.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Collective Learning

In February the sophomores discussed language, art, communication, and collective learning in terms of how humans have advanced our society and culture over time. We defined collective learning as the advancements of human learning over an extended period of time (through generations) - building on the knowledge of previous groups and using it to adapt and change in new environments. 

Within a discussion of the similarities, differences, and lifestyles of Neanderthals, homo erectus, and modern humans we looked at the language and art forms of early people. Then, the students used finger painting (similar to early cave paintings) to define and express the idea of “collective learning” without using written language. They had the option of creating individual pieces or creating a collection as a group. This is the culmination of their work.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Senior World Is Flat Blogs

The rest of this semester my Econ students will be blogging while we read "The World is Flat 3.0" by Thomas Friedman. Below are the links to their blogs - feel free to follow along!

Sarah - http://sarahseconblog.blogspot.com
Trevor - http://trevorseconblog.blogspot.com
Jenn - http://jenniferwillems.blogspot.com
Steven - http://smithersecon.blogspot.com
Noah - http://econswag.blogspot.com
Katie - http://katieseconblog.blogspot.com
Molly - http://mollygreenfield.blogspot.com
JJ - http://jjeconblog.blogspot.com
Andy - http://AndrewsEcon.blogspot.com
Abby - http://abbyseconblog.blogspot.com
Nick - http://ecannonamy.blogspot.com
Kevin - http://sweeteconblog.blogspot.com
Matt - http://aglowfleablog.blogspot.com
Amanda - http://mandaseconblog.blogspot.com
Stephen - http://stephensecon.blogspot.com
Whitney - http://Whitneyseconblog.blogspot.com

ISU CI 426: My thoughts for future teachers

Last night I had the opportunity to be part of a panel that spoke to the Iowa State CI 426 class (principles of secondary ed). I have done this for several years now and definitely enjoy getting into the classroom in that capacity. After some early questions to the panel we broke into content groups and I had the opportunity to speak with about 20 history/social studies majors. I wanted to share some of what came out of our conversations.

*I cannot overstate the importance of Twitter in my educational world. Before I got there I sent out a tweet asking what future teachers NEED to know that I should share with the group. I got several responses from all over the country, but more than the messages, the students were impressed with the real-time responses and feedback. Twitter is my 24/7 PD.

*"When you're using so much technology how do you assess?" Writing! My kids write all the time. Whether it's an essay, a paragraph, a wiki post, a sticky note etc. they are constantly writing. Every project includes a writing component. Common Core essentially asks us all to be language teachers, so the writing and using text based prompts are important. You can even use the technology to find great primary resources. There are hundreds of great websites with excellent primary source materials - check Docs Teach, Library of Congress, presidential libraries, etc. The Truman Library website has a great collection.

*"What tech do you need to use?" Find something that you are comfortable with, learn it, and use it. You don't need to know everything. You cannot master everything. There are a hundred ways to video chat. I use Skype. There are 100 ways to share documents. I use Google Docs. Nobody will ever have enough time to learn it all, and when you need something new - Go to Twitter!

*"What if you don't have the funding?" Very few kids don't have cell phones these days - pair them up if it's an issue. Ask for donations from family and friends. I have done a lot with 2 old iPods my sisters didn't need anymore and my own personal computer. Kids can still create on a limited budget. Apply for grants, talk to school-parent/community groups - my Foundation gave me the money for a Wii. The Iowa Council for the Social Studies gave me a grant for the money to get more games and controllers to make it more classroom friendly. A lot can be done with free/cheap tech and even a basic computer lab or cell phone.

*"How do you fight the history teacher as boring lecturer stereotype?" My classroom is often what I like to "organized chaos". Get the kids up and moving, learning on their own. Be a facilitator of learning! Let students create their own learning opportunities. Don't waste precious time on things they can Google faster than you can ask the question. There is a time and a place for facts, names, dates, but don't get bogged down in being the center of attention. Feed their curiosity and they will remember it a lot longer than if they memorize for the test and move on. Today we're finger painting in my sophomore class - they have to define collective learning through finger painting (we have been discussing early humans and human ancestors and today we're discussing the early art forms & symbols of those groups).

*Not a knock against Iowa State, but maybe one against all colleges - you are NEVER prepared enough with Ed Tech courses (one course? with outdated technology by the time you get into the classroom?). Especially if you are planning to teach in Iowa with the number of schools that are going 1:1. Find a way to embrace it, learn it, and utilize it.

*Always be open to being a life-long learner. You will learn more in your first year of teaching than you did in the last 4-5 in college. What is expected of you "in the field" is not always what they ask of you in the classes you take. Embrace that there are always ways to improve your teaching. You will never know it all. Develop your own style, figure out what works for you and your kids, and always strive to improve.

Share your own advice for future teachers in the comments!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Geography Current Events

This is the map that I have my 7th graders creating as they report on current events during our study of Africa. The kids find an event, summarize it, locate it on the map, and publish it. Another way to practice literacy and global spatial awareness skills