Reflections on Module A: Lesson 2

Grounding Issues and Finding Patterns in Experience (Case 1) 

In all parts of lesson 2, I found Case 1 to be not only the most informative but the most inspiring. Starting in my third MET course I became very interested in makerspaces and classrooms as learning labs. Case 1 of Lesson 2 perfectly embodies what I would like my classroom to look like. The learning lab classroom in the video is inspiring and how I think all children should learn. Inquiry, investigation and construction of knowledge by scaffolding activities, so that the learned information becomes valuable to the students and therefore more easily recalled at a later time. Students are able to see how their problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills helped them tackle the problems they were faced with.

Although I have been teaching for 26 years it has only been in the last five, that I have realized that what I have been doing in my classrooms is not creating self-directed, motivated learners who can solve new and novel problems. Classrooms need to evolve from rows of desks and seated children doing paper and pencil work to active learning labs where students are up, moving, discussing and engaged in their learning.

With this change in the way our classrooms look and function, it is equally important that as educators we change how we are assessing our students. We can not assess with the same old written tests that ask students to regurgitate memorized facts, rather we need to be actively assessing and interacting with our students, asking questions, challenging answers and encouraging students to dig deeper.

Case 1 of Lesson 2 demonstrated what a classroom with technology can look like. Several of the other video cases showed classrooms where technology was implemented but the dynamic of the room did not change as much as it did in case 1. For the most part the other video cases represented classes where the same material was taught, but technology was used rather than older methods. In my opinion this is not the best use of technology.

Technology should not be used to do what has always been done with a different tool. Technology should be used to take the learning further. Students interacting and solving problems that allow them to move forward in their learning. This is why I have fallen in love with makerspaces. A makerspace is an interactive learning environment that allows students to construct their own knowledge. Lessons and activities are scaffolded so that students are challenged yet do not become frustrated.

The following is a website I co-created on makerspaces.

makerspaceforeducation.com

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