Friday, November 22, 2013

Finding a Purpsose

       I was recently talking to an old friend about teaching and how it has changed in the short amount of time we have been in the field.  It may only be 15 years, but learning AND teaching are moving very fast these days.   We were laughing at the courses that we had to load a film projector, make an overhead slide, or mount pictures on poster board.  This then had me think about the purpose of the tools and what is their use.  
     The tools of today are no different then the tools from many years ago.  The teachers had to have a purpose of showing a film or making a slide.  They could not just use the overhead without there being a reason.  A leader in my school has said, "Teaching is good teaching no matter what!"  Therefore, we want to engage our students, build their problem solving skills, develop strong citizens, and be able enhance their communication skills.   These are the skills and the tools that we use to make that happen can very from subject to subject.  I can rattle off a bunch of cool tools, website, and software; however, if there is no purpose to their use then why use them.

      When designing courses or lessons it would be important to follow a few simple steps.  First know your audience in things like learning styles or intelligence.  Second make a design with the goals and outcome set prior to building anything.  Then work on the activities that you would need to support your goals and outcomes.  Implement your plan, but also have a way to evaluate your lessons that will give you data to support or disprove the design.  In the end, it is all about finding a purpose for using tools and make sure they engage for a true learning environment!

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