CREATIVE COMMONS

This is to signify the attribution level of this blog site as indicated in the Header text.

Image result for creative commons logo

Advertisements

Changing Demographics in Education

I’ve experienced change through the years with the way many students react to time spent in the classroom. There was a time when the face-to-face lesson or lecture was the only way you could get an education or diploma. These days, students expect more, simply, because in most cases they are more in tune with what is available today. My only issue is that I have noticed, in my opinion, since younger generations have been given more they expect it. If at a young age you learn that everybody gets a blue ribbon regardless of your achievement level, a complacency has been fostered. I can get the reward without trying. Remembering a conversation with a math teacher of a Middle school that his students that come to his classes with no math skills. I also see the same thing with young adults that come to my Trade upgrading classes. I have a whole segment on rudimentary math because of this, as part of the course. I believe somewhere along the way someone has dropped the ball. I understand that the culprit that is partially to blame is technology. The process of critical thinking is lost on the calculator. I believe that it is important to show students how and why, so they understand the process. That’s where the term “Naked Teaching”, (Jose Bowen), comes into play. An apprentice asked me, “Why don’t you tell us what questions are on the Inter-Provincial Exam so we don’t have to study all the material?” In other words, he just wanted to do the least amount of work for the most reward. My answer was, “I can’t say specifically what questions are on the Inter-Provincial Exam because there are three Exams and they are rotated, therefore you need to know all the material.” In an accreditation interview I was asked the question, ” Why the apprentices don’t have computers in the classroom? Your program can afford it.” My answer was, “That might be an idea if it was a viable tool of the Trade.” The expense wasn’t warranted and my supervisor agreed with me. I believe that technology has to be used where it can be effective or it becomes just the flavor of the month and a waste of resources. That being said, with time and as industry changes there might be a use for devises to facilitate research. I’m not closing the door, if there is an application I will take advantage of it.

Technology in The Classroom

There are many applications of technology in the classroom today such as video, power point, podcasts, and webinars, undoubtedly the list goes on. Not only in he classroom but anyone can be anywhere in the world as long as there is a signal to a computer, I-Pad, phone or other device of their choosing one can take a course or access material needed for their studies. The competition is heating up among some institutions to enlist as many E-learners as possible to catch the wave and stay abreast of changing demographics. There are still some well-established institutions that cater to old school thinking and are slow to get on board out of necessity to feed the machine. Those that can afford this venue may get satisfaction from the prestige of that institution.

Connectivity of classrooms and students is vastly changing in the face of technology. With conduits like Facebook, Twitter, Skype and other modes of communication, students and teachers alike can be anywhere setting up virtual classrooms and feel a part of the process even though they aren’t physically in the same room.

PIDP 3240, Media Enhanced Learning

In continuing my journey into the Provincial Instructors Diploma Program I’m presently into the third week of this part of the course and have found it quite challenging up to now. Many areas of media technology are new to me and have been quite frustrating at times to implement. One of the things I have found out is that, there is a lot of information in “how to” or “how do I” on the internet that can be very helpful. Not using a lot of the media technology in my life up to now has made this experience very trying and also rewarding at the same time, as I navigate through the process.

Reflection on PIDP Courses

All in all this as been an interesting experience to say the least. I am learning to become more tech savvy learning different computer applications. This has been a bit of a struggle due to the fact I haven’t used a computer up until recently, so the learning curve has been steep. The P.I.D.P. courses I have taken up to now have opened up many different aspects of teaching I wasn’t aware of previously. Reflecting on one’s work and teaching ability seems to be in the forefront of continuously improving and evolving. The psychological aspect of teaching seems to take up a lot of time and energy with regards to reaching the students. It’s to bad that so much energy and time is used up in trying to facilitate adult students. There is also the subject of professional conduct, what is acceptable behavior in the work place?  Unless you have an iron clad employee code of conduct or rules of employment there is the possibility of some grey areas. I’m sure that all situations can’t be covered. All we can hope for is that common sense prevails and people conduct themselves in a professional manner whether they are the instructor or the adult student. All I can say at this point is I will make a concerted effort to improve my delivery of lessons and be more cognizant of my students short comings. It seems there is no magic formula for instructing just a constant flux of adjustment.

Helping Students Take Responsibility for Learning

One of the things I realized from reading Chapter 15 of Brookfield is the commonality of frustration in trying to get students to do their part in the learning process. Some of the techniques he uses were similar to ones I have tried, not necessarily under the same heading, for example, autobiographical disclosure, peer learning, practicing learning decisions, to name a few. I found one of the most common issues is getting the students to read the material in preparation for exams. I have on many occasion stressed the importance of reading the manuals and handouts. Some students have realized the importance of doing the work  and are motivated. “This is your ticket to a livelihood so make the best of your time here” and other such motivational speeches are common. It isn’t until the marks start rolling in and certain students now realize they have to pull up their socks. All of a sudden they become more serious and apply themselves. In one sense the students habits in class may be a reflection of their learning and life habits outside of the classroom.

Life long learning as a Professional

I have always maintained that when you stop learning you have given up, either, or, you are on the wrong side of the turf. The art teaching is forever evolving. Listening to peers, comparing teaching techniques, reflective analysis of your own teaching, the list goes on. If you want to improve and go forward you must keep learning. The human element  in the classroom makes every day a small adventure. What will the day bring? To keep up with the changing world and classroom demographics we as instructors must strive to maintain or stay ahead of the curve.

 

Brookfield, Lecturing Creativity.

Reading through chapter six I get the impression that there are many aspects to lecturing. According to Brookfield there are some good reasons for lecturing, such as, outlining material of a course or lesson, explaining concepts and so on. There are some important characteristics of lecturing that can help support students learning. This can be accomplished by using a variety of teaching and communication processes, be organized, and model the learning behaviors expected in class. I hadn’t realized I was lecturing without even knowing it.

Accreditation

This is the Trinity Western story of the loss of, or not getting accreditation, based on outside objections to the covenant the school makes all students and professors sign. Basically it forbids all sex other than that within heterosexual marriage. Apparently this requirement discriminates against gays and those who do not believe in marriage. In one aspect the ruling protects the rights of the whole of society. According to Trinity Western the ruling stifles their religious freedom. Here is a direct link to the article for those of you who would like to read further.

In Canada, Trinity Western University’s law school loses accreditation

There are various requirements for accreditation and here are a few that were required of our facility as a Training Center. Our program had to meet the requirements set out by the ITA, (Industry Training Authority). Some of the aspects were financial backing, staff support for the instructors, enrolling in the PIDP, (Provincial Instructor’s Diploma Program), the validity of the facility itself including the shop and classroom areas. A certain curriculum had to be followed and also there were interviews conducted with students and the instructors on two separate occasions. It is basically an audit on meeting the requirements for accreditation.