Last Friday, White Oak had the privilege of sending four of our intermediate teachers to the Podstock Pineywoods 2010 Convention hosted by TCEA Area 7 (Scott Floyd), and SUPERnet. The keynote speaker, Kevin Honeycutt, was impressive to the point where each of them came back with a new vision for education.
Becky Ganong shares, “Podstock was yet another eye opening experience….Using an iPod is a tool that children are familiar with but also portable and allows much flexibility in their learning. They can video projects, peer teach, use educational apps and much more. We now take learning to another level where it is interesting to our students and gives them the opportunity to be involved. Now we can connect to a bigger world than just our own limitations.”
Kevin Honeycutt touched third grade teacher, Tiara O’Malley with his statement, “Learn to love to learn, not learn to love to know.”
She states, “I really liked this quote because it reminded me that as a teacher I must strive to not only make sure my students master certain skills, but I must also foster in them a lifelong love of learning simply for the sake of learning. This entails making sure my students know that learning is a two-way street; I learn from them as much as they learn from me. By diversifying my teaching techniques so that all learning modalities are given respect, I am acknowledging my students as individual people with individual needs. I would like to integrate iPods into my classroom very soon, which will assist me with oral administration of tests, fluency (students can record and hear themselves read, checking pronunciation) as well as differentiated instruction on a personal level so that no child will feel singled out. I’m always excited about finding new ways to aid my students in the learning process while preparing for their technological future as well!”
“Emotion cements learning (Kevin Honeycutt)” implies that “learning must be made relevant & personal in order for a student (or even a teacher!) to take ownership of it” says Stephanie Hunter. “I would love to have some iTouches in my classroom! But in the meantime, I can use my voice recorder to record tests and assignments that require oral mods, and then create a podcast. My resource students would then have the ability to listen to them at their own pace, and can even repeat it if necessary. Another idea is to use the flip camera and/or the voice recorder to record each student reading a passage for fluency. The student can then replay the recording and identify his/her own mistakes. I also like the idea of recording the students explaining a math concept, such as subtraction with regrouping. This would allow the parents and me to assess a student’s true knowledge of the concept. A final idea: to video next year’s parent orientation for ALL to see!”
Nina Peery, our intermediate computer lab teacher, professed, “Podstock was the best four hours of technology integration I have been to. Kevin Honeycutt demonstrated students involved in project based learning in a way that motivated me to “dream big” in regards to my own instructional methods. He also showed how students will take ownership of their learning when we allow them to star in their own productions using podcasts. I feel like I came away with the knowledge and tools I need to replicate his methods in my classroom.”
Thank you to our school district, our administrators, and to our technology department for offering such dynamic opportunities to the educators at White Oak School. In order for us to motivate students, we also must remain motivated, and you have done just that yet again.