Open Letter to Educators
The following is my comment to Morgan Bayda on her blog post featuring the Open Letter to Educators by Dan Brown. I hope we can one day live in a world like Dan is prompting educators for.
Hey Morgan, great job finding Dan he speaks worlds of truths to many people. I agree with what he is saying about schools becoming more progressive and needing to do more than provide teachers who stand and lecture. The whole time I was listening to Dan I was mentally reflecting on classes I have had in the last few semesters. Luckily the lecture classes I've had have incorporated some sorts of group interactive discussion along with lecture. Dr Stange's EDM310 class has definitely set the bar for embracing all that technology has to offer which is good but to succeed in this class you must be motivated self learner like yourself and obviously Dan. Unfortunately many students today are not self motivated and don't know how to learn independently. They need structure and someone driving them and holding them accountable for them to learn. If a student doesn't know what to look for and how to structure his own learning "syllabus" then he will get nowhere. I am all for a "new age" of teachers and learners and plan to use everything I am learning in EDM310 plus all the links and educator blogs I have in my PLN when I begin my teaching career. Right now our teachers of lower grade levels have to change to prepare all students for a future of learning that will include "liberated information" so that no one will be cheated out of a full and rewarding education that is available. Unfortunately employers still look at degree accomplishments when accessing perspective employees so getting that piece of paper is a necessary evil, even if it means sitting through boring lectures. Until high schools and Universities get up to date we will have to stick it out and if we are motivated self learners we can always challenge ourselves to go above and beyond and use the the vast resources that are at our fingertips to enhance what we are learning in the lecture halls. I would encourage students not to use bad professors as an excuse. Students who know how to need to take that extra step and set themselves apart. Hopefully in the future all students will be prepared by good, progressive technologically innovative teachers to do just this.
ALEX: Alabama Learning Exchange
Alex is a website set up for educators to provide the tools necessary to aid teachers and students in the classroom and to ensure that teachers have access to the latest educational seminars to keep them up to date and progressive. ALEX provides a variety of courses of study to choose from and breaks them down into specific topics providing lesson plans and links to websites to support these lesson plans and enhance the learning experience. Included in these web links are sites for teachers to use covering all core subjects, Arts education, Physical Education, Counseling and Guidance, Professional Development, Special Education, and Technology Educational. There are also links for administrators linking them to topics such as Leadership Development, Professional Development and Technology Education and Funding. This page of links also includes sites for use by the student covering most of the subject areas available to the teachers. Many of the links are interactive and can really enhance a students learning experience.
Alex also provides for the teacher a personal workspace where they can create an account in which to store their favorite educational web pages and to store and submit lesson plans. Another feature provided by ALEX is a gallery of podcast that features podcast created by students in various classes as well as podcast designed to aid in the teaching of specific topics.
Last but not least there is Alexville which is a page providing access to a multitude of teacher or administrator training programs to help keep teachers and administrators up to date with the latest classes available to them. These include training classes on using the latest emerging technologies in the classroom. The site is set up like a community to bring educators together to share information and to make sure training is made available to everyone.
As a future educator I am thrilled to know that this site exists. It is an invaluable resource of information for teachers that can help them to never fall behind. It offers access to continual learning programs and allows teachers to be connected to others who are working hard to make our jobs as teachers easier and more effective. I don't see how any teacher who uses this site could ever be lacking quality, innovative, and effective lesson plans for students of any level. No excuses for teachers. This site is so easy to use you can't fail. This will be a welcomed addition to my PLN and you can find it listed on my blog under Important Links.