Do Video Games Promote or Prevent Learning?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2008 by everly47

            I found the article “Semiotic Domans: Is Playing video Games A Waste of Time?” very interesting. It’s amazing how many times I’ve heard parents complain that today’s kids are killing their brain cells with all the video games they play. The kids I used to babysit were only allowed to use electronics for an hour a day. This meant that they were given an hour to play video games, watch TV or movies, and use the computer. For the remainder of my time at their house, I had to make sure the kids did physical activities outside or played games inside. Obviously, I don’t think kids should become couch potatoes, but I thought an hour of technology was a little ridiculous.

            As this article stated, playing video games is educational in its own way. While not all video games promote the same type of learning that takes place within the classroom, all video games promote learning. To start off, they all help kids with their motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Beyond that, they help kids learn something new everyday. Whether they’re figuring out how to get Mario through a land of flying turtles or building an amusement park, they’re learning all the while. To sum it up, not all video games teach kids their basic reading, writing, and arithmetic, but they are all educational. With that, it’s up to you to decide if they’re a “waste of time.”


The Student’s Interpretation

Posted in Uncategorized on December 15, 2008 by everly47

Elementary Ed Majors Need More Math Courses

Posted in Uncategorized on December 15, 2008 by everly47

This article from ABC News discusses how elementary school teachers aren’t forced to take enough math classes in college, and how the classes they do take aren’t challenging enough. In addition, when it comes to accepting education majors, it argues that schools aren’t as selective as they should be and that the Praxis I test is too easy.

As an elementary education major, I tend to agree with these claims. Because my dual major is Writing Arts, a majority of my classes are writing-based. I’ve only had to take one or two math courses. However, before I switched to writing arts, my dual major was mathematics. I took Calc 1 my first semester. It was a tough class, but that was just the beginning. I was going to have to take Calc 2 & 3, in addition to numerous other math classes. I got out of that major as quick as I could! I’ve always liked math, but I definitely realized I wasn’t as good at it as I thought.

Honestly, I don’t understand why elementary teachers need to specialize in one subject. I feel that this is the reason many teachers aren’t as good at math as they should be. Unless you’ve chosen it as your specialization, you aren’t required to take many math classes. I can see where this leads to a problem. How are teachers supposed to teach something if they don’t understand it themselves? In my opinion, since most elementary teachers teach every subject, college students should have an equal number of classes in each.

Mental math? What’s that?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 15, 2008 by everly47

This cartoon pokes fun at the extent of how much technology has taken over the classroom.

Teachers Against Standardized Testing

Posted in Uncategorized on December 15, 2008 by everly47

In an article from ABC News, it discusses one teacher’s protest against the demands of the No Child Left Behind Act. Carl Chew, a sixth grade teacher from Seattle, refused to give the WASL to his students. He claimed that these types of standardized tests caused his students undue stress, sometimes leaving them sick or in tears. In addition, he argued that they take the fun out of learning. Chew was suspended without pay, but received tons of e-mails from teachers, students, and parents from all over, praising him for standing up against standardized testing.

I definitely think what Mr. Chew did was admirable. While many teachers are against NCLB and standardized tests, I feel that very few would go as far as refusing to give them. In my opinion, these tests are a poor way of measuring students’ academic achievement. The government has to keep in mind that not all children are good test takers and that they don’t all learn at the same pace. Expecting all students to be at the same level is just unreasonable. In addition, they just cause unnecessary pressure on the students, as well as the teachers. Rather than making students excited to learn, these tests just make them hate school. There’s got to be a better way to measure student achievement and improvement.

What do you think of standardized testing? Should it stay the way it is, be re-evaluated, or be eliminated completely?

Think like me…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 15, 2008 by glickl30

Students are individuals

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12, 2008 by glickl30

In an online article, students are individuals, they discuss the importance of treating each student as an individual. This website gives several key points that are helpful for teaching students as indiviuals. “Each student and each class is unique. Never is this more apparent than in a distance learning environment. Each student brings a different level of preparedness for the class and you must be prepared for each individual.” I feel that this quote is a great way to begin each school year. It reminds me that each child comes from a different home life and needs to be treated like an individual.