WHAT I BELIEVE
Worldwide, educators are at a crossroads. Along one path, governments call for more testing and measurement, and along the other, corporations and higher education institutions call for more creativity and critical thinking. Students are expected to learn more while schools are forced to offer less. Numbers and ideas clash, leaving even the best educators wondering what direction they can take.
The best educators choose neither direction. They don’t follow paths, they create them.
New technologies and emerging pedagogies are providing educators more choices about how to best serve their students. It is my vocation to help teachers understand that implementing modern technology is an essential strategy solve the age-old problem of mass education. It also my goal to prepare fellow educators to be courageous enough to implement new ways of teaching in the face of social, political, and economic pressures.
Technology has become an extension of our creativity and capacity to learn. There was a time that artists worked without pencils or paintbrushes, but what would artists be today without them? The same is true for 21st century educators and the learners they serve. It is time to reform education and advance the classroom by wisely and purposefully promoting technologies that expand our understanding of the world and our ability to create within it.
True reform, however, is rarely incremental and even more rarely simple. It is also absolutely necessary.
This video sums up the core of my work, and my motivation for moving into the career path I have chosen.
Below are the highlights from my work in the program.
My introductory assignment. Based on the famous NPR program of the same name, my piece outlines where I came from, and why I decided to study in the M.A.E.T. program.
I started to study how to integrate TPACK into the International Baccalaureate program in this assignment. At first, I was skeptical, but as the assignment progressed I began to explore genuine solutions to the problem. It was my first step into what has become both my pet project and my profession as an IB curriculum manager.
I feel very strongly that visual arts should be explored in the 21st century classroom. I used my understanding of both history and art history to reconsider how WWI should be taught in the IBD classroom.
A podcast examining how two Syrian refugee students handled the abstract concept of catastrophism when asked about the Syrian conflict. In it, I consider how students create “private universes” that can cause them to misunderstand abstract concepts.
My first thoughts on how new technology and digital citizenship should be addressed in an IB course.
The actual course unit I designed to use in either ITGS (Informational Technologies in the Global System) or TOK (Theory of Knowledge) courses. The premise of the course is that most learning about existing in the digital world should come from existing in the digital world. There are a number of exercises intended to make students think about what they do online as they go through their assignments.
My attempt at addressing my feelings about technology and creativity. I can’t say this was my best work technologically, but I can say that the message of my work comes through: that technology and creativity go well together. The Chinese couplet I chose for the piece speaks to the importance of understanding the constraints of the creative process, and how to choose to move beyond them.
Apples to Oranges: Online vs. Face-to-Face Learning. I get frustrated with how little thought is put into this comparison, thus why I attempted an infographic about it. The two are very different and suit very different needs. The information I gathered on the infographic is meant to illustrate that point.
En Masse: Online Education in the 21st Century. In this short film, I express my concerns about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) a new trend in higher education.
A Sample Lesson Plan for a 9th grade history class.
Blog post on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and Technology (my current career project)