Service Learning

Service-learning is a teaching method that combines service to the community with classroom curriculum. It is more than merely community service. It is a hands-on approach to mastering subject material while fostering civic responsibility.

Service-learning builds stronger academic skills. First, students take an active role in determining how the projects are identified and accomplished, creating interest and excitement for learning. Second, service-learning accommodates many different learning styles.

By teaching students early about the role they can play in their community, service-learning also encourages lifelong civic participation. Furthermore, by relating academic activities to real-life experiences, service-learning improves workplace skills and enhances personal development among youth. Finally, service-learning gives students a sense of competency; they see themselves as active contributors to their community and learning experiences rather than passive recipients of adult decisions.

 

How is service-learning different from community service, internships and cooperative education?

The key to service-learning is the link between community service and classroom studies. In other words, student service is designed around meeting curriculum objectives. Students improve their academic skills by applying what they learn in school to the real world; they then reflect on their experience to reinforce the link between their service and their learning. While internships and cooperative education are experiential and include a classroom component, they generally do not focus on service to the community.

References

Billig, S. H. (2000). Research on K-12 School-Based Service-Learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 81(9), 658. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

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The Flipped Classroom

A flipped classroom changes the tradition teaching methods by integrating online teachings techniques (Barseghian, 2011). Instead of the normal class teachings, teachers prepare lessons, which students view online while the normal classes are for discussions on the various concepts and further illustrations. Students get a chance to watch the lessons at home on their own time and in their own pace. Flipped classes allow students to discuss and interacts the online lessons with the teachers as well as fellow students, when in class, the students discusses among themselves the concepts offered in the lessons with the teacher acting as the instructor. Flipped classes eliminate the need for homework, as students discuss the assignment in class with their teachers.

The concept of flipped classes started in 2007 when two teachers in Woodland Park High, Jonathan Bergman, and Aaron Sams came across software that records power point presentations. They used this software to record their live class lectures and posted them online for students who missed their classes. This concept caught the eye of administrators and they requested them to teach other teachers nationally. From that humble beginning, the concept spread across many high schools.

Advantages of the flipped classroom

Flipped classroom allows students to learn at their own pace. Some students are slow learners while others are fast learners flipping classes enable students to learn without pressure of the learning environment. Teachers also have more time on their hand to explain and discuss concepts with students during normal classes instead of normal lessons. They also do not have to spend time updating students who missed classes as they can learn the lessons online. Online classes are helpful even to students who do not attend the same classes. Even teachers can use this forum to interact with other teachers and share their knowledge and experience; therefore, they can advance education (Wright, 2011).

Flipping of classes opens an avenue for more and better class schedules than traditional classes (Wright, 2011). Students can take two classes at the same time by flipping one of the classes. They can learn the lessons online and use the class time to discuss the other lesson. The internet offers reading and reference materials just like a normal class. Teachers can also direct students to relevant sites that offer various support materials for the lessons.

By flipping classes, teachers can turn normal lessons to online courses (Wright, 2011). Flipping classes allows students to chart online with fellow students and their teachers. This interactive channel allows students to respond to other students online while expressing their views and sharing ideas.

It is useful for students who do not have time for actual classes. Some students may have conflicting classes or may be late for their classes. The flipped classes allow them to read online just as if they were in normal classes. Some students may also want to take some lessons in classes outside what their schools offers, flipping of classes offers them a chance to take those classes without compromising their lessons. These way students can advance their knowledge in different avenues without compromising their normal school work.

Offering online classes eliminate the need for textbooks. Students can search all the reading materials they need from the internet. Textbooks are expensive, and parents require buying new ones every other year. Online classes allow students to assess online reading materials cheaply and conveniently. Students also do not have to carry heavy luggage of books to classes dairy as they can assess all materials they need from the internet.

References

Barseghian, T. (2011, Sep 8). The flipped Classroom Defined. Retrieved October 19, 2011

http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/09/the-flipped-classroom-defined.

Wright, L. (2011). Should Schools “flip” out? – The Advantages. Retrieved October 19, 2011

http://blog.learnboost.com/blog/should-schools-flip-out-the-advantages/.

Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

Social Bookmarking

As an instructional technology graduate student, my cohorts have shared an abundance of information.  These resources have been and will be useful and beneficial as I continue my personal journey into the integration of technology and web 2.0 tools into instruction.

Question: How can I organize and store this wealth of information?

Answer: Social Bookmarking.

Social bookmarking is a way for people to keep track of their bookmarks and favorites by using an online site they can access from anywhere.  If someone is only using their own computer to mark or list their favorite sites they possibly cannot access them from other places. However, by using social bookmarking site, such as Google Bookmarks, anyone can easily have access to their information on any computer or smart phone.

Social bookmarking is a method for users to organize, store, manage and find resources online. Unlike file-sharing these resources are not distributed, only the bookmarks that reference them. In a social bookmarking system, users save links to websites that they want to remember. These bookmarks are usually public and private can be saved, shared only with specified people or groups, shared only inside certain networks, or another combination of public and private domains. Authorized people can usually view these bookmarks chronologically, by category or tags, or through a search engine.

Social vs. Local computer bookmarking

Local computer bookmarking

1. Limited Access:  The saved bookmark is only available on the local computer’s hard drive, and is therefore no accessible from other locations.

2. Limited Organizational Options:  Most systems only provide for folders for organization and may not include “tagging” for those website that need to be classified in more than one category.

3. Limited Sharing and Discovery Options: Often when bookmarks are saved locally, the user choices of sharing is limited.

Social bookmarking

1. Global Access: As long as the social bookmarking website is available, users can access their saved bookmarks from any computer.  This will allow users, especially those conducting research, to continue work across multiple computers in different locations.

2. Organizational Options: Social bookmarking sites such as, del.icio.us support tagging.

3. Discovery and Location: Social Bookmarking tools as in StumbleUpon permit users to search and explore saved websites of other users which benefits time saved in research.

Throughout the courses, my fellow cohorts and colleges have been sharing so many good sites and articles that social bookmarking has became a truly useful process.

Works Cited

EDUCAUSE. (2011, October 10). Retrieved October 8, 2011, from EDUCAUSE: http://www.wtvi.com/teks/07_08_articles/socialbookmarking101.pdf

Fryer, W. (2007, September 11). Moving At the Speed of Creativity. Retrieved October 8, 2011, from Social Bookmarks 101: http://www.speedofcreativity.org