Saturday, September 18, 2010

Brain Research and the Information Process

Education continues to evolve as research unleashes new developments on the learning process and brain functions.  These findings can create significant changes in the delivery of instruction and also change the perception of educators.  Thomas Armstrong explores the concept of Neurodiversity and the impact it has on addressing students with learning disabilities.  

Scientist and researchers alike have often compared the brain function to that of a computer, with a vast amount of the brain's capabilities left unexplored.  The cerebellum is a prime example of how aspects of the brain have yet to be discovered. Henrietta and Alan Leiner examine the functions of the cerebellum and its effects on the learning process, as they unearth "The Treasure at the Bottom of the Brain". 

New Horizons and John Hopkins University has partnered to produce a site that combines the knowledge and expertise of educators and researchers in efforts to provide "cutting edge information" in the developments of learning and instruction. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Making the Transition into Instructional Design

Making a change in careers can be daunting and filled with uncertainty. That’s how I felt when searching for something that would allow me to expand on my teaching career. I knew I had a love for teaching and assisting others in their endeavors, but something else was missing. Well I’ve always had a curiosity with technology (ie.web design, e-commerce), but only as a hobby. Recently, the elementary school where I teach has been pushing for the utilization of technology within the classrooms. That’s when the light bulb lit up for me. Was there a career path that would let me bridge my experience as a teacher while training and improving the skills of others through the use of technology? By chance I ran across the field of Instructional Design and Technology while exploring courses through Walden University. I was intrigued, but needed a little more information. Search engine results led me to Christy Tucker’s E-learning Blog. Christy’s blog has an abundance of detailed information on the requirements and skills needed to become an Instructional Designer. She actually has a series of post dedicated to the field of instructional design careers. So if you are still wondering and searching for an ID career or simply looking for quality information take a tour of Christy’s blog now :

As a Resource Teacher who often visits other classrooms, I have encountered colleagues who are often hesitant or resistant when it comes to using technology within the classroom. Each classroom comes equipped with computers, laptop, inter-write pads, doc cams, audio and video enhancements and a variety of software tools and programs to monitor and assess student progress. Most of these tools simply catch dust as teachers frequently avoid their use. I often wonder why teachers resist these resources that could make their teaching more efficient and meaningful to their students. Through my studies as an Instructional Designer, I have learned that change is a challenge for most businesses and professionals alike. As an Instructional Designer, I will often be faced with the task of assisting others through change in order to promote success. Dr. Curtis J. Bonk discusses how to effectively model the use and implementation of technology within the classroom for those teachers and school administrators who are a little resistant. Dr. Bonk, in his article, Overcoming the Technology Resistance Movement, has outlined ten approaches I believe would be a benefit to me and other IDs who are strive to help educators overcome their fears of implementing technology in the learning environment.

It is important for IDs to know the effects that technology will have on the learner. Education is no longer disseminated in a single fashion with the learner solely dependent upon the expertise of an instructor. Technology has created a variety of informational tools and resources that are easily accessible and can be found in the hands of every learner. George Siemens and Peter Tittenberger have created an online handbook that explores the effects and use of the technological tools on the learner. Although most of the information provided seems to speak to those among the university settings, it can also be utilized by any educator seeking to explore the use of technology within the classroom. So here it is The Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning.