BP XIV

Sadly enough, I don’t feel like I have learned to much over the semester. Unfortunately, I grew up with a teacher so I have been drilled about our education system and its pros and cons. I suppose my mother’s passion overflowed and leaked over to my interests. At the beginning of the semester I was in education but now I am moving away from that idea as I would rather work with a creative process then be made to babysit unwilling children. I suppose education is still important enough to me as it is the founding blocks to society so I continued on.

I think from Blog Post one I showed that my focus was on art before education. Yes it was to educate children over art history but more so I would like to do what I stated before hand- write comics that focus on controversial issues and tackle them into normalcy. I pushed aside my wants for stability in a startling unstable field. I went onward as the semester progressed with psychology testing over education. I focused on videos for research because I am a visual learner opposed to reading. Something a written article stated said and presented to me stuck much better. Then with blog post IX I grew curious about what new schools systems in the United States. Essay three reflects all of that, holding all of the research from the blog posts. Sadly, by essay four I’m feeling drained and no urge to write about this topic anymore. I feel like my well is tapped dry and inspiration has fled me. There is plenty to write about but I feel less passionate. Perhaps I should have stepped away from stability when I had time and jumped headfirst into the plentifully controversial world of comics?

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BP XI

I’m a procrastinator that comes from a family of procrastinators. So what do I do? I procrastinate. And its procrastinating that led to me digging into the plethora of Ted Talks instead of reading boring articles. You see, it isn’t uncommon for me to play the work thirty play thirty game when I’m on a crunch. The equal amount of relaxation allows my mind a little wiggle room. Unfortunately that play time can stretch when I get on youtube and start playing catch up on Markiplier or Buzzfeed. It was in the middle of watching a play through of Machine for Pigs part three that my mind started to slide towards work for once. Why didn’t I do what I did when I scampered for a source really quick after work for one of my blog posts and use video sources. There are ones that are quite credible after all.

Ted Talks itself specifically drew me because I liked to watch it for fun with my ex-girlfriend over the summer. I liked listening to the lectures that were posted to Ted Talks and had a better time focusing on it than any news article I’ve tried to stumble across. The same went for my assignment. Pushing through a thirteen minute lecture and writing notes was much less taxing than pushing through a thirteen page article. I also felt like I actually retained most of the information which felt rare with written articles. I was so delighted with my discovery that I rewarded myself with freshly baked sugar cookies.

Irrelevant but delicious.

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BP IX

This week I looked into some school models that were set up a bit differently. One such model was the bilingual schools where two different language are spoken in the school and the main language is switched off on days. For example, English speaking children and Spanish speaking children would go the same school to learn the others language from peers and from teachers. Monday might be English day where the teachers teach in English but Tuesday would be Spanish day. All teachers are required to be fluently bilingual so that they can help both sets of students. They work to become fluent in both languages while meeting the state standards. This model is called the “ Two way” or “Dual Immersion” model.

Another model is called the “Exit Early” model. It is an English immersion process that typically lasts three years. The students are provided with instruction in their native tongue so they don’t fall behind but helps them learn English at the same time by keeping them immersed in an English speaking school. There is a longer version that lasts five to six years where the student aims to become fully fluent in spoken English and grammar.

This way of educating students on native languages is good because it doesn’t erase their background culture or language. They are encouraged to speak in their native language at home and outside of class but learning is always the key. They are growing up in a world where people from different cultures are becoming tight knit so this is also preparing them and putting them ahead in life by gifting them with being bilingual.

BP VIII

So maybe midterms are not the best time for research? I haven’t actually done any research since last Wednesday since it has been essay-essay, test-test, maybe an hour of sleep here or there. I will say that I am definitely bunkering down next Tuesday after the last of my midterms are through to research my little heart out and hopefully get the meat of essay two done. What I can provide this week is brief summaries of two videos I watch that deal with my subject.

The history of technology in education by SMART Technologies EMEA (Education), aka the company behind the SMART board is a timeline of various technology invented and used in the classroom over time. It goes as far back as cave drawings and the invention of paper onward towards chalk slates and finally the use of clickers. Although the timeline does show the current top line of technology that could be used in school, it doesn’t show how schools are for the most part. Most small schools in Oklahoma, for example, have technology of schools from the 1940’s-1960’s.

The other video I watched was The future of Learning by2 Revolutions. She states how the current education system fails both the students and the counties. The two main ways of thinking about change in education is dreaming and dreading. Dreaming , the positive trend, is overly optimistic about what can be done and fails to recognize the complexity of education and human kind. Dreading, the negative trend, is overly cynical and doesn’t recognize the potential of the technology its condemning. Instead we should be thinking of Designing in which we try to design the world we want. It leads to integrative design.

The future of learning video will be summarized fully for the checkpoint on Friday but for now I need to get some sleep!

BP VII

I haven’t personally made that much research yet, simply due to being overloaded with homework these last two weeks. (Phew to 35 hours of work + eight essays/article analysis & two ceramic projects being due at once just this week. Let’s not mention last week.) I have made time to find articles for my topic but for now they are simply waiting in a folder to be read or tossed. I have, however, found my research topic; Changes to the school/learning system and if they are successful or not. Though I haven’t actively read any articles specifically for this, I have read articles useful for this while doing a few article analysis for Child & Adolescence development.

One of which is Direct Instruction vs. Discovery: The Long View by David Dean Jr. and Deanna Kun, which is a report over an experiment done by the authors. They separated a group of equally intelligent children in three groups; The practice group was allowed to develop their own ideas to solve problems provided to them. Direct instruction was given to group two to teach them how to solve the problems. The last group was a combination of practice and direct instruction. The results were curious with direct instruction scoring lowest on most assessments, the bi-group varying, and the practice group starting off rocky then succeeding greatly.

Another article I read was Beyond Active Learning: a Constructivist Approach to Learning by Susan E. Cooperstein and Elizabeth Kocevar-Weidinger. It went over constructive learning in which one does the activity before they learn the objective. (such as a science lab where you do an experiment to learn as opposed to learning about something and then doing the experiment to test it.) The article goes on to explain how the constructivist approach works best in a library.

That’s all I have for this week. Hopefully next week will be more fruitful.

BP VI

I got my article, NGLC Shifts Focus To Funding Experimental Schools, from KQED which is supported by NPR and PBS. It is intended for the general audience, specifically anyone who is interested in the education system (i.e. Parents, students, teachers). Katrina Schwartz informs the reader about the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) an organization that promotes the investment in learning technologies and the schools they are trying to push forward. The NGLC Is donating around 3.6 million dollars to various experimental schools with the goal of leaving the testing system behind with a preference towards project-based assignments instead. Schools such as Danville and Lebanon flourish under the grants they receive, enabling them to hire teachers and buy technology they couldn’t dream of going before. The catch? They have to leave any education designs that work open sourced. The best tools of learning should be available to all educators so that it keeps bettering the learning environment. NGLC admits that it isn’t producing the kind of systems they were hoping for, but it’s a start.

I personally find it inspiring that organizations are going out of their way to fund schools (especially schools such as Lebanon which is primarily low-income students) with the means to change and enrich their students. It is good that there are people out there willing to try and change the school system to better the students learning capabilities instead of to better the countries test scores. I hope more organizations like NGLC continue to help educators and their students succeed.

Check out: The NGLC today!

BP V

Oklahoma State University may be a research university but that means little to the art department. No matter which college you go to the professors will always be contributing to their fields by creating art. Jack Titus for example is a painter with a preference towards human subjects. He prefers to work with watercolor paint and teaches how to work with paint and the human figure as both are his expertise.

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Brandon Reese is a ceramics professor and works primarily with ceramics and wood. His sculptures tend to be large scale and he favors experimenting with wood and salt firing and how differing kilns affect texture. He hosts exhibits all over the US and in German and Taiwan.

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Professor Chris Ramsay is one of the most talented individuals in the art department. He teaches Metals- jewelry and 3d- design. He has taught at many universities and schools and has been awarded many times by okstate for his outstanding abilities in teaching and his skill. His work has been on display in galleries and museums all over the U.S including the American Craft Museum, SOFA, Philbrook of Tulsa, The Children’s Hospital of Cleveland, and the Southern Living Botanical Gardens. He is well known for his guest lectures and seminars.

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Lastly I will cover Mark Sisson, the professor of 2-d design, printmaking, and drawing. He works with moralist and iconoclastic subjects, using largely relief printing as well as pencil and ink. His works are in private and public collections all over the world from Harvard University to the Bibliothéque Nationale. He is also well known for riding the unicycle.

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