- How might you apply the audio technology in your classroom?
I have a really neat listening center in my room and I've always meant to do more with it. Right now, my students just use it to listen to books on tape/CD/MP3. I think it would be neat to have the students create their own audio recordings so that others in the class can listen to their stories. We have an MP3 player and it can create recordings, so there is no reason we're not doing. I don't see having the students use Audacity, though, because it is a bit tricky for 3rd graders to operate.
- What did you learn about the kind of learning experiences that will move students toward deeper understanding?
As educators, we need to identify and address student misconceptions. We also need to push students to connect content to real life applications. I think I, like most teachers, are guilty of relying on students understanding material based on questions with set answers. We need to move more towards encouraging students to apply the concepts we're teaching rather than asking them to recall what we told them. It is hard to do, especially with the amount of content required by higher standards and the pressure on standardized testing, but it is possible if teachers make a commitment to focus on true understanding.
- Is there a feasible way to provide these experiences in the traditional classroom?
By making small changes in the classroom, teachers can ease into project-centered classrooms. By looking at current methods of classroom assessment and replacing them with application based projects teachers can change their classes into places where students truly understand, not just parrot back facts. It is hard to get away from tests because they are the logical way to gauge learning - they give you a cut and dry indication of what students know and are easy to administer, but as we all know, they don't really tell us whether a child truly understands in the way that an interview or project could.