First you must understand that I am a Tree-hugging, Sy-Fy, Gaming, Tech Geek that has a passion for the education of young children in an environment that is nurturing to mind, body, and soul. My Second Half of Life goal is to focus on the impact of nature and technology on children’s growth and development.
Another important fact to understand about me is that I view every course that I take, whether it is college or a local workshop, though the lens of what did this instructor do that was successful for me as a learner and what did they fail at presenting. Note: failure is not a bad word in my vocabulary unless the instructor does not make future changes. This helps me to remember how my students feel as they are progressing through their college career and more importantly through my department’s courses. I expect my faculty to take workshops/courses that are outside of their comfort zone and occasionally in an area outside of early education. Most topics can be related back to early education and I feel it makes their classes more dynamic. I have seen stagnation in other departments and even in my own experiences as a student where instructors may be knowledgeable and a leader in their field but they do not fully understand the scope of adult learning (well they think they do).
Instructors teach from a point of mastery. But sometimes forget all of the different scaffolding levels that students need to experience or even worse the length of time that it takes to be able to successfully navigate a new website/software program in order to feel successful. This is why I feel it is so important for myself as an instructor to experience these struggles so that I can accurately reflect on my own courses in order to evaluate if I am giving appropriate scaffolding and experience time. To that note a couple of my activities I have changed from a solo experience to a long term group exploration for my students because I reflected on my own struggles within the INTE course I was taking at the time. I have also changed up the ways that I present information in class and have student share in a more dynamic fashion compared to an all text discussion board. Almost all of my faculty now use Google Plus, VoiceThread, and Vialogues to enrich student interaction compared to just using the standard format of Desire 2 Learn.