Mrs. Mitchell has been teaching for eleven years. She has taught in Colorado, Texas and Virginia. She has a Master's degree from Texas A&M - Commerce. Her undergraduate degree is from University of Texas @ Dallas; there she received her teacher training and received a Bachelors degree for a double major in Literary and Historical Studies. She has an Associates degree in Film and Theater. She is a graduate of Arts Magnet High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas.
She loves teaching both English and United States History. She teaches with an interdisciplinary approach. She focuses on preparing her students for the twenty-first century by using a team approach to many things she does. She differentiates for the needs of her students, so each child can achieve to his/her highest potential.
In addition to teaching with a team approach, Mrs. Mitchell puts a strong emphasis on using technology. She wants her students to be grounded in a thorough understanding of the subjects she teaches, and how they play a role in their future. She wants her students to leave her class understanding that their learning in her four walls extend out into the community.
This year, she is running her classroom with an emphasis on integrated art projects. There will be written projects, tests and normal classwork, but opportunities will be provided for students to use their creative abilities to demonstrate their learning, as well. her students will also explore what areas of learning they are best at and which areas they could develop.
She believes that students can achieve more than they believe they can, and she pushes them to constantly challenge themselves. She scaffolds their learning so they move from being dependent learners to independent learners.
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I'm sending out messages to everyone I know right now, and this classroom20 network is no exception. (I've also sent this out on other Ning networks you may be a part of.) My name is Marco Morales; I am a 20 year old college student from Olin College of Engineering. I am a part of a group of 6 Olin College students (we're in Needham,MA, and engineering students) who has taken a year off to work on an education related project. I found you when I searched for middle schools on classroom20, and since our project is specific to middle schools, I thought you might be interested! Our project is called AlightLearning, and this is our "short" project description:
Under the assumption that within ten years, the landscape of modern education will have fully integrated what we now define as new classroom media: video, online collaboration, open source curriculum and other web tools, we hope to pioneer a web software tool that acts as a platform for this new media, bringing the power of the web and its tools to students, teachers and parents in a secure, comfortable and innovative environment. Our goal is to have our free software at a pilot middle school by April 15th, 2008, continuing to develop and coordinate with our users to create a product that other schools want to pilot and use at their schools, while allowing individual teachers to implement this tool in their own classroom.
Our project, titled Alight Learning, is currently trying to win an idea competition on Ideablob.com You can find us at http://ideablob.com/3975. We would love your support in the form of a vote within the next couple days, but more importantly we'd love your feedback and comments. Our description on Ideablob is short, and even the one above hardly gets many of the issues we would like to take a stab at solving, but at least it's a start.
Feel free to email me back, check out alightlearning.com, anything you like!
Hi Jennifer! Hope you're enjoying the winter break. I was wondering if you, your colleagues, or students would be interested in a Vocab Video Contest @ MIT university. We'd really like to get Colorado students involved, as we are trying to make this contest nationwide. Please let me know! Thanks!
With your interest in Ed technology I recommend you take a look at Wiziq's virtual classroom and authorstream's power point presentation platform. Both are web based and have a bunch of features with free basic service. I think both technologies will help you in your efforts to get your students ready for the 21st century.
David Warlick is famous for saying that we are essentially preparing kids for 'jobs that do not presently exist'". This comment is almost always misconstrued to mean that there are some mysterious jobs coming up on the market, the likes of which we can not comprehend - like managers of flying car dealerships or what-have-you. I think that the actual meaning of Warlick's statement lies in the "how" and "why" but not the "what". The types of jobs will likely stay the same. What we are seeing (even now), however, is a change in the way business is done in a modern and future job market. Online and virtual school environments create the perfect avenue for helping to prepare our students for a burgeoning and digital economy. Take, for example, the rapid capitalization of Eastern Asia and the profound effect that this has had on the open global market. I read an article recently that talked about the "disassembly line" in a global economy. The assembly line made famous by Henry Ford has since shattered and left remnants scattered from the coasts of China to the plains of western Africa. The disassembly line regards us all as specialists in the creation of one part of a product - relying on other specialists to create and assemble to other parts to make a wholly more effective and affordable product. This complex type of interaction requires a profound understanding of the role of the individual in the manufacturing process, the ability to collaborate across cultures, the linguistics to effectively communicate needs, expectations, costs and deadlines while also being aware of how the outside domestic processes effect the small piece of the user. We need to continue our call for collaboration in our classrooms (apologies for all alliteration), but we need to find ways to enable collaboration that are not temporally or geographically isolated. This is where online learning actually gains some ground. While I am a firm believer that the most effective online learning experiences will always occur synchronously with other learners / specialists / collaborators, learning to collaborate in a variable environment, one without walls and without time limits, is so crucial to success in a global economy and future job market. Effective dialog and interaction CAN occur asynchronously and in such a way as benefits productivity simply because the individual is cast in the role of "specialist based upon their "specialties".
I encourage teachers to create virtual spaces where students can collaborate outside of the course, easily access specialists (even in their own classes, grades, schools) and develop pieces of larger products that are well adapted to relevant outcomes from the project. Whether you do this through an LMS, an organized online virtual space (like Second Life - or the soon to be dead, Lively) or through cloud collaboration (Google Docs, etc) students benefit from learning how to practice manufacturing skills on a digital landscape. The theme of collaboration is the same - the setting is different...and we need to equip ourselves with the tools and means to simulate these environments for our kids. Education is more about empowerment now than it has been in the past 60 years or so.
As always, this is strictly my opinion. :-) I'm very interested to hear / see / read what you all end up coming up with.