Sugata Mitra and Krissy Venosdale both have similar ideas when it comes to a learning environment. In Mita's project experiment "Hole in the Wall," he gives children that cannot speak any english access to a computer that is set up in the the english language. He leaves the children alone and allows them to learn on their own, the outcome ends up being amazing of what these kids can do. They not only teach themselves the language, but as Mitra states they also master the computer device. Mitra even goes so far to put biochemistry on the computer and they still are able to accomplish this task, something he thought to be absolutely impossible. This experiment is simply amazing and goes to show you that is it possible to learn anything if we have enough determination. Venosdale also feels that learning should take place in more of a natural environment and not be based on curriculum. The idea is also stated that she would not base grade levels on age, but rather the student's abilities and readiness. This is truly an awesome idea because their are so many cases where students are not ready to proceed on to the next grade level, but unfortunately they just let them slip by. These two both have similar ideas about teaching and educating these children and I have to say I certainly agree with their perspectives.
If You Built A School, What Would It Be Like?
If I could build a school it would basically be a history museum. Since money would not be an object, I would have the most prized pieces in this school museum that only historians dream about having access too. Most students today are not particularly fond of this subject and if you change the way it is taught it could keep their interest. These students would have a hands on approach instead of reading the dull printed text book, which is something that is rarely used in the classroom. All of my previous history classes have been lectures and I would like to make this subject more interesting. As kids we all loved going to the museum so why not make a school that's affiliated with this. Where students actually get to be a part of the history instead of the hearing the day to day lecture.
In general terms, what I want my students to know
My students will have the chance to understand history in a visual way. Instead of stressing the importance of memorizing all the dates, I would make the main focus about the significant meaning behind the event. I want them to know that history is more than just a timeline filled with many dates. My recent history teacher actually asked our class why we felt history was such a boring topic and the main answer was that the subject is just a bunch of dates that we are required to remember. After hearing that answer, from my fellow classmates, it really made start to wonder about how I could prevent my future students from feeling this exact way. This is why my solution is to ease that stress from my students and let them know that I would prefer they understand the meaning rather than the exact date. No, I am not saying that they can just guess a random date because they still need a basic understanding, but as a future educator I want to be sure in my heart that my students are learning the essential parts. As I stated above I believe active learning is another wonderful solution and I want my students to know that history can be entertaining and not just a powerpoint lecture.
What I would want my students to be able to do
History has always been taught to me in lecture form and I want my students to have a visual learning experience. I feel that history could be more of a hands-on and actively engaged approach. I plan on using many visual aids in my school and bringing in objects for them to examine. For example, if it's the Declaration of Independence I would want them to visualize and think how excited these members of Congress must have felt when they all sat down together to sign the document. This may seem like an absurd concept, but how many of you have ever had an educator ask you a question like this? Exactly, you are thinking in your head right now you have never had this happen to you. I want to give these students a chance to examine these artifacts and sculptors, instead of them just sitting in the classroom listening to me lecture the entire time. Students will not find enjoyment in history if you simply lecture the whole time and expect them to regurgitate back exactly what you said. Therefore, my students will be able to learn in an active way that will allow exploring of educational possibilities.
My classroom tools and primary way of teaching my students and what I would want them to know and do
My tools in this school would be the pieces in the museum that I would allow them to observe. My kids would also have access to computers and I would have archaeologist and historian scholars who could host live chats with my students. If my students had any questions they could be answered by these experts who get to be a part of history each day and have plenty of experience. Technology is rapidly advancing and I feel that history classes could certainly benefit from the use of these devices. If classrooms had these kinds of advantages than, we as educators, would have a better chance of captivating our student's attention.
What role my students will play in the classroom and how they will participate in the learning process
The students will have the role of an observer rather than the routine listener in the typical classroom setting. They will be more actively engaged and will have a chance to use technology in my school. They will also be the learner because they will be required to explore and gather knowledge on their own, instead of just regurgitating back my lecture. These students will have an important role because they will have to mentally and physically be involved with this type of active learning. This is what I would choose to do as an educator if I was presented with such an opportunity.