Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction, and Technology: Final Reflection
 “A student enters my room with three expectations. The first expectation is to enter with an open mind and be ready to think and create, to create with all senses being open to the many ways that the hand, eye, and mind can use, and to reflect on learning, in the same fashion.” I return to these words that I wrote a while back upon reflection of the reasons and directives for instruction. My expectations have not only been strengthened through current coursework taken at Walden University, the course entitled, Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction, and Technology has placed a wide array of instructional tools and strategies into my hands that will expand my ability to teach more effectively.  As in industry, in order for growth to continue, there is a need to “retool” The shiny new toolbox that I have come away with is one that will not only contain tools that I will now use but one’s that will be shared.
As a journeyman teaches an apprentice, the learning that takes place is both active and interactive, making best use of the technology at hand to increase production in the development of, an art product, and the learning experience of the “apprentice”. Tools that my students have already begun to use include computer, and digital imaging equipment in the production of digital imagery as a form of creative expression, and as a means of advancing cognitive abilities that relate to literacy and critical thinking. Tools that I have begun to use on an instructional level are interactive software, instructional software such as Voice Thread, Virtual Field Trip, and an array of digital devices for presentation of content.
Tradition in the classroom has been focused on incorporation of a diverse range of classical methods of art making.  There is and will always be the need for, the face-to-face, hands on instruction found in a traditional approach. What I can now include from my retooling experience is the learning opportunity that students gain from peer based interaction of social networking situations, and expansion of student centered, peer collaborative experiences.
This new learning has provided technological advancement that will increase the opportunity to provide students with the ability to take greater ownership of their learning experience, and be able to extend the student’s ability to think critically beyond the insular quiet of a studio experience to a more social setting. I believe that it is within these two areas that I, with more time and practice can provide for a more effective learning experience on the student’s arrival at my shop door.  
A further note, would be to thank Dr. Susan Krauss at Walden University for being an "apprentice" in her "shop".

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