Throughout the duration of this course, we have been asked to create, plan for and expand on a learning activity that would help benefit the children and students that fill our classrooms. The learning activity that I have ideologically built is one that has been on my mind for a while now, but I never took the opportunity to progress it past merely the idea stage.
My vision is to a create a social media style website designed almost exclusively for the benefit of teachers and their students. This website, titled “Helping Teachers Help Students” multi-tasks as an open platform for new information as well as a referendum for teachers and future teachers to look towards for guidance. If it can be agreed upon that a vital step to being a successful teacher is by remaining a step ahead of your students and being able to reach them at a deeper level, this website becomes an intricate tool to best accomplish these tasks.
This social learning network has found success in other situations and has a backbone founded in the Social Learning Theory. “The social learning theory of Bandura (Albert) emphasizes the importance of observing and modeling the behaviors, attitudes and emotional reactions of others” (Culcatta, n.p). To go along with the social learning theory, Huang, etc.. composed a study pointing to the successes of social learning networks. That study is posted here: http://www.ifets.info/journals/13_3/9.pdf.
To clarify the learning activity as a whole, the main functions of “Helping Teachers Help Students” are outlined below:
Functions of “Helping Teachers Help Students”
- A platform for teachers around the country to share curricula, as well as their findings in the classroom
- An opportunity to give away tips and tricks to fellow teachers
- A social learning environment cultured in the open-mindedness needed to become a better teacher
- A segmented guide for teachers to refer to when at a loss for new, creative classroom ideas
- An interactive environment for students to openly express likes/dislikes and what held their attention compared to what bored them to sleep
- A teaching tool designed to allow teachers to continue learning about how to better their classroom for their students
Different Segmented Sections/Areas/Tabs of the Website
- Different Courses (Math, Science, English, History, etc)
- Curriculum Building
- Tests and Quizzes
- Field Trip Ideas
- Lecture Strategies
- School Theories for Learning
- How to Motivate Students
Not only will each of these tabs allows teachers to share their personal successes and failures, but each of these separate web pages will have a section dedicated to student feedback. This will take the shape of individualized formative assessments that allows for student involvement, which is a necessary component to true formative assessments.
To learn more on Formative Assessments please refer to:
While the concept of socially sharing information may not be new and the Twitters and Facebooks of the world are prominent, I wanted to create a unique social learning environment that allows for a true connection as well as more than 140 characters. The idea/model for the website was more fitting of an online cookbook, where teachers/students can not only post their “recipes” for others to try, but can also allow for reviews of these “recipes” to find out which methodologies work best. Allowing for such a vast sharing of information can only help teachers across the country create a more genuine, attention-grabbing, motivating classroom for their students.
Information Supporting the use of Professional Learning Communities: