EDU 505 has been the first step in my journey to obtaining my Master’s of Education degree. Something I have been considering completing for many years now. The course has provided me a reflection on the past, and a window of opportunity for the future of education. From learning about the past and current state of education to planning a real viable vision for my own organization’s future, it has certainly been a very engaging class that has taught me so much. I enjoyed stretching my skills with technology, learning about current technology trends and researching what technology could really benefit my program and the children we serve. I know the futuring skills of scanning and scenarios will also be ones that I use in many capacities in the future, whether personally or professionally. Finally, the leadership, creativity and innovation videos and readings were enlightening and made me really reflect on my own abilities and practices. I feel my FVE case study is truly a product of all that I have learned in this class and I look forward to sharing it with my organization and seeing come to life!
Please find my FVE paper and presentation below:
PawlikYork EDU 505_FVE education beyond the bell
The Future of Education in the Afterschool Setting
The mind map initially was merely a list of words I associated with the term learning. As I progressed in the course, I started to associate these words with the true, deeper meaning behind them and learn how all of the pieces fit together. My predetermined ideas, if you will, now combined with new thoughts and ways to look at the big picture of education. When I look at the mind map now I can associate each of the words I wrote with a reading, video or discussion board post that encouraged me to use that particular word. It is a visual to help me remember the important trends, information and ideas that were introduced or confirmed in my coursework.
This simple technique has helped me organize my thoughts and reflect on them; an organized brainstorm of ideas that is written down for future reference. Mind maps are also helpful in gaining insight into complex subjects, helping students study, and planning for projects. I will certainly use the mind map technique as I plan for my 5 year FVE. Developing it has been a good practice of reflecting on what I have learned and how I can use it in the future in a fun and creative way. I feel it is truly a representation of some of the ideas that were introduced in the course.
It has been very interesting and enlightening to learn about the public policy and economic trends that pose challenges to educators. Reynold’s video, “The K-12 Implosion,” questioning why America has been putting ever-growing amounts of money into its K-12 education system, while getting steadily poorer results, just highlights some of the issues that are faced. We continue to put more money and resources into our educational system and unfortunately often get poorly educated students. The cost of education over the last several decades has increased tremendously, but performance remains stagnant. A lot of the money is due to increased student populations and, of course, teachers-to include a multitude of specialists, aides and para educators, that didn’t exist even when I was going to school. But clearly all of the additional staff isn’t producing the results we are looking for. With homeschooling on the rise it also is apparent that more and more parents are taking educating their own children into their hands as well. I feel we need to really look at the fact that one size does not fit all with students, and continue to work on individualizing education to put all students on the path to true success. If we don’t the real cost is going to be another generation of children that don’t have equal access to a quality education.
One opportunity to continue to do this is through expanded learning opportunities after the school bell has rung in after school programs. These programs have qualified staff that can enhance children’s education with expanded use of technology, resources and time to really explore. A real collaboration between schools and after school programs could be a step in the right direction.
View this video: How Afterschool Programs Expand the Educational Experience
It was with much trepidation that I embarked on this journey to re-enter the college world and take on the challenge of attaining my Master’s degree in Education. This first course has already opened my eyes to the vast changes, challenges, and hopes for what the future of education can be. Being able to apply my knowledge in my work life, and also the examples I have of my own children’s current experiences in their school life, has been invaluable to me as I begin this journey.
As I reflect on Unit’s 1-4, I can honestly say that the assignments have provoked a lot of thought and have stretched my own thinking of the delivery of education to students. From the exercise of the mind map to watching the video of Wesch’s , “A Vision of Student’s Today” and Marc Prensky’s reading,”Our Brains Extended”, I have had my eyes opened to a new way of thinking. In fact, Prensky (2013) said it best when he states, “Technology, rather, is an extension of our brains; it’s a new way of thinking” (para. 4). I now have the beginnings of a vision of change for my program that includes ideas like makerspaces, 3D printers, virtual learning, and BYOD. Some of these are ideas I never would have envisioned without this class.
One of the articles that I most enjoyed was Basaghian’s “Three Trends that will Shape the Future of Curriculum”. She states, “What we as adults experienced in school, as educators and students, will bear little resemblance to what lies ahead” (para. 1). The idea of tailoring what children learn by basing on their interests is so obvious, yet it is rarely done. There is a prescribed curriculum that each student must march through before being pushed onto the next grade. I love the idea of student driven interests being the basis of the curriculum combined with Prensky’s idea of the new curriculum being based on the three crucial areas of study being effective teaching, effective action and effective relationships (Prensky, 2013). What would our classroom, virtual or real, look like then? Awesome to ponder, and I will keep pondering throughout my journey at Post and hope to take whatever I come away with and apply to the work I do for children and families.
Barseghian, T. (2011, Feb 4) Three trends that will shape the future of curriculum.
Prensky, M., (2013) Our Brains Extended. Educational Leadership, 70(6) 22-27.