Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall 2010 UTeach PBI Class 14- Tuesday October 19: Mid Term, Visitors, Curriculum Units, and Meter Sticks

We began class today with some announcements for students:

-Friday from 3-7pm Dr. Petrosino, Sara, some Education GRAs and possibly some MNTH teachers will be available to work on field experience curriculum.

-The midterm is take home and available on survey monkey. Students should receive a link in their email around 4pm; they have approximately 30 hours to complete it and the survey will close Wednesday at midnight. The types of questions on the midterm are as follows:

Factual- low cognitive demand, fact questions (10 @ 2pts each)

Concepts- integrate various ideas to get more sophisticated (4 @ 10pts each)

Transfer- apply knowledge in new setting (2 @ 20pts each)

Today we had visitors from a variety of universities and organizations who were interested in replicating the UTeach program. Representatives from UNC-Chapel Hill, Texas Tech, UT Brownsville, U of Arkansas and the State Department of Massachusetts were present.

Dr Petrosino returned to some the recurring questions and themes of the class:

-What makes a PBI unit different from a bunch of 5E lesson plans?

-How does our view of a lesson plan integrate with our view of PBI?

-How do we incorporate the “big ideas” into day-to-day experiences?

Many members of the class have asked for a specific model of unit planning to use when thinking about the Manor New Tech field experience, and so Dr. Petrosino spoke briefly about Backward Design being a more sophisticated way to think about a unit that meshes well with PBL. He encouraged students to worry more about quality content and execution rather than perseverating on the format of the unit plan. That said, we will return to more on Backward Design in the next class.

Dr Petrosino called students’ attention to a recent New York Times article on texting that stated that the average teenager sends more than 6 text messages every waking hour. The average teenage girl sends 4050 texts per month, more than twice the figure for 18-24 year olds. Teenagers spend very few minutes talking on the phone, with frequency comparable to 45-60 year olds. Teens view the phone primarily as a texting device, not a voice device.

He encouraged students to think about the implication this has on educators. Many districts and boards of education have begun limiting communication via text and social networking between teachers and students, while other schools have tentatively experimented with embracing it. The computing power in a smartphone is enormous and this has great implications for the classroom.

The rest of the class time was dedicated to finishing up the meter stick activity project. This was the last in-class time students had to work on this; the final version is due Tuesday (Oct. 26).


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