This is a blog to combine a unit of study, my beliefs, and the outcomes of my everyday life as a teacher as well as a learner. I have so many ideas that I will add to this one blog with additional information that I acquire throughout this digital journey.
By using Fink’s backward design process (Fink 2003), I developed my 3-column table below, followed by my outcomes, assessments, and situational factors in education.
Learning Environment and Situational Factors to Consider
Specific Context of the Teaching/Learning Situation
I teach three classes of Graphic Design for learners in grades 10-12. Currently, there are 31 students enrolled. Learners meet each school day for 48 minutes per day. The classroom is equipped with 24 computers. Learners have internet access, Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, InterClass, and various other software programs. The teaching approach I am currently using is the blended learning method. There is a projector attached to my teacher laptop for demonstration purposes. Also, the CTE department furnishes earbuds to students who do not have their own. This allows for students to watch videos at their own pace without disturbing the entire class. I also have access to a portable wireless laptop cart.
General Context of the Learning Situation
The learning expectations of my course are guided by state TEKS. Some of the most important expectations are for the learner to:
- understand and examine problem-solving methods
- employ critical-thinking and interpersonal skills independently and in teams to solve problems
- apply information technology applications by using Internet, writing and publishing, and presentation applications for art and design projects
- maintain a career portfolio to document work samples
- apply art elements and principles to multimedia applications
The learning expectations that relate to society are to apply leadership characteristics to student leadership and professional development activities by:
- employing leadership skills
- employing teamwork and conflict-management skills
- conducting and participating in meetings
- employing mentoring skills
Nature of the Subject
- The nature of the graphic design is a both practical and theory.
- Graphic design is both convergent and divergent.
- As with any computer-based program, there will always be new technologies available that will require the learner to acquire new skills. The learners will be able to transfer basic knowledge and skills while learning new platforms and programs.
Characteristics of the Learners
The life situation of my learners is diverse. Most of the learners in my class have a low socio-economic background. Few of the learners will graduate with an advanced high school diploma and continue their education at a four-year college. Some of the learners will graduate with a basic high school diploma and continue their education at a technical college. A majority of the learners will graduate high school and navigate into the local work force.
Learners in graphic design have passed the Introduction pre-requisite course and are interested in computers and technology. Our school district offers many Career and Technology courses such as welding, wood-working, agriculture, fashion design, law enforcement, health occupations, family consumer science, childcare, and auto mechanics, but not many that focus on technology and computers.
Learning goals are specified above as guided by TEKS.
Characteristics of the Teacher
I began my teaching career in 1988 and have a degree in Business Education. Over the years, I’ve attained several certifications in the technology field that range from computer networking to multimedia applications. I began teaching Basic programming, typing, bookkeeping, business law, shorthand, and accounting. I’ve since taught business english, speedwriting, computer applications, work study, graphic design, animation, financial literacy, and have held numerous positions as technology teacher to technology specialist.
I believe that I am a life-long learner and hope to instill this behavior in my students. I assist teachers with everything from navigating through e-mail to operating new software to troubleshooting network and hardware issues.
My strengths in teaching begin as a caregiver. I strive to teach learners to be problem-solvers and productive members of society. Honestly, my learners teach me more each day through their creativity and knowledge of new technology.
Fink, L.D., (2003). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning. Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
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