Home > Uncategorized > Blog #1 – Learning Experience

Blog #1 – Learning Experience

Growing up in the state of Maine, I was subjected to a controversial way of learning, just like the students of Duke University. In 2004 the state of Maine cooked up a deal with Apple Inc. in which every student (grades 6-12) would receive a MacBook of their own. The state used most of the large federal grant they receive to equip and monitor a completely inflated number of new Mac users. Apple did this at a considerable discount in the hope that they would create a whole new generation of Mac users. As a result our teacher began using the computers and the internet more interactively into their lessons. Students in my school became more and more technology savvy as a result, and teachers were able to make more entertaining and engaging lessons plans using a wide assortment of multi-media devices. Just like in the first reading, teachers would often ask their students for advice as to how to improve their lessons plans on a daily basis.

Just like in the article “How We Measure,” many of the teachers at a school began receiving upset phone calls from parents and students alike who thought that watching a video on segregation during the early 19th century wasn’t considered the proper way to teach students. And not to point the blame at everyone else, but I myself was one of those students who was caught off guard by our mid-term paper being done through a video blog, or our calculus final project in which we rapped about calculus over one of Tupac Shakur’s early nineties hits. Needless to say, these new methods of teaching through technology changed the way I judged the quality of the teacher. Those teachers that are able to adapt and change their teaching methods to the incoming generation prove to be the most effective. This experience in general was the most fun learning experience which proved to be the most helpful in my later years. I had also learned that the grades that show up on projects of this nature do not really matter that much, “you don’t get an A or an F on life’s existential report card.” (pg.109)

In regards to our class in particular and are lack of traditional grading, I find it refreshing that a teacher would choose to take such an alternative method of grading, despite the possible criticism. Because of my past experiences with experimental teaching, the idea of having a boss-level challenge at the end of the course rather than a traditional exam is refreshing. I think that a fun option for a final challenge would be some sort of debate between groups that involves all of the themes discussed throughout our course.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 21, 2011 at 4:44 am

    It sounds like you had a rare, 21st century style opportunity with your education in Maine. Likewise, it looks like you’re taking full advantage of that opportunity to broaden your education. An enjoyable read, full credit.

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