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thepowerofautomotivetech

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June 2015

Inquire Blog learning something new

Well let me tell you I have never been told go learn something in my class tat you always wanted to learn but never had the time to  do so. This was a completely new approach for me in fact i had to think for days on what it was that I wanted to learn and why. Finally after many days of thinking man I don’t even know what it is other than studying to become an instructor what it is that i want to learn just for me. then it hit me I like language and I even know about 10-20 words in about 5 -7 different languages but not another language. So i picked the second most spoken language on the planet Spanish. well then there was the question how will I learn this new language? What do I feel will be the best way for me to learn? Where can I find a good pace to start such an adventure?

So I decided the internet would be a good place to start looking for some free Spanish lessons,i found hundreds of sights that offered lesson now how would I decide what ones would work for me best. The task pick sites one by one until I found a couple that peaked my interest and would meet my learning needs. Trust me not everything you read on the internet is as it seems. well I found two sites that had words, audio, pictures and quiz’s. theses are all good ways to evaluate and validate my learning experience. After spending ten hours over the next several days on these two web sites I found that  wow this will be a long process be will be a rewarding one if i stick to it. I set a goal for my self of trying to learn one new word a day this will be a reachable, realistic and achievable goal. Well got to go life has already gotten in the way and I am two word down from my goal so off I go to meet my goal.

Web quests

Web-quest’s now that I know what they are and what they can do, feel they are a great tool for setting up assignments and self paced learning. The use of the web is pushing the classroom to new heights and as instructors we need to climb to the top.Being a  red seal licensed mechanical technician find that staying informed and up to date is the best way to stay on top of the automotive world. Searching for webquests on automotive curriculum I was happy to see I am not the only one who has narrow minded automotive  company views. Setting up a web quest is made easy with some web sites however you must follow some basic steps they are a welcome statement start by saying a greeting or welcoming message. Next step is to start an introduction where you will introduce your topic and set the tone for the the assignment. Then on to the task required in the web quest (assignment) to be perform in detail of what it is that you are requesting of whoever is doing the web quest .next step is to then would give a minimum of three useful web links that could be used to obtain the information at hand for example if you where setting the assignment up on automotive brakes you may chose on of the following sites 1,2,3 .Then on the web page you would set out a description of the process that you wanted people partaking in webquest to follow leading them to what is expected of them for completion. With a little guidance or a lot and a final conclusion you are well on your way to setting up a webquest for any and all subject matter.most web quests even have a place for a teachers page where you can write a little about your self.

This may turn out to be a very useful tool for me in the future to help get students more engaged in learning. Learning for students can be learning for the instructor as well.Setting the pace for life long learning.

Flipping the class

Well here goes blog number two

Flipping the class well to be honest my first thought was this will not work in some schools or areas due to lack of access to technology. Yes there is still some families in Manitoba that due not have TV,radio,computer,smartphone or internet at there own request.So then how could this flipping the classroom even work in an area like this, then I read this article That got me thinking out side the box.Why does flipping the classroom have to be high tech why cant it  just be simple, put an idea in your students head  allow them time to reflect while not in class ie: weekend or overnight instruct for written findings .Another way is to allow time during a class to only take in information on material, then allowing for  individual, small group and large group  reflection or discussion.

Now I am fully aware that this method may not be welcomed by all students with little time outside of class for homework,writing or reflecting with busy lives and families.Keeping in mind introverts may find group activities will put them out of there comfort zone, however during personal reflection may accelerate.Where as the extroverts may have reverse  experience,keeping the playing field fair and even.Now I am not saying that flipping the classroom should always be used, only that  trying something new may be scary or make some educators nerve wrecks  but with out trying new ways of engaging students in the learning process true learning may be lost.When ever educators can stimulate and engage there students learning is happening and this is a good thing for the students and the educator, after all that’s why educators started educating. To teach others something that we already know and are passionate about, How know’s maybe making the learning pattern go full circle with one of your students feeling and grasping your excitement then later becoming an educator .After all we where all there at some point our self and now look at us!

Student centered approach

My take on student centered learning, getting students involved in there own learning process. After meeting students  needs of feel safe,sense of belonging and self-esteem (Maslow) in the classroom, learning what it is all about. Wow what a good idea giving some control of what is being learned to those doing the leaning. After browsing many articles on this topic there where two that stood out for me.Talk of having students feel like they belong ( Tuckman 1975) having power and control ( Garland,Jones,Kolodny 1978) and will (Jarlath F Benson) all play key rolls in today’s learning. Allowing students to be different yet the unified, competitive yet separate, and connecting yet relating  while covering the material from learners knowledge. With the instructor also learning what his/ her students know and may still need to know about the material (subject) at hand. As many of the articles state other forms of student stimulation are also very important,hands on if possible, visual stimulation and yes even lectures.

When given a chance to improve the learning of students by means of proven results,why would we at minimum not  attempt to try this student centered learning for at least one of our lessons? As one of the article states “learners are treated as co-creators in the learning process, as individuals with ideas and issues that deserve attention and consideration”(McCombs and Whistler (1997)). Thinking back if only one of my teachers (instructors) used student centered approach to teaching it would have kept me more interested in some school topics. Having a passion for teaching  others skills, knowledge and material is why we do what we do, changing with the times should be part of that experience. Everyday there are new theories and ideas on learning being introduced try and using  them  is up to those educating. As for me, student centered approach will have a place in my classroom when ever subject matter possible until such time as student centered approach no longer works.  Finding new ways in helping students learn and  meeting there needs should always be at the four front of reaching students of all ages. I hope that as long as I teach I will also learn and as long as I learn I will try to teach.

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here goes my first try at blogging hope you get use of this !!!

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