Big Ideas

Growing a Garden

It's time!  My work at Lamar University is wrapping up.  But my work is just beginning.  It seems like a good time to compile all the different aspects of my learning so far into a single page for faster referencing.  Read through what I've been up to, and click through for more details!  Or, if you prefer, you could just watch a short reflective video.

 

Learning communities and professional growth

 

I'm a part of many different learning communities, not least of which are the students and professors at Lamar University. I'm grateful for the experienced voices around me that are shaping who I am.  But I am also grateful for the passion and unique vision that God has given me.  We are not all called to be identical, but to work together, like different parts of a garden that complement each other.  This is a key part of understanding that change is slow and that our influence is important.  Our approach to professional development and other change initiatives need to value the uniqueness of each situation while holding fast to what is most important.  I've also worked to imagine ways of improving the professional development at my school.

 

Trends in Education

 

If you've never read a New Horizons report, hang on to your seat and get ready for a blast of freshly minted research on educational trends in technology!  I've read quite a bit about overall trends in education, especially regarding the use of technology.  There are some very interesting reports on the state of technology in the classroom around the world as well.  More specifically, I've done research on how mobile technologies are being used in the classroom, and even have a possible future research project to work on.

 

Changing my classroom

 

Ultimately, though, all of the research, influence, and ideas that I've been working through have one main focus: to change my classroom.  I want to make an environment where learning is maximized.  I want to make a place where cell phones get used instead of ignored.  And I've gained some powerful tools for making that happen!  I now have a better grasp of how to design curricula (online or off).  I've become a huge fan of the three column design process (as opposed to UBD design) that keeps the big goals in mind and aligns activites with those goals.  I've also spent quite a bit of time exploring the technology tools that could help my teaching in the future too.  If you haven't found edshelf yet, check it out! It is a great way to search for new tools to address the needs you have.

 

Looking Forward

 

I'm so looking forward to the next season of growth.  I've found ways to use mobile devices in the classroom and can't wait to continue trying new ways of making learning flourish in my classroom.  I'm also looking forward to adding blended and flipped components to my learning.  I also see the great need for my school to integrate Digital Citizenship concepts throughout its classes.  Some of these changes have been on my list for a few years now.  But that's okay.  I'm growing a garden, not building a fire.  It's okay if things grow over time, as long as the right things are growing!

 

And, of course, that leads me to ask you the question:

What's growing in your life?

Curtis White, M.S., M.C.E.
High School Faculty
Math, Science, Bible & Computers
Abundant Life Christian School
A Madison Christian School
608.221.1520
Curtis_White@limtw.net