Why do I do that?

I do things the way I do them because it is out of habit.  I have some bad and good habits.  One of my bad habits is procrastination.  Especially with this course, I find that I tend to leave assignments to the end.   I find that it takes me a long time to do the discussion posts and written assignments.  So after an hour or so of gathering articles it then takes me sometime to put my thoughts together and I get tired.  One of my good habits is that I am a hard worker.  I want to do my best and in order to get there it takes a lot of work.  I really love teaching and find it so interesting.  It really motivates me to want to do well and try my best.

In taking this course I have learned a lot about online learning and websites to share information and communicate with students.  I really do like the reflection blogs and discussion posts because it is interactive and provides you with an outlet to expressing  and sharing thoughts and ideas.  As teachers, I feel that we need these places where we can express our thoughts and share ideas on teaching.  We rarely have these types of conversations in the schools.  It is through these interactions that I learn more about teaching than if the information was given to me.  In my online course I will be utilizing the reflection blogs and discussion boards for teacher to share their findings, thoughts, and ideas so they can learn from one another.

In this course I interact by scanning through all the posts then, I find a topic that I make a connection with.  I search to find articles related to the topic.  In my interactions I don’t want to make it my opinion but, a gathering of artifacts that conveys my thoughts.  This system organizes my thoughts and makes the posts more meaningful to the other person and myself.

Before the summer vacation began, I was having a very, very hard time keeping up with the assignments and discussions.  Too much was going on all at once.  This course was not like any course I have ever taken.  It is very demanding and intense.  I really had to dig deep within myself to become the critical thinker that was expected of me.  I still have difficulty with keeping up with the written assignments because my focus has been on the discussion posts.  I still need to work on dividing assignments more evenly throughout the two weeks.  I find myself having difficulty learning how to utilize Twitter in this course and checking Twitter.  This is something that I will work on for the next module.

I find that keeping a binder of all module documents and written assignments is helping me get more organized in this course.  I needed something where I could go to look back on what I need to do for the module.  In order to make this experience better for me I would like to make a calendar of tasks to do each day so I am not overwhelmed at the end of the module.

Vicky

(3)

A-Ha Moment: Critical Thinking

As I continue this learning experience, reading through articles/discussion posts I find myself having more “A-HA” moments.  It is such a powerful feeling to finally make the connection, put all of your knowledge together, and say to yourself, ‘Now that makes sense”.

One such experience occurred during our discussions about critical thinking and reading Critical Thinking in Every Domain of Knowledge and Belief.  The discussion really prompted us to think about this ability.  It ends up to be a really complicated skill since there are so many definitions.  It can be perceived as a way to making connections, or analyzing and assessing thought, or thinking about our thinking (meta-cognition).  The process involves constant wondering and questioning to get the most out of what you are learning.  It is not a separate entity but, needs to infused into all experiences where “the thinker self-monitors and self-assesses” (2007).  This lead to me my a-ha moment.  Now I understand why we are doing the worked asked of us.  We didn’t have to reflect, but to think critically.  The questions and feedback Alex posted really helped me to gain a deeper understanding of what we were talking about and makes it more meaningful.

But, how can we teach this to other children in the classroom or how can we teach this to the students in the our online class?    Questioning and utilizing Bloom’s Taxonomy can promote the thinking but, there are more barriers to face.  People’s own personality can get in the way of learning.  You have to defeat egocentricity, self-delusion, sociocentricity, narrow-mindedness, habits, and fear/insecurities.  It is very hard to get people to think/learn in a new way and it is not a comfortable experience.  In Social Presence, it was shared establishing trust and a class community was essential is creating a community of learners.  If the students trust you then they will take the huge leap forward into this new of way of thinking/learning. My experience as a student was that I was focused on my routines from the other class and interpreting feedback to what I was thinking Alex meant and it wasn’t the same.  Then, we I began to trust Alex’s words and it became clear to me that she wanted to use to think deeper about the questions.

As I think back, I feel critical thinking was a term being overused and misused.  It is mostly being used for thinking and not critical thinking.  People don’t realize the depth critical thinking takes students and how to get them to that level of thinking.  It is not a one day lesson but, a lifelong lesson that all teachers need to be part of to make it most effective.

My question is how do we get our students motivated to think critically when, students just want to get the right answer?

Vicky

(4)

Oprah, Retrieved from  http://www.oprah.com/packages/aha-moments.html

Paul, R. (2007, July 23). Critical thinking in every domain of knowledge and belief. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/critical-thinking-in-every-domain-of-knowledge-and-belief/698

Pickett, A. Social Presence. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDEE4C3AACF9C7390