Sunday, April 12, 2009

global education

There were so many great sites listed on our suggested list to explore for this module. It was a difficult decision to select a few to examine in closer detail. I first visited the kidlink site because it appeared to be geared towards early childhood, which is my area of concentration. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this site has information for students of all ages. There are a few basic domains to this site: teachers, students, parents and student teachers. As an instructor in a teacher certification program, I was happy to see resources geared specifically toward student teachers.

Although our assignment was to discuss how we would use these sites for our students in our classrooms, I was struck by how valuable this site would be for my student teacher candidates. Our student teachers get plenty of instruction on theory and educational foundations which is certainly valuable. However, this site provides resources for student teachers which are more authentic and relevant for actual application within a classroom with real students. There are various activities, all categorized by age, which make it very easy for a student teacher to gear a lesson plan towards a specific grade level.

Additionally, the activities are categorized by interests, such as "who am I?" "where do I live?", "what are my roots?", etc. which prompt a student to reflect upon themselves and their family lives, communities and backgrounds. I was impressed to see bilingual and multilingual options appearing on this website as well.

I remember really struggling through my student teaching requirements, as my placement pre-dated the internet by quite a few years (!) and these resources didn't exist at the time. I would have benefited from these ideas and activities, which are nicely organized and structured. I am impressed to see how diversity is celebrated and highlighted, so that each student has the opportunity value their unique background and compositions.

So, I would use this website for my student teacher candidates because it could easily be used for early education, elementary school and secondary placements. The activities contain objectives, outcomes, activities, rationales and even scoring rubrics for summative assessments. These are tools which are valuable for a student teacher starting out, particularly since the activities are so well structured. The objectives are measurable and observable, so the provide a sound and accurate model for our student teachers to follow. The ready made rubrics can be modified and adapted to meet individual needs, so the student teachers could gain experience in using a rubric and designing one for use with their students going forward.

The depth of this website also surprised me, as there were links upon links to explore. I wholeheartedly support use of this website because of it's capacity to provide information on a variety of relevant educational topics and for a variety of age groups.

1 comment:

  1. Kathy,
    I'm glad that you found Kidlink to be useful for your present or future student teachers. It's great when a site is so full of good ideas that you just keep jumping from link to link and accumulating ideas!
    Dr. Burgos