Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Learning with Mr. Tully

One of the most valuable additions to my PLN over the last year has been Christopher Tully. Christopher Tully is a multimedia technology instructor at Middle Bucks Institute of Technology, adjunct professor, and trainer. By following his blog, Twitter feed, and seeing his presentations, I have learned so much about what it means to be an educator. I have learned strategies that have served me well in the classroom that I have been able to share with other educators.

These are a few of the gems I've gotten from him in the past year:

"Let students learn by failing." This is something that I am still processing and working through but I am learning that students can learn just as much from failure as they can from success.

Responsibility, time management and collaboration are important when using technology in the classroom. Using technology is about more than the tool itself. Teachers need to communicate clear expectations for appropriate use, set guidelines, and allow for collaboration with others to ensure that activities and projects run smoothly.

Career and technical education is so much more than most realize. Christopher Tully is a vocal advocate for career and technical education. Students in career and technical education are not academically challenged. They learn the same standards-required content as those in traditional educational settings but they are allowed to do it in a hands-on and project-based way. 

"Empower students to use technology. You'll never know what they do." Within every student, there is tons of creativity waiting to be unleashed. Giving them a tool plus the freedom to create with it can release that creativity and talents they may not have known they had.

"Teacher behavior impacts student achievement." Every student can remember a teacher that believed in them and helped them to achieve more than they imagined. It is those teachers that sincerely have the ability to change lives. A teacher's attitude, as well as their words, can have great impact on their students and shape how they view themselves as learners. 

Set higher expectations to maximize student potential. It is believed that demanding more from students is setting them up for failure. I disagree. I believe that when students are challenged, they rise to meet those expectation. Students are capable of more than they realize and with opportunities to prove themselves, they often will. 

Success for students should be doing their best work. In a day and age when we are driven by grades and test scores, the intrinsic motivation of learning can easily be lost. Instead, students need to be encouraged to put their best effort into everything they do.

One of my favorite talks he did was on creating engaged and motivated classrooms. I applied a lot of this when I was student teaching and it changed the way my students worked, the classroom environment, and my interaction with my students.

1 comment:

  1. "Teachers need to communicate clear expectations for appropriate use, set guidelines, and allow for collaboration with others to ensure that activities and projects run smoothly." This is so true - there are so many ways these tools can be misused, or used in ways that don't necessarily enhance learning. To engage an educational setting, there has to be a lot of pre planning. Thought I'd share this article on enhancing iPad use in the classroom: