[Technology 1085] FW: A few informal case studies - reflecting on the role of the teacher

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Silver-Pacuilla, Heidi HSilver-Pacuilla at air.org
Mon Jun 18 13:12:09 EDT 2007


Here is a bit of a side conversation that Tina and I have had that I
think may be valuable to the list. We've been thinking about the role
of technology in student achievement (she sent me some specific case
stories) and also the role of the teacher/coach. Thought you all could
share as well -

Heidi



________________________________

From: Tina_Luffman at yc.edu [mailto:Tina_Luffman at yc.edu]
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2007 9:39 AM
To: Silver-Pacuilla, Heidi
Subject: RE: A few informal case studies



Hi Heidi,



Actually I sent these case studies only to you. If you want them sent
out to the list, that is fine with me. Concerning your latest question
about the value of the teacher being open minded and curious as far as
helping to get the student unstuck, yes, I think this is our primary
role as teacher. We are supposed to be the professionals who know how to
help the student overcome their situation. These situations have been
the greatest challenges for me as a new teacher and have been the most
rewarding parts of the teaching process.



This comment does not mean that learning is entirely the teacher's
responsibility, but that when the student comes to the end of
himself/herself, helping them find a way through that barrier is what we
are there for. I do realize that there are probably students out there
who will never learn certain concepts, but I feel that admiting defeat
is not an option for a teacher or a student. We must believe there is a
way and continue to work until we find it. As long as the student is
willing to keep working with me, I will continue to try new and
different approaches to teach.



Tina

Tina Luffman
Coordinator, Developmental Education
Verde Valley Campus
928-634-6544
tina_luffman at yc.edu



-----"Silver-Pacuilla, Heidi" <HSilver-Pacuilla at air.org> wrote: -----

To: <Tina_Luffman at yc.edu>
From: "Silver-Pacuilla, Heidi" <HSilver-Pacuilla at air.org>
Date: 06/16/2007 05:39PM
Subject: RE: A few informal case studies

Hi Tina - Thanks so much for these case studies, they are a real
treasure. Thank you for taking the time to write all this down today
and contribute to the list, too! I hope all your students are
continuing or plan to continue their studies, they are part of those
tried and true resilient group of learners who have so much to offer the
world and to teach future teachers and classmates to whom learning comes
easy. The role that you and your colleagues have played in encouraging
them to stick with it and to be amazed with them on their learning
journey is something that often gets overlooked and isn't in your write
up. It has taken me a long time to come to own the responsibility of my
involvement in others' learning, too. As a professional developer, I
want to be able to say, Yes, they can learn! Just teach them this way
or do that or try this method. But there is some magic between an open
minded and curious teacher and a student who is otherwise stuck. It
isn't something that the technology can provide, either. I'm struggling
with this balance. What are your thoughts on this piece of the learning
puzzle?



Heidi



________________________________

From: Tina_Luffman at yc.edu [mailto:Tina_Luffman at yc.edu]
Sent: Saturday, June 16, 2007 1:55 AM
To: Silver-Pacuilla, Heidi
Subject: A few informal case studies



Hi Heidi,



I just want to mention a few cases that I have noticed in my online GED
class. We had one older student who seemingly could not retain math. She
had passed everything else on the GED exam.We would teach her decimals,
and then she would move on to fractions. By the time we got to
percentages, she would forget decimals. She had been in our program for
a few years. Then she decided to be one of our first students the online
GED class with Project IDEAL/ADEAL in AZ. She started using MHC Online
and seemed to really enjoy the software. Then she retook the math test.
She still did not pass the test. Then I put her in Skills Tutor. In
addition, one of her friends who did pass worked with her over the
summer doing one-on-one tutoring. They would go to the Learning Center
twice a week and do Skills Tutor side by side. This math-challenged
woman finally passed her GED test.



I had another older student who seemed doomed to failure. She had been
in special education classes in school for language problems. She came
to us needing to pass Math and Writing only. It took her 9 months to
pass the Math test, but the writing continued to elude her. She could
not hear articles (the, a, an) nor -ed or -ing endings, for example. The
learning disability seemed phenomenal. She was also one of our first
students to join the online class and studied in both MHC Online and
Skills Tutor. Then she additionally wrote essays and emailed them to me
faithfully for the last two months before testing. This student passed
her GED Writing test late last summer.



The technology is also helping our face-to-face students. Just last week
I had a student who watched two GED Connections videos in the science
area. He also did one of the workbook chapters that went along with it.
He claims that the videos are what helped him do well on the Official
Practice Test for Science. Even better, he claims that the videos got
him interested in Physics. I am hoping that his recent hunger for
learning will get him motivated to continue on and go to college. He has
not taken the GED exam yet, but has moved up to ASEII (12th grade) on
the TABE. He feels that the technology of the videos really are working
for him.



It is my conviction that technology does engage more parts of the brain
than merely sittting in a classroom and working out of a workbook or
listening to a teacher give a lecture. I believe in Multiple
Intelligence Theory, and using technology engages the hands, eyes,
brain, and ears if audio is available. I believe that is part of the
"magic" that takes place when a student enters the world of a software
program like Skills Tutor or MHC Online. Depending upon the student,
some find that the videos put them to sleep, but indeed I have seen many
others really engage.



Thanks,



Tina

Tina Luffman
Coordinator, Developmental Education
Verde Valley Campus
928-634-6544
tina_luffman at yc.edu





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