Journal #2

Reading Bowens Teaching Naked this far I never really understood why he titled his book in such a way. These last four chapters, especially chapter 8; I understand what he means by that now.
He begins the chapter by saying “the primary benefit of technology-mediated content delivery, communication, and assessment outside of class is the additional time it creates for more active and engaged learning with prepared students inside the classroom” (p. 185). This type of learning environment, where students come to class prepared to complete activities, rather than listening to a lecture, is necessary to demonstrate the importance of class attendance and interaction to students who become bored and have the potential to drop out.
This is what Bowen calls The Naked Classroom. In the traditional model, class time is spend delivering content, with all critical thinking about the content being done outside of the classroom. The teaching naked model is a shift that is essentially a mirror image of what has always been done.
I was getting the impression from the previous chapters that he was advocating implementation of as much media and technology in the classroom, this is not the case. He recognizes the advantages of the internet as resources for learning and the demand that is being placed on institutions to use it. He isn’t justifying the idea of eliminating traditional lectures either, just altering it to make it better.
He suggests:
Showing students the right “entry point” into the content you want them to understand
Motivating students by modeling our own intellectual, personal, and moral values
Making connections to, as well as questioning, identifying, and undermining, assumptions and claims from the reading as well as from other students (p. 189)
What this does is creates active learning. The single most important requirement for active learning is that the learner be engaged; otherwise, it would be passive learning. If we want our students to be engaged with our material, we need to provide them the opportunity to do so.

This makes so much more sense to me in the respect that having your students in class ready to learn, knowing the relevant information before they arrive, so that when they are in class its ACTIVATION time. When I was reading these last few chapters I felt like he was warming me up to these ideas. I cannot argue that we need to keep our students motivated, reading the text actually motivated me to keep reading. I’m so new to teaching that I’m like a sponge for information. And what little instruction I have done I really resonate with wanting to motivate and connect with my students, wanting to learn how to activate the learning process and teaching critical thinking is a challenge. I was fortunate enough to explore critical thinking in my 3100 course and will reference it here:
From my recent research and brief introduction to teaching so far I see how things are starting to change in the world of education. Very learner centered, creating an environment in favor of students discovering the learning process with our help. We are in transition from a passive learning environment to an active one. I think creating a classroom to accommodate our student’s needs and expectations is a big piece of the puzzle to being a successful teacher.

There are so many aspects to teaching, from what I see so far we have to have the ability to tune into our students and find out what their needs are. Be interested and give students more control of their learning environment. Respecting their time in our class is important.
Maryellen Weimer has 7 principle rules outlined in “Learner Centered Teaching” (Five Key Changes to Practice, second edition, Copyright 2013) which I believe defines how active learning and critical thinking can be fostered and supports what Bowen is outlining in his book.
As teachers we need to “do less telling so that students can do more discovering”. (pg74) That amplifies what Bowen is advocating using technological information to the student’s advantage. Letting them be responsible for information and decide what they have to try to figure out for themselves. She does not make reference to technology in the class room but has the same ideals. Another principle is “faculty encouraging students to learn from and with each other”. (pg81) That to me is making those connections, working together and questioning ideals and values, which is motivating. This learning comes from utilizing the aspects of social media, IE Facebook, Twitter and texting. Creating that sense of community which encourages a positive climate for learning.
The Naked Classroom needs to be a place of action. Students need to be stimulated and cannot not be allowed to sit passively. Encourage critical thinking by allowing students to participate and demonstrate the skills and attitudes held by all critical thinkers. Focus on creating significant, high impact learning opportunities for your students. Embrace the new tools and techniques offered to us through continual innovation. Make your classroom a place where students want to be.

I discovered this journal entry with reading and deep thought somewhat transformative in my thinking this far when it comes to technology in our classrooms. I feel like I’ve made a shift in my thinking and look back on my first journal for this program and see how somewhat closed minded I was, or rather resistant. There was my fear of change creeping in. It really is about making a shift in our classrooms to teach our students to discover information in their own respect and give them the control I never had when I was in school. I truly understand what a flipped classroom is now and grasp the concept of what The Naked Classroom means.
It excites and encourages me to further investigate this concept as a part of my professional development plan. I have the advantage of watching my peers in my program trying to make this change and am more than willing to jump on board with them. I believe that along with active learning there should be active teaching. We cannot expect to think that what has worked for past years and classes is going to work every time after. Each year or semester provides us with a new environment and different demographic of students, that is how we have to approach them. I plan to customize my lessons as much as I can and utilize feedback so not to become passive. Really integrate as much relevant information as I can to allow the students a progressive and active learning environment.
Teaching Naked, Jose Antonio Bowen, Copyright 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Published by Josey-Bass

Learner Centered Teaching, Five Key Changes To Practice, Maryellen Weimer, Second Edition, Copyright 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc