Monday, January 25, 2010

Starting out the Spring Semester

Heather McChesney shares images from her first day of class

From a read of the Globaloria community's blogs, it looks like the spring semester is off to a great start!

Our conversation at the January Academy on student motivation was extremely fruitful, inspiring such insights as Tracy Halsey and Larry Thackett's ideas about relevancy and feedback.

Tracy writes, "One of the reasons I applied to the Globaloria program is because I knew students would be interested and therefore hoped student motivation would be increased. For the most part, it has proven to be true. If you can see a relevancy to your life then you become an active participant. Another thing I try to do is provide feedback to my students."

And Larry resolves, "to help [my students] keep that motivation by:
  • Involving them in the learning process by stressing the importance of collaboration and teamwork. Letting them know that their input is important to everyone's success.
  • Relating the work they will be doing, and how they do it, to the real-world of work they will face after they graduate.
  • Stressing that their success, or failure, is in their hands. I am there to help and guide, but they will have to work to succeed."
Dionne added to the discussion by stressing the importance of getting to know the specific needs of your students:
To foster student motivation, it is imperative that I know my students: their strengths, areas of improvement, and how they feel about school and learning. As I learn about my students, I begin to understand what they need to be successful, and am able to set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals with them and help to provide them with the knowledge base and skills necessary to accomplish those goals. As they see small levels of success, and we recognize their accomplishment, they have an internal sense of gratification, and they continue to work, thus becoming more successful. After all, like success, motivation is continuous.
These insights and more were extremely helpful, and already they seem to be paying off!

A Spring-start educator, Heather McChesney had a great first day, and has already posted some pictures of her Globaloria class on her blog. And Tracy, starting her second semester, shares some gorgeous game scenes from her talented students.

Larry has hit the ground running, exclaiming, "Wow! Just finished my first Globaloria game design class and I am nothing short of amazed!"

It's exciting to see you all applying your new abilities and rejuvenated verve to in your classrooms. Fostering student motivation certainly can be hard, but judging from your accomplishments this week, I have to second Jim Allder's advice that motivating yourself can be infectious:
As a Globaloria educator, I have found that the more I invest myself in self-learning, the more motivated I become to teach the next lesson. It is exciting to share new information. (why do you think gossip shows and magazines are so popular?) And those around us are sure to pick up on this excitement and become more self motivated.

This comes a little "back to the basics", but I believe the best way that I can motivate others is by being prepared and learning the skills myself. In music, this involves studying scores, listening to professional recordings, in some cases communicating with the composer, and researching the story behind the composition. In Globarloria, it is accomplished by taking on personal flash projects, finding tutorials, looking for things to blog about, and keeping up the wiki.

Through this preparation, we make ourselves more confident, proficient, and MOTIVATED. This type of motivation is sure to rub off on others.
Keep up your self-learning as the year progresses, and don't hesitate to reach out to your peers, mentors, or the Foundation team for support when you need it!

Good luck!

1 comment:

Linseyboo said...

Thanks,Did I tell you that I was looking at FIDM in La, but there is also a sweet fashion school in NY I hear. It really great getting to talk to you aslo:].