Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Students Don't Need Teachers - ALL THE TIME!
We write everyday in my Media Literacy class. Some days we may only write three or four lines, but daily we engage in some type of journaling. My students log their entries either in Google Groups, blogger and of late, in Google Presentation. And since there is no text book for this course, a large portion of the journaling requires learners to track down people, places and events, online.
Since January, I've been preaching the gospel of the guide on the side. The gospel of Google it and look under foot. I'm convinced that students don't need teachers - ALL THE TIME. And to ensure my inevitable obsolescence, all of my students have erected elaborate cathedrals of learning on their desktops - aka iGoogle, Netvibes and Pageflakes accounts. Yet despite their clickable, gleaming digital academies, my learners are still prone to demand that I give them answers to questions that are but a mouse click away.
Last month at EduCon I posed the question, how do we motivate students to more than awaken, to look under foot for solutions and answers? How do we encourage learners to sit on the edge and behold their academies like structures in a mist?
There is no one right answer, however, I believe that computercentric routines coupled with precise web searching language is at least a step in the right direction.
After guessing incorrectly, students were encouraged to use the computer calculator to determine what year it was 43 years ago.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
This Week In Blogs #2
Photograph of composer/musician Stevie Wonder and his daughters. Photo courtesy of blackgivesback.blogspot.com.
Our paperless classroom moves forward even in my absence. You should be multi tasking smartly and organizing material for This Week In Blogs #2.
See my homework calendar for today's assignment.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
Who's Gonna Take The (Weight)/Wait?
The editorial points out several disturbing trends taking place in high schools throughout Pennsylvania and presumably across the nation.
According to the editorial, "More than 56,000 Pennsylvania high school seniors graduated with "empty diplomas" in 2006 because they failed state math and reading tests." The article goes on to point out that students were "given diplomas, in some cases, for just showing up. They left high school without mastering the basic skills to get a job or enter college."
Pennsylvania's Education Secretary, Gerald Zahorchak recently applauded the efforts of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education for proposing regulations that would establish the following: state graduation requirements: additional support for schools with struggling students, improved teacher training and a voluntary curriculum in English, math, social studies and science. Zahorchak said that the proposed regulations "will ensure that a diploma has meaningful, substantive value."
Hats off to the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. Their proposals for change are realistic, forward thinking and a positive step in the right direction, however, the new regulations will not take effect for another six years! Can our students afford to wait (the weight) that long?