Songhai Concepts

Media Literacy/Digital Archiving Instructor

Thursday, February 28, 2008

More is Better!

H. Songhai

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Students Don't Need Teachers - ALL THE TIME!

In the connected classroom of the iPod, cell phone, voice recorder variety, the teacher serves more as the guide on the side than the all knowing sage on the stage. In the connected classroom, the teacher orchestrates and directs, the teacher suggests scales and motifs, but the students, ultimately, are the real players and music makers in this educational concerto.

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.

Journaling prompt from my Media Literacy class

Google search language for approximating the best answer to the query

After guessing incorrectly, students were encouraged to use the computer calculator to determine what year it was 43 years ago.

Harlem + 1965 + February 21

Once we empower students to talk the talk, to awaken, to look under foot for answers, they won't be so inclined to depend on the teacher all of the time, for everything.

H. Songhai

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This Week In Blogs #2

Photograph of composer/musician Stevie Wonder and his daughters. Photo courtesy of
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.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

This Week In Blogs

H Songhai

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Carnival in Trinidad: Farewell to the flesh

Monday, February 04, 2008

Who's Gonna Take The (Weight)/Wait?

I came across this Editorial, Graduating failure in the February 3, 2008 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer. If the image looks a bit skewed, that's because I thumbtacked the article to my wall at school and snapped the picture with my digital camera. Click the image to make it larger.

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?

H. Songhai

Labels: , ,