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I am always seeking to make the most of each moment. I love to read, play outside and steal a moment to enjoy my surroundings whenever I can!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blog Post 10

     For this blog post assignment I read a post by Morgan Bayda. She is an education major from Canada that graduated in 2010 The post was titled An Open Letter to Educators.  In Bayda's post she describes how her university classes were long and tedious.  Usually my experience in my university courses were very similar.  I work and am raising a family so I have taken a few courses in the University of South Alabama Online in combination with on campus courses. This helps me accommodate my schedule.  

     I have seen how some professors of online classes have used very little internet resources in their classes.  In courses like these there was a book to purchase and each week consisted of outlining a chapter carefully and then taking a quiz on a university web page.  I found this type of internet course dull and not very engaging at all. 

      I have taken other online courses that would tie chapters to internet links and use group discussions.  These are the good ones.  Seeing the material in different formats and then discussing it and commenting on other students posts to a group site really made the subject matter seem less abstract than pages in a book.  I find the comments from other students to cause me to see the topic from a new dimension and get me thinking.  

     And now in my EDM310 class I am learning through so many avenues of the internet that it is sad for me to finish my work and move on to my other classes.  I am always excited to click on the links and see what other educators and students have to share.  I feel so blessed to have forged these connections.  I KNOW that I will use them through my college education and into my life as an educator.  

     In the lecture classes on campus it is more often than not just as Bayda describes in her post.  A large number of students struggling to decipher the information presented and jot down notes to be reviewed later.  I can't count the times I struggled to determine what the test would be on in these classes.  I knew that learning was second seat to getting an A.  I remember several details but they were really not cemented in like they are when I learn in a discussion type environment that encourages thinking and responding.  I want to be that type of instructor.  The type that actually makes a connection to students.  I want to meet them in a place where thinking is encouraged.  

     Bayda goes on to tell how her PLN helped her find connections to sites that allowed her to pursue some of her volunteering interests.  I currently use facebook very much for my PLN because there are several educators in my friends list.  I want to incorporate twitter more into my day to day PLN as more time is afforded to me to read and discover just how I can use the resources there (and hopefully contribute my own as well).  

     Embedded in her post is a youtube video of Dan Brown's.  He gives a brief history of education and information availability.  He makes some interesting points even if I don't agree with his dropping out of school to pursue an education outside the "Institution".  I think that giving up on graduating is a bad solution to a big problem. While I hope that education will continue to evolve for the better I still believe that students should be encouraged to stay in school and pursue independent learning as well.
framework for 21st century learning

Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home

     I took a look at the post "Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home" by John T. Spencer.  Mr. Spencer is a teacher in Phoenix, Arizona.  The post I read was a metaphor.  It was a discussion between a statistic obsessed librarian, Gertrude, and a teacher named Tom.  The story starts with Gertrude dressing Tom down for allowing students to take their pencils and paper home.  She sites concerns about lowered test scores for students who take their pencils home.  She voices concerns about them playing with the pencils instead of working on studies.  She is concerned that the pencils will be more of a distraction than a learning tool.  

     Tom doesn't bat an eye at Gertrude's concerns.  He agrees with her that the students may play games with their pencils and draw pictures.  He informs her about how the playing of games with pencils won't mean the students wont also spend time writing with them and doing their "work".  Tom says he has seen the students learning and leadership accelerate with the access to the pencils and hopes the projects he assigns will encourage them to use the pencils at home.  

    What is Tom saying?  Is he saying the students shouldn't do their work?  I think he is trying to redefine "work" here  for the students and Gertrude.  Tom hopes to make the "work" interesting and more like research, learning, and application.  

     I like the use of the metaphor here.  I think it shows that Mr. Spencer may just have a knack for selling skeptics on the use of "pencils" (technology) in the classroom.  

Here is the post I left for Mr. Spencer:

" It looks as if I am in good company here. I like the use of a metaphor to illustrate your point. This is a method that can seem less offensive to "opponents" and open them up to see your point."


  1. Thorough, thoughtful, highly reflective, interesting commentary on Morgan's post as well as you experiences at USA.

    Very well done! Keep up the good work.

    You did mot comment on Tom Johnson's post Don't Let ThemTake the Pen iOS Home. There wi on the Class Blog later this week which will discuss his post and will contain a special assignment to help you understand metaphors and their use.

  2. Hi Pamela,

    I loved your comments on "An Open Letter to Educators." I too have taken a lot of online classes to accommodate my schedule. All the classes I have taken have been read the chapter and take a test. I would love to take some that incorporated the internet more in the classes. They should would be more interesting. I love your blog! Keep up the good work.

    Molly Dekin