Archive for August, 2015

postheadericon Connected learning …?

I do not have extensive teaching experience, I am not an active user of social media beyond Facebook, and have a negative view of blogs.

I do not agree with the notion that if you throw enough technology at something, whatever problems or issues one experiences magically go away. Your baby’s crying? Give it a smartphone. Your community’s not politically engaged? Set up a government-sponsored message board that costs millions of tax dollars to create and maintain. Your kid’s failing third grade? Give it an iPad and force its teacher to dress up as Iron Man and sing multiplication tables backward while said kid trolls YouTube for video game advice. It’s a teacher’s job to entertain its students, right? Right?!?

Connected learning – the video we watched in class with the stick-figured students, comes with the assumption that technology is inherently good, and that integrating technology into the learning process is also inherently good. Techno-optimistic. Who needs a teacher when you have Wikipedia? Who needs human contact when you have twitter or instagram? A photo of a person and the written equivalent of a sound byte is a suitable surrogate.  Why bother going to class when you can post all your questions to an online forum, and expect whomever’s on the other end to thoroughly research the answer before crafting a careful and calculated, enthusiastically optimistic response?

Connecting students to material through technology is useful, I will not argue against that. Integrating technology and alternative methods to the traditional “sage/stage” learning environment may enhance the learning experience for some students. However, replacing an interactive, specialized classroom with a knowledgeable instructor and students that act as co-learners and support with a blog and a message board does not seem adequate to me. Turning education into Facebook is not a good idea.

 

postheadericon Hello world – take 3?

So … I am not sure if my first “welcome” post went through – I posted it the first night of class, but did not have my site linked to the main site. I do now, so just in case, I am posting this thing again.

Cheers.

postheadericon And it begins ….. again.

I had thought the horror that was mandatory blogging was behind me.

It is not.

So here we are, another Welcome to the World, another introductory blog post.

Cheers.

– A