Saturday, October 11, 2008

Class Monday October 6th, 2008

It was enlightening listening to every one's perspective on constructing knowledge and making meaning for students. Now, attempting to pull it all together and connect the technology piece with knowledge construction. These kids love technology - but I see huge disparities in the availability for all students. My own children have an endless array of current technology: Ipods, computers, phones, cameras, video cameras, laptops, etc. In my opinion, they spend too much time using them. The My Space thing is a little biazarre for me and I know lots of parents who will not allow their children to have a My Space account. Back to the disparities - the students I work with do not have the same types of technology available to them. In fact many of the students ask on a daily basis to stay later at school to work in the computer lab because they do not have computers at home. Cell phones are limited, as well as MPV players (even I have an Ipod for my work-out music). So how do we get the everchanging technology available to everyone? Especially in these horrendous budget and financial times. The state continues to mandate that we spend thousnads and thousands of dollars every five years on replacing the state adopted curriculum that really hasn't significantly changed from one adoption cycle to the next. It's really very aggitating.

We all know that the sage on the stage has never worked. It has never been more apparent to me when I enter a classroom and see students falling asleep in their desks as the teacher rambles on at the front of the room - how inappropriate and mind-numbing that must be for them. Getting teachers to change their instructional strategies has proven extremely difficult. I spoke with my principal this past week about why this is and he offered the following perspective: it was how they were taught, it is their comfort zone and people do not change easily. I think about this in my own life - I kind of cringe at the thought of having to work with classmates at different sites to create a future educational environment. It's much easier to work on something when you are face-to-face. I also like having an instructor on site - the discussions get mumbled and it's difficult to participate in when you're not there.

It's interesting though. As a former teacher I realize that most administrators evaluate teachers on the behavior of the students (everybody sitting quietly, listening to the teacher). I once had an administrator write on my evaluation that a student was "rolling his pencil across his desk and not paying attention". This was honestly what this administrator was concerned about - not that there were thirty-three students in the classroom and they all needed to be up out of their seats and actively learning.

Well this is the video I said I thought was questionable to post - it is pretty darn funny though.
I call it leadership - old school style:

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