There were so many great blog posts written this week that it was easy to find them, but hard to choose which ones to share:
1. The Benefit and Danger of Education Technology – Educational technology is something that has been a major part of schools, but we are seeing it (as it should be) becoming just a part of our classrooms. This article from Edudemic offers some of the positives and negatives of technology, but I am not sure how I feel about them. For example, they talk about the eroding skills of cursive, which makes sense if we are using technology more in the room, but is this necessarily a bad thing or is there just some nostalgia around the practice? In my life, I use cursive to write cards and sign my name. That’s it. On the other hand, I use technology all of the time, as most people do. Should we practice it a substantial amount of time in class if we don’t use it on our own lives? If we don’t use it much now, how much do we think our kids will? Below are some quotes from the article.
– One of the most positive results of schools embracing new technologies is found when low-income students gain skills they otherwise wouldn’t. The ability to type, use email and execute basic computer functions like Word and Excel are imperative in today’s workforce. When students who have no access to computers at home learn these skills specifically because of technology in the classroom, they have a far greater chance of moving from have-nots to haves in the future. Having technological competence gives them a better chance of success in the workforce and gives them a greater ability and confidence to pursue online education university options.
– There are some arguably negative implications to the adoption of new technologies as well. Some of the most evident for the short term involve dropping long-standing handwriting requirements. Penmanship was dropped from most English classes over the last twenty years and cursive writing requirements are quickly being cut from many programs as well. Depending on one’s perspective, not learning cursive in elementary school may not be the end of the world academically speaking. But advocates of teaching cursive argue that losing cursive is just one more case of technology eroding academic rigor.
2. LEARN – UNLEARN – RELEARN! – A great post by Stephen Kennedy talking about the “change” factor in his own school and how as society, we go through it all the time, yet this is not necessarily reflected in schools. I appreciate the connections Stephen makes to his own school as there is definitely power in sharing your own personal connections and stories to the evolving landscape of Twitter. Check out some of the quotes below.
– But think about changes in your own life: our children growing up, our own parents aging, moves to other cities, job changes, illnesses. Wars, political leaders, religious conflicts. Consider the ups and downs of the economy and the impact on your family. Gas and grocery prices rising, electronics prices dropping, the cost of raising triplets!…Somehow through the plethora of changes that surround and engulf us – we expect school to stay constant, to remain immune to world forces, to be almost outside of time.To be blunt about it, that kind of constancy does a disservice to children, because it is blind to reality.
– The deep traditions that Trinity holds to are different, and indeed lasting: respect, character, responsibility, integrity, and more. Certainly reading, writing, calculating, and basic skills are a must. But when education practices remain conventional solely because “we’ve always done it that way,” children are the ones paying the price. We may think our own education was good enough because we’re successful as adults. Look at the job market, however, the grimly competitive nature of college admissions, the kind of innovative thinking required in international corporations or small start-up companies. The world has moved on, and will keep on doing so.
3. Stop Saying “Rigor” | Ideas and Thoughts – Dean Shareski talks about the word “Rigor” (both in writing and through the accompanying podcast on his blog) and how it is misused in education while also not embodying the opportunity we want our students to have to be able to be creative and explore in the classroom. Although the post is extremely interesting, it is the conversation in the comments that shows you how blogging can be extremely beneficial both reflection and conversation. Dean’s post was initially a reaction to this first post, and then spurred on another post. Whatever side you agree with, I think for me, there is such power in the conversations that blogging spurs with educators that just want to be the best for kids.
Have a great week!