T Sale's Blog

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I Sing The Body Electric, Part 2

I’m here to sing the praises of some of the technical innovations that I first learned about in 21C but which have since become more important to me for personal reasons. My daughter left January 1 for a year of study in France. Since she has been there, I have talked to and seen her on Skype, used Google Earth to look at the neighborhood where she’s living and the school she’ll be attending (Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris), and viewed some of the pictures she’s taken on Photo Bucket. It made me think about “just in case” versus “just in time” learning. I learned about the existence of Skype and Google Earth and played with them during 21C sessions, and though they were fascinating, they were never that important to me until I had a reason to use them. It made me realize all over again why students often seem disinterested by the “just in case” learning we traditionally foist on them. Whether it’s technology or literature or any other skill or knowledge, the real challenge is to give the students a reason to use it – a real reason, not just an exercise to see if they can. I find this realization daunting because, to me, it makes planning a lesson so much more uncertain and complicated. I’m used to trying to convince students that they should read literature, for example, but I’m not so practiced at showing them why they need to read literature.


  • At Thu Jan 10, 06:55:00 AM 2008, Blogger Barbara S. said…

    I can really relate to that last sentence although, as always, I enjoyed reading your entire post. In mathematics I also find my self convincing students they should do this or that instead of focusing them on why they need to do this or that.

  • At Thu Jan 10, 10:59:00 AM 2008, Blogger E. Firchau said…

    I think it's great that you have been able to use some of the technologies we have discussed in 21C. My husband and I also use Skype to video conference with our parents in Texas and South Dakota. They love being able to see their grandson on a regular basis, instead of just through still pictures!

  • At Thu Jan 10, 08:25:00 PM 2008, Blogger Karl Fisch said…

    Will Richardson is convinced that this is how we have to do this. Teachers need to start using these tools and technologies in a personal way first before they can begin to see use with - and by - students.

    He thinks trying to jump into using them in the classroom is an approach that's bound to fail. I'm trying hard to disagree with him - and prove him wrong - but he's a lot smarter than I am.

  • At Sat Jan 12, 12:56:00 AM 2008, Blogger الشريف / جمال طة said…

    فضيحــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــة بالسعـــــــودية

    مــــــــن المجتمــــــــــــــع الدولــــــــــــــــــــى

    الـــــــى الملك / عبدالله بن عبد العزيز (خادم الحرمين ) بابا الفاتيكان بيسلم عليك ويقولك عيب رجعوا للمسلم حقه

    وملكــة بريطانيا بتقولك عيب خلوا عندكم شوية ديمقراطيـــة وحقوق انســـــــــان مش انتم بتقولوا انكم مسلمين أعطوا المسلم حقه

    أما الرئيس الأمريكى بوش بيسلم عليك وبيقول لك خلص المشكله ديه ورجع للمصرى جميع حقوقه وهو مش عايز يتكلم فى الموضوع ده تانى

    أما الكونجرس ألأمريكى يقول لك احنا متابعين قضية المواطن المصرى ولن نتخلى عنه حتى يأخذ جميع حقوقه

    أما ألأمين العام للمنظمة الدوليه لحقوق الانسان يقول لك الشكاوى منكم يوم عن يوم بتزيد وسوف نضطر لرفع ألأمر الى ألأمم المتحده ومجلس ألأمن للنظر فى فرض عقوبات اقتصادية عليكم قد تصل الى تجميد أرصدتكم فى خارج السعودية بعد خصم جميع حقوق المواطن المصرى وخاصة انه بيقول انه مسلم زيكم

    برجاء الاطــــلاع وشكرا




  • At Sat Mar 01, 04:57:00 PM 2008, Blogger Tamara said…

    Hi there, new to your blog. Although I have no idea what the guy before me wrote :)

    What came to mind for me is the reinforcement of the idea that we must be doing more with technical reading and writing for our students. Of course they need literature. Of course we want them to love it. That is why so many of us became English teachers. However, teaching the practicality of being able to read and write well is what HOOKS them. Once hooked, then I think they can swallow literature more.

    Additionally, depending on our student body, the need for technical writing versus literature could be more important. For example, I was reading your 10th grade Literature blog. I read your students' answers and my mouth dropped. My low income, inner city, immigrant and transient students definitely are far below your students' skill levels.


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