Thursday, September 27, 2007

learning shoud be fun...right?

blogging question: can a blogger comment on someone's blog and then turn around and use that comment as an original post is his blog?

Or is that self-plagiarizing?

Damn the answer and full posting ahead!

Taylor states that, when it comes to learning technology:

the “technology leaders” are going to have to let us play with the technology. Learning is fun. If the leaders of the technology “inservices” hadn’t forgotten that, maybe the teachers would want to learn. Hell, even the kids might like it.
And she writes this in response to my previous post. So now I'd like to present my comment, placed on her blog (which you should read):

Point of clarification (I feel so Grand Jury-ish whenever I state that phrase!):

I don’t have a problem with the fact that 70% of posts by teachers in an on-line chat room were off-topic; in fact, I’ve spent 13 years in a classroom where I found myself, the teacher!, going off-topic (the horror! please don’t tell my administrators).

And I agree with you that we are no longer setting or upholding a firm agenda and that students, regardless of age, learn in different and varied ways. In fact, as educators, it is our job to celebrate and encourage varied forms of learning.

I was an off-task student. And posting this comment right now is off-task to the meeting I am attending (but it’s not off task to my learning style!).

What bothered me about The Day After Warlick was the chiding by the rep from PA’s Dept. of Ed. She claimed we were unprofessional. She stated we should be the “leaders” of appropriate and ethical behavior. She railed against us by comparing us to a group from the previous week that kept the same chat directly linked to the presentation.

What I found amusing was that when I began to reflect on the presentation and our next-day reprimand, I realized I had engaged in a lot of thoughtful reflection and processing about Mr. Warlick’s message (even before PDE expressed disappointment in us).

Additionally, I began to reflect on the ‘how’ and ‘why’ we are using tech tools. I’m no ’sage on a stage’; if anything, I’m more of a ’sage against the machine’, but I surely would not release students in a classroom environment w/out allowing them to develop a list of appropriate behaviors.

Or…better yet and perhaps more to the point of my post…if Mr. Warlick and PDE wanted experimentation for its sake alone, then, well, perhaps the day-after diatribe was a cheap, Tommy Boy 2×4 slap in the face. I would never do that to my students, or my teachers.

If I want them to play in the sandbox, then I have to expect that some of them are going to get dirty, throw sand, and even kick over a castle or two. The joy of the sandbox is when some of the kids create, share, explore, and collaborate in a meaningful way; especially those that entered with a ‘this-is-a-waste-of-my-time’ attitude.

I love playing w/ technology. I run workshop after workshop after bleepin’ workshop and play, play, play all day I say…

But then I ask teachers to reflect on the how, why, and where these tools may fit into their classes.

They pause. They consider. They think about their diverse student population.

And when they do that, I know they’re ready to move from play to apply.

And if they’re really good teachers, their application will come off as play. Their students will play, but damn, they’ll really start learning in ways that matter.

Thanks for making me think.

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