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The article that I linked to in the previous post really struck a chord in light of my recent ruminations. I’ve spent about a year cruising through the known world (known to me, that is) of the edublogosphere and have been overwhelmed by the discussions about technology and how to teach as we move deeper into the 21st century.
I blog here and in the classroom, I’ve got a classroom wiki, I use technology for presenting material (audio, video, and, of course, PowerPoint), and I’m versed in all of the elements of a standard productivity package such as MS Office. I can easily pick up and learn new programs and web-gadgets. But what is the role of all that in the core of my teaching effort. Do I need any of that to effectively teach third grade readin’, writin’, or ‘rithmatic? I do use it, but is it actually interfering with my effort or is it helping it?
I teach in a relatively affluent area; my students have all the latest gadgets and many have a respectable degree of skill with the latest video games and such. That doesn’t mean they have a clue about any of the things I mentioned in the last paragraph, and I just wonder if it’s worth the time to teach it.
Feel free. Stone me for blasphemy.
Here’s an interesting article on elementary mathematics from the Washington Post: Elementary Math Grows Exponentially
The article speaks well of teachers in general, but says that there’s a lack of the deep understanding necessary to facilitate learning by all students in a typical classroom with so many levels of ability. Here’s the heart of the article:
Virginia Commonwealth University math professor William E. Haver, who is involved in the partnership, said elementary teachers need to know far more than the standard curriculum. With a depth of knowledge, teachers can help children understand relationships between numbers and solve problems in different ways. Without it, teachers often rely on memorization and aren’t well-equipped to help struggling students.
“Elementary math isn’t elementary,” Haver said. “There are a lot of deep ideas there. Usually, if a child doesn’t get the right answer, there’s a fair amount of good thinking along the way, but it got astray at some point. If you can pinpoint that problem, you’re better off.”
Here are two interesting posts on why teachers might not use web-based (sites, etc.) technology as part of their teaching effort. The first link is a comment on the second link. That’s how I found the two, so that’s how I’ll post!
Interesting, and worth thinking about after I finish writing my lesson plan’s for the week. …or should I think about it before?
Late addition: I knew I’d seen something in the last day or two that influenced the thinking in my comment (that what application you use isn’t as important as the final product) to this post. It was “It’s Not About the Box” from AssortedStuff. Good “food for thought” post.