Posted in uncategorized on August 14th, 2008 7 Comments »
Eduwonkette is in top form today, first, taking the stuffing out of the hottest, gap-closingest new charter school in New York, one which manages to cherrypick students while still representing itself as "unscreened":
To apply to be part of the first entering class at the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics, students were asked to provide their most recent report card and two letters of recommendation, one from an 8th grade teacher and one from a guidance counselor, principal, or assistant principal.
Second, she calls down fire on movies like Freedom Writers and Lean on Me for promoting the idea that a successful teacher must mortgage her entire life, divorcing anything and everything unrelated to her job.
- Classroom Distinctions, which takes Freedom Writers to task in several thousand fewer words than I did back when.
- Teaching and Shortcuts, in which Chris Lehmann leaps off dy/av : 008 and wonders what teaching looks like as a sustainable career, particularly for us rookies. Few answers there. Mine would probably involve some salary multiplier but then I probably also need to realign my priorities. Sorry, self-sacrificing teacher buds.
Posted in dy/av on August 13th, 2008 23 Comments »
Posted in tech contrarianism on August 12th, 2008 28 Comments »
Wordle's classroom use — no matter where I find it — seems predicated on the false assumption that word frequency has anything to do with meaning.
What — if anything — does this Wordle say about The Raven? Very little about subtext, certainly, but its creator enthuses:
… will they notice that the word soul is used more frequently than tapping and rapping? As I looked at the cloud for “The Raven,” I couldn’t help feeling that I had created a piece 21st century text in its own right.
How are otherwise competent lit instructors so seduced by low-level lit analysis?
Posted in dy/av on August 12th, 2008 10 Comments »
- If we frame the teacher-student interaction as a sales pitch (just go with me for a sec) what qualities of a salesperson will repel the buyer?
You can take this any number of directions but I'll ask you to consider for a moment the qualities of a relational teacher that aren't also the qualities of a relational person. What I mean is, clearly, kind teachers are preferred but let's try harder.
Tomorrow I'll examine a teacher whose students simply don't relate. And while his humorless, anal-retentive personality curries him few favors with the students of the Baltimore City Public Schools, one defect in particular poisons his relationships.
This defect is simple. It is potent. And, I'm convinced, it gets worse the longer you teach.
Posted in tech contrarianism on August 10th, 2008 9 Comments »
Wes Fryer glows over Animoto, the debits of which I addressed some time ago, and a lot of my hesitance to embrace [your pet Web 2.0 tool] crystallized in my response there:
Animoto is wrong for education in every way that it’s right for consumers — and the befuddlement of its creators at its educational market share affirms this directly. Consumers want something that takes the difficulty out of an engaging slideshow but difficulty is essential to learning.
These are businesses, after all, and some businesses (though not all) attract customers by making difficult processes easier. Sometimes (but not every time) those difficult processes are the same ones which impel learning. So while Blogger, for example, makes the right processes easier for students (the mechanics of online publishing) so that they can focus on the difficult one (writing), Animoto simplifies the wrong processes (editing a slideshow with rhythm, music, visual panache) leaving behind only the most menial (select an order for your images, select a track, press go).
Many have come to this conclusion before me, I realize, but I am only now fully struck by the fact that the goals of profit-driven Web 2.0 applications and the goals of educators only align accidentally.