5th blog response

Title: "Simplifying the unsimplifiable..."

By: Doug Belshaw

URL: http://teaching.mrbelshaw.co.uk/index.php/2007/11/03/simplifying-the-unsimplifiable/

Important quotes from the blog:

"Some simplifications can be dangerous, which is usually a breeding ground for bigotry. Some, however, lie somewhere in between the two - looking helpful until further analysis...Yes, lectures can be boring but what about when I was at university when lectures would often devolve into seminars?...TV isn't a good way of learning things if you're passively watching just anything, but what about if you've chosen to watch something and it's really well presented?...However, sometimes there's a need for action, a time to stop talking and start doing."

My response:

Mr. Belshaw,

I think you bring up some very good questions.  Lectures most certainly can be beneficial and even thought provoking.  TV can be a great educational tool to learn a great deal from a wide variety of different subjects.  And often people get so caught up in conversing that they forget they haven't actually accomplished anything yet.  I think you have shown that education is subjective and fluid. If students (and teachers) sees theirs lectures as boring, TV as passive, and conversation as the answer, then these things will be no more or no less to students and teachers than their perception allow.  It is the individuals choice whether or not they are going to let these things be useful or meaningless.


4th blog response

Title: "Effective Pedagogy"

 By: Lisa Durff

URL:  http://durffsblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/effective-pedagogy.html

Important quotes from the blog:

I read recently that good teaching results in learning. I have to disagree...Good pedagogy must consider several measures in instruction: the intelligence quotient, the emotional quotient, the adversity quotient, and the spiritual quotient...The adversity quotient measures the tenacity of learners in difficult situations...The life of the Spirit, or a students' spiritual quotient, must also be considered when designing effective instruction. Learners awareness of and response to the Holy Spirit as their plumb line does not stop at the church door...I have seen a mighty demonstration of His power through learners who had a high SQ in public school. I could only model this and not teach it directly in public school, yet He is faithful.

 My response:

Ms. Durff,

I couldn't agree more with every detail of your blog. Teachers can't do it on their own. Students must meet teachers halfway in order to learn. And like you said, teachers can encourage this by pushing the adversity and spiritual quotient, in addition to the traditional IQ and emotional quotient.  As difficult as it may be sometimes, we need to stand back and let students fail sometimes, in order that they won't fail when it really matters.  We also must stress the Spirit to students.  Romans 8:6 says "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." Let's give our students the latter. And yes, He certainly is faithful.

Gabe Birkey

1 Corinthians 1:9


3rd blog response

Title: "Expectations"

By:  Clarence Fisher


Important quotes from blog:

"When I was a kid (and I'm only 37!!) we had two television stations stations and I remember when we got a colour TV in our house. My kids on the other hand expect things to be personally meaningful for them. They expect world wide communication to be seamless, easy, and cheap. When my sons are bored of watching TV or playing with their Wii they like to make their own movies on their camera and I am trying to get them interested in Scratch. They move easily between consuming media and producing it and they expect to be able to do both."

My response:

Your kids will grow up in a completely different generation than me (and I'm only 21!)  It's not that technology wasn't available when I was young; it just wasn't available to me. I grew up in a home where these types of resources weren't considered the best way to communicate with people.  And while I have no regrets about my upbringing, I'm actually very proud of it, I do plan on doing things a bit different when I start my family.  For example, you mentioned several programs that you and your children use on a daily basis.  These things are tools.  Tools of communication.  Tools of pleasure.  Tools of work.  They're tools that help us do some tasks better and easier.  And long as we have these tools, why not take advantage of them.

We certainly have come far


2nd blog response

Title: "Keynote to New Media Literacies Conference"

by: Sharon Peters


Important quotes from blog:

"He points out in particular how Obama is using social networking sites in order to promote his campaign."

"Physical space can be transcended and we can now have meaningful conversations with people around the world."

"We can add our own information so easily so instantly."

My response:

Ms. Sharon Peters,

Your conference experience sounded very enlightening.  I, myself, was brought up a little more old-fashioned and am still amazed with some of what you said.  My first response to "Obama is using social networking sites in order to promote his campaign," was that politicians have always used social networking to promote their campaigns.  But the word "sites" adds new meaning to the thought.  Politicians certainly have taken full advantage of the benefits of networking tools. Politics has never been the same since.

Two other comments you made were, "Physical space can be transcended and we can now have meaningful conversation with people around the world," and "We can add our own information so easily so instantly."

Again, at first thought, I felt that people have been able to have meaningful conversations around the world for a long, long time.  But in modern times, the conversations truly have become easy and instant.  Communication barriers have been broken down one wall at a time.


blog response #1

Title: "Explore. Discover. Share."

By: Bud the Teacher



My response:

Mr. Bud,

I love the portion you chose to take from the article.  In addition, I thoroughly agree that Mrs. Morgan does indeed capture the essence of teaching and learning in her quote.  As teachers, our education does not end when we receive our degrees.  Contrarily, we continue to explore all avenues of our professions and our disciplines, always searching for what we did not know before.  As can be expected, when we set out to find new knowledge, most likely, we will find it.  As educators then, it is our responsibility to pass our newly attained knowledge onto our students.

Echoing Mrs. Morgan's sentiment, I wouldn't count this so much a responsibility as I would a privilege.  Unlike those who spend their days in an isolated cube, we have the opportunity to develop the minds and interact with the youth of the present.  As we teach, undoubtedly our education continues on and on.  Truly, as you and Mrs. Morgan said, "We explore. We discover. And we share."

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