Friday, September 24, 2010

Week Two Responses

In reflection of “Rethinking Education”, a long time ago I came to the conclusion that education was more than a classroom with four walls, students, desks, a teacher and a lesson. Rather it is LIFE itself and how each of us goes about this concept of “learning”. As much as we all want to be comfortable with whom we are, we can never be still. Technology does not have its sights set on schools, but the classroom has its sight on technology. If traditional schools cannot adapt to the concept of change, they have outlived their purpose and need to join dinosaurs in the world of the extinct. However, if they embrace new concepts and provoke fresh thought, they will be one their way to igniting a renewed passion for learning within all of society.

As a teacher I hold an ongoing enthusiasm to find ways to inspire those around me, not only within the confines of a classroom but throughout my community, to expand their individual and collective education by pushing our capacity to discover. Learning takes place as much, if not more, outside the classroom….we simply need to be aware of the world around us. While advancements in technology can cause some unsettledness amongst teachers, it should not be viewed as a threat. If I was asked to conduct brain surgery, I would think twice before scrubbing up. Likewise, if a student asked me for input about the latest tech tool, I may not be in a position to confidently respond. But I could (and will) encourage more interest and intrigue on the part of my student to begin searching for the answer, which would then allow them to become the teacher and I the student.

The issue of website reliability goes hand in hand with discussion about academic honesty. The practice to putting false information into circulation has been around for hundreds of years, and the internet is simply another conduit for phony information and half-truths to gain access to into credible academia. Anyone can create a website and make it appear to be authentic, and search engines are not responsible for validating information. Providing a Web Page Credibility Checklist to my students and discussing the guidelines would be a good way to promote critical thinking skills. Likewise it is important for them to be concerned about their intentional or inadvertent contributions to bogus websites.

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