Tuesday, April 27, 2010

PLN 28

In “Our boys are falling behind in education” by Dottie Lamm, the author talks about the problem of boys doing badly in school. She says that one problem about this is that most people don’t know or don’t pay attention to this because no studies have been released on it and the fight for women’s rights is still ongoing. I think that in general, this is true. I often times have a hard time writing, with some exceptions. Why is it that no studies have been done on a gender gap, but on almost every other possible type of gap? I would think that gender gap studies would be one of the more prevalent studies. This is what matters to me in Dottie Lamm’s “Our boys are falling behind in education.”

PLN 27

In the article “Being a “Learner” is being Responsible” by David Warlick, the author talks about once in a chat with some people, they started talking about Wikipedia. One participant pointed out Wikipedia has resources on the topic, but no one usually clicks on them. The author points out that most people don’t feel compelled to do so for one reason or another. The author then connects this to video games, how the point is to find a way to make it work, not just following instructions. I believe this is a great point. Most people don’t need to look for more information; they just need to find what works. This is what matters to me in David Warlick’s “Being a “Learner” is being Responsible.”

Thursday, April 22, 2010

PLN 26

In the article “Is This Creativity?” by David Warlick, the author talks about a discussion he had about creativity, leading to the question, “What does Ken Robinson say about creativity?” followed by its answer, Creativity is “the process of having original ideas which have value. Then, the author follows up with another piece I found interesting,

As Robinson says later in his TED talk,
“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you won’t come up with anything original.”
What we do not want our students saying, is what I friend of mine’s daughter said recently
when ask about the purpose of school. She said,
School is the place where you do not want to get caught being wrong

I have thought this on and off throughout my schooling, though not specifically like this. It does surprise me somewhat, while I realize this is very likely true. For example, in one of my classes, almost all of what we do is reading off a sheet and copying it back onto a computer, then turn it in to see how close you got to the instructions. Although, I don’t believe this applies to all classes. A project in another of my classes recently was to write a story with few guidelines. The biggest guideline was that it needed to have an object from now that didn’t or won’t exist in another time and what that object could be. This is what matters to me in David Warlick’s “Is This Creativity?”

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

PLN 25

In the article “An Open Mind (In Higher Ed at Least)” by Will Richardson, the author talks about an article he read that talked about the impact on educational resources from the advent of MIT OpenCourseWare. One of the things that I noticed is that Will describes the article as a balanced read, which don’t seem to appear very often, no matter what the article is about. Another part of the article interviews one of the founders of Peer 2 Peer University, Neeru Paharia, who says “Having a degree is a signal. It is a signal to employers that you’ve passed a certain bar.” The article also says, “Ms. Paharia doesn’t think degrees are necessary. P2PU is working to come up with alternative signals that indicate to potential employers that an individual is a good thinker and has the skills he or she claims to have — maybe a written report or an online portfolio.” I think that this would be a great way for people to get the jobs they want (or at least put them on the road to them) even if they don’t have the money to go college. This is what matters to me in Will Richardson’s “An Open Mind (In Higher Ed at Least)”.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

PLN 24

In “What Should we be Imitating?” by David Warlick, the author talks about the iPad being integrated into several universities, some of which are handing out free iPads to students. The author then lists some benefits of having iPads in the classroom:

• Faculty will be able to use more of a variety of textbooks, since digital versions will be less expensive.
Even though Apple has yet to announce any deals with textbook publishers (only popular ebooks), a third-party company currently offers 10,000 e-textbooks, which include titles from the five biggest textbook publishers. A subscription-based service, registered students can access the e-textbooks of their choice for a limited amount of time. The company has already announced an iPad app.
• The iPad will likely not have the limitations that disappointed students who were involved in an e-textbook pilot at Princeton, using the Amazon Kindle DX.

But I think that it is somewhat ridicules to remove textbooks, only to replace them with digital textbooks. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of having iPads, if they are just used as textbooks? This is what matters to me in David Warlick’s “What Should we be Imitating?”

PLN 23

In “The Most Important Computer-Using Educator in the World” by Gary Stager, the author talks about a friend of his who is an important educator, and very overlooked. According to the author, his friend, Stephen Costa, first started teaching 1:1 with laptops. I was wondering, if he is so important in the field of education, then why is he so overlooked? It seems that if he is the man that started 1:1 computing, he would be better known. This is what matters to me in Gary Stager’s “The Most Important Computer-Using Educator in the World.”

Thursday, April 8, 2010

PLN 22

In “Transforming Learning…No, Really” by Will Richardson, the author talks about a book he read recently that talks about several ways to improve learning in schools. The authors of the book give several paths to improvement, but think that transformation should be worked toward the most. The article’s author mentions that the book’s authors give a clear vision of each form of improvement. I think that we should work toward a goal of transformation of learning in schools, so that education will be easier for everybody. This is what matters to me in Will Richardson’s “Transforming Learning…No, Really.”

Sunday, April 4, 2010

PLN 21

In “Thank You Bill Maher!” by Gary Stager, the author talks about a video he saw by the political comedian Bill Maher, and how what he was saying makes sense. He was talking about how firing bad teachers is supposed to just change the system, but it doesn’t do much. I believe this form of thinking is how we got our educational system into the mess that it is in. Not that it applies to all districts, but a fairly large amount of districts don’t have good ways of running their schools and/or have bad employees. And from what I have heard, Congress has just made matters worse, if they aren’t the source of the problem. This is what matters to me in Gary Stager's “Thank You Bill Maher!”