The task of deciding which of the 25 Sample Blogs I would read seemed like a daunting task to me. I know how I function on the web. I read one thing, click on a link, and then click on another link, and pretty soon I am miles away from where I started. I also have an voracious appetite for reading and gathering information. I have spent hours reading and clicking through these blogs. I have to applaud Dino on the collection. This is quite a cross section. I discovered that I was most drawn to the ones that tickled my intellect. Though I find value in the ones that were written by younger children, these did not have me reading all the comments and peripheral information associated with a blog.
I can’t begin to count the number of times I have heard that the youth of today are “digital natives.” What I appreciated about Betchablog is that this might be a flawed perception. It is true that my son can manipulate all the technologies of his cell phone faster than I can. This is partly due to the fact that I simply do not spend as much time on my phone as he does. As tech savvy as I think he is, he is still challenged with printing the assignments that he completes on his laptop. In Bob Sprankle’s Blog, Bit by Bit, he suggests that “Perhaps we need to set a date for our education to switch entirely over from analog.” I think we are already moving at a speed that I can barely keep with. I think we are on the very outer edges of an educational explosion. In the past decade there has been a slow shift to more integrated technology in classrooms, teachers moving to the role of facilitator of learning, and learning for the sake of learning; but in the last couple of years this shift as increased exponentially.
There was line in the blog A Simple Desultory Dangling Conversation that struck a chord with me, “life is an open-book test”. I cringe when my son tells me he had a quiz over a chapter he was suppose to read. I can tell his teachers that they are turning him off from learning. But the simple truth is that it is easier to create a five question quiz than to help students think and engage in learning. Creating The Upside-down Pop Quiz is more time consuming and requires more effort in the set-up on the part of the teacher. I would not thrive in this type of learning environment. I relate to David Truss’ Blog, Pair-a-dimes for Your Thoughts about Googling (is this even a real word??) a question. When I am at a conference or workshop I Google everything that the speaker presents and create hyperlinks in my notes. I feel lost then I cannot verify a fact, look something up to stretch beyond the original idea, or to make connections in my learning. I can only imagine that students feel trapped and stifled in learning. It is amazing what students can do if allowed. I wonder if we are holding them back with our own insecurities with technology. Clearly students are capable of articulating valid opinions about learning. One has to be amazed by the Students 2.0 blog.