Tuesday, February 23, 2010

This is How We Dream

Richard Miller presents a very important issue that has been circulating throughtout the Humanities, and many people have addressed the fact that our world of English is drastically changing. Students are no longer wanting to just read and write, but they have a desire to listen and then produce. While I, to a certain extent, agree with my generation, I believe I still hold the love for reading and writing. It is imperative, however, that as teachers we adjust to the demands of our students, and that is creating a better environment and incorporating new ways of learning into our classroom.

In my Teaching Composition class, we have been discussing this exact idea. Instead of simply writing a research paper, authors Blasingame and Bushman believe students prefer a multi-genre approach to writing. In this approach, students are able to write in a more creative way while still using research as the core of the assignment. I think this is the same idea that Richard Miller has about using technology in writing. Students are adapting to the technology world; however, the teachers are the ones who are extremely apprehensive to change the traditional ways of learning.

I strongly agree with Richard Miller's points on writing with multi-media, although I must include myself in the traditional teaching group. While I love technology and using it to create new projects and research, I still tend to lean towards more traditional ways reading and writing. My desire for my future students is that they care to learn and further their knowledge. I want my students to grow as people as well as writers, and I want them to have confidence and assurance that they can succeed in different areas in life. I hope they want to go beyond the set expectations and think outside of the simple-minded ideas we are taught. My goal as an English teacher is to introduce new material and ideas, and to teach them the importance of learning and how to apply their knowledge to life outside of school. While I still want my students to love reading and writing through discussion and analysis, I realize that the majority of my students will prefer using technology; therefore, I must try to figure out ways to include both, so they can have a love for both types of learning.

"Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice" -- Anton Chekhov

The Networked Student

I think that networking is quite beneficial for students to enhance their learning experience. Networking allows students to experience knowledge far beyond the biased viewpoint of a textbook. By students networking, they are able to read numerous amounts of information, watch videos, and see how other students are reacting the same subject. I definitely think that networking creates a great learning environment that can truly assist students in higher learning.

The question: "Why does the networked student even need a teacher?" definitely makes me wonder if it will come to this. The video stated that the teacher helps the student with researching and assists when needed. I understand that it is important to help the students use the web and grow as a student; however, I want to do more than help with a PLN. I think as an English teacher, my job should be to instruct students about the English language and introduce them to various works of Literature. I will have gone to college for four years and learned a great deal about English, and I think my purpose is to share this information and the great works of literature.

I definitely think I could use this approach in my class; however, I would only use it to make the students learn more about what I am teaching. It will give them a better opportunity to find out more and use their creativity to better understand authors and the importance of preserving literature. I think a PLN can benefit the students when it comes to a research project. Instead of being stuck in a library, the students can surf the web and find people to converse with and very important information pertaining to their topic. Overall, I like the idea of a PLN but I still want to be the teacher and instruct my students.

This a graph displaying a Personal Learning Network

Michael Wesch

I thought Michael Wesch's video on the Evolution of Whatever was quite interesting, and defintely reflected the nature of people in the 21st century. I, myself, would not necessarily put myself in the grouping of people who feel the need to expose their personal lives all over the web; however, I can definitely understand the want to feel accepted. I do have a Facebook, but I don't put a lot of personal information on there. His comments on the new generation wanting to be individuals and known is so accurately true. I honestly think some people go way beyond just wanting fame, and I don't understand their reasoning. I think it is important to know that students react in this way, because it will allow me to better understand them and teach them and respond to them in the best way possible.

Comments for Kids

This week, I read Jenna's blog from Mrs. Kolbert's class. She discussed why she should be a representative for her class. Jenna made some great points, and I gave her some advice for being a representative. I told her to always keep her promise, otherwise, her fellow students will probably not re-elect her. She sounded like she would love this opportunity, so I hope she wins!!!

Jenna's Blog

My Personal Learning Network

As I began creating my PLN, I decided to follow English teachers, since that is what I aspire to be. I have used Twitter to follow teachers and writers, and I have also read articles from English Journal. I want to learn more about teaching English and productive ways to present literature and writing to students whom might not have a desire to learn. By following writers, I hope to find interesting ways to teach writing and allow my students to be more creative with it. I think I will be able to find a great amount of information in all these topics.

One of the main people I have been following is Jim Burke, an English professor and author. He has great information on his blog, The English Teacher's Companion. He discusses ways to include your students in discussion, ways to improve teaching, and talks about different novels. I really enjoy reading his posts, and I think I can learn a lot from him.

I hope to continue finding more teachers and authors that can assist me in coming up with interesting approaches for teaching reading and writing. I also want to learn more about incorporating technology with literature. Like I have said, I love discussion based classes, but I also think it will be great to include technology through discussion. I also want to find teachers who are teaching English over seas. I am excited to learn more and grow through my PLN, and I am interested in finding more information concerning English and Technology.

A video posted by Jim Burke


John Hadley Strange said...

"My desire for my future students is that they care to learn." The key. But I am often unsuccessful in accomplishing that goal. Just this week I had a student say to me "Dr. Strange, I just want you to teach me so I don't have to learn." That may not accurately reflect the message she intended to convey, but there was a lot of truth in it.

I am going to try and get Wendy Drexler to Skype Class B later this semester.