I was recently asked to present a professional development workshop to teachers on blogging. The blogs I work with in my classroom are very different from this one. This blog really is more of a reflexivity journal for me, while my classroom blogs really are based on students socially constructing knowledge together. I think my graduate students, who often view this blog, might differ on this description, as their comments reflect social learning here as well.
Here’s the presentation:
In any event, my workshop, which lasted around an hour and forty-five minutes began with an activity about asking conceptual questions. This part of the workshop took an hour. For me, this was far more important than the actual technology use. After all, if we talk about good instruction, blogging only becomes an instructional tool. Asking students meaningful, open-ended, ill-defined, multiple perspective/response questions are critical for developing thoughtful intuitive minds. A blog can asynchronously facilitate this.
So we’re back to the same ideas, which ultimately are critical: technology should enhance instruction, not replace or impede it. It should make learning meaningful, not burdensome.
This is a challenge in the statistics class I am taking, because the technology, in this case, SPSS statistical analysis software, should allow students to understand and interpret concepts. When the technology gets in the way of learning concepts, then real learning stops occurring. The software needs to only be a tool to allow students/researchers to make meaning of their questions – to help them validly and reliably answer them.