OK, so I confess….I am one of those people who like to read other people blogs, but I never comment. OK, so I have actually commented 3 times. Maybe 4 times…..maybe. I guess I have just felt a bit weird about commenting actually. I mean, why do they want to know what I have to say? Who is actually going to read my comment? What is the point? BUT…..I am willing to give this a shot & find out what the point it. Who knows? Maybe I’ll become a reformed blog reader & an avid commenter eventually.
Blog Comment #1: dy/dan: “Why I Don’t Assign Homework”
I agree that if homework is simply busy work, then there is no need to assign it, but if homework is a meaningful extension of learning, then it is important & has it’s place in the learning process. But to simply not assign homework because students don’t have a tendency to complete it or because A students don’t need to do it anyway, seems to go again the point. How about assigning it only to those who do need it? And then try to make it meaningful & follow up with them immediately the next day to make sure it was completed. I know that there are different school and demographics to think about. As an international school teacher, I have a different population of students than those mentioned in this post, so what works for one group of students will not necessary apply to another group.
Blog Comment #2: Extreme Biology: “Sickle Cell Anemia Isn’t Half Bad”
Wow! What an interesting conversation that these students (& maybe other people, too) are having about the pros & cons of this disease. The people making comments are really continuing the discussion, not just agreeing or disagreeing with what is being said. That are adding and enriching it, offering bits of their own research and knowledge. What a powerful critical thinking opportunity. I am already thinking & wondering how I might be able to incorporate current events discussions into related science topics that I am teaching.
Blog Comment #3: NeverEnding Search: “PowerPoint Reform, A First Chapter”
How true! Every single teacher should read this article & have their students read it, too. We’ve all seen really bad PowerPoint presentations, but I daresay, that we have probably seen far fewer good presentations & even fewer great ones. I really like how this blog post gives us tips for making PowerpPoint presentations better & that it also gives personal feedback on their experiences with students. And for those of us who want to learn more & want to make PowerPoints interesting & compelling, there are additional resources at the bottom for us to click explore.
As an aside, I also liked the use of the word “sticky,” as in this lesson was “sticky.” I read the book Made to Stick by Chip Heath & Dan Heath, which explored the “art of making things unforgettable.” I would agree that this lesson about making powerful PowerPoint presentations is sticky. And I also recommend reading the aforementioned book.
Blog Comment #4:Wandering Ink: “How to Prevent Another Leonardo da Vinci”
This blog post certainly gives one something to think about with regard to how we teach. I agree that creativity & experimentation is not emphasized enough in day to day teaching. Maybe we are trying to teach too much the curriculum & get the right answers out of our students. But if that is our only goal, then we are losing out on the opportunity for our students to discover more about themselves. I also agree with the first comment, that Web 2.0 tools offer us new, creative approaches for students to explore what they are learning. As a science teacher, I find it interesting that arts and sciences were seeing as connected subjects in the past, having equal value, but now they are not.
Blog Post #5: Learning.Now: “An Open Letter About Cyberbullying”
This letter, this blog post really causes one to reflect on the power of their words and the unintended consequences of one’s actions. I am sure, as Andy Carvin says, that the Wired writer did not intend to put the Stop Cyberbullying community into such ‘danger.’ But he did. And what I think is powerful about this blog post is that he not only got the attention of the magazine and the author, but he was able to get the attention of the community of blog readers, too. The writing in this post is conversational, witty, and serious all at the same time. By allowing his personality to show through, I believe Carvin is able to reach a lot more people & prove his point.