Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I've read several articles in recent weeks about the $4 billion that the U.S. government is planning to spend on the department of education's "Race to the Top" program. Looking up from the magazine articles or the online reports, I see my administrators scurrying off to meetings on this very topic. Talk is about funding, hustling, standards, performance pay, incentives, and how this is all going to look.
To this country boy it already doesn't look good.
I've never known throwing money at people to bring out the best in them. I'm all for a fair wage for an honest day's work. As an English teacher I coach students through about 2,000 pages of essays and research papers a year. Helping students read critically and write effectively, I figure I do my fair share. But it's not just about English teachers. What all teachers do day-in-day-out is vital to our collective, democratic future. It's important work to be valued and compensated handsomely, but not to be pimped and whored with pay incentives and extortion of headlines of "failed schools."
Some fifty years ago, my uncle, a farmer, had a cheeky motto: "You can buy better, but you can't pay any more." He had it printed on yardsticks and we all got a chuckle out of the nonsense. Nowadays, I'm beginning to see the joke, but I'm not laughing.
This is what I mean: I am passionate about my students, their future, and the discipline we share. But those are the reasons I teach. I'm not some salesperson who will teach longer, faster, more to reach a quota. I already work 80 hours a week on my craft. In the past year I've garnered top honors in my state for my teaching and National Board certification without pecuniary incentive or end-of-the-year bonus. Throwing money at me won't provide me with more time and motivation, especially as more of what is being asked is to be devoid-of-passion standards that have little to do with my students, their future, and the discipline. Rather so called "initiatives" will work to sap it from all authentic meaning and purpose with bubble test items: What is the best meaning of the word "craft" in this paragraph? A boat, B writing, C art, D work.
Placing more pressure, attention, and importance on poor measurements of students is a miscarriage of pedagogical planning. The tests show more about social, economic, and cultural advantage and disadvantage than about intelligence, and less about purposeful learning or teacher value-added effect. Moreover, the tests are skewed to favor certain verbal and math skills and are mute on others.
Much knowledge and skills so important to our students future defy being boxed in on such tests. Would not only the students that are born to excel in these vital disciplines be discouraged from pursuing and developing their given talents, but also the teachers who teach these subject be denied the incentives? What might happen to our country's lead in creativity, innovation, sports, arts, entertainment industries--none of which are tested by standardized tests? (Could that be a reason they are so good?)
These questions about varying disciplines point to the problem of teaching teams and collaboration among professionals. Merit pay promises to make competitors of us all. Why should one teacher share the strategies that are going to give her an edge on the year-end bonus even if it means greater learning for all students? It's taken the decades of my experience to see teachers become less territorial and open to team-planning; this "race" is poised to undermine such joint efforts posthaste and take us back a generation.
A parent of one of my students recently asked me what can we do? I'm not sure there's much to be done so long as lobbyists for the testing companies loiter in our capitol buildings, so long as the politicians long for a simplistic message, so long as citizens are fooled to by test results, and so long as universites do not stem the tide with better research and measures that can offer the alternatives. The last of these is probably our best hope. We need policy makers to reverse the trend. But in my more fearful moments, I worry that many policy makers are in fact hoping that we teach less not more to our students. It's insidious.
I'm not under the illusion that there's much I can do about this save quit teaching, and little that will solve. So I'll keep teaching to the test as nominal as possible, stay in the race so to speak, but try to do as much as possible to teach around the test in effort to serve students' futures. I don't have $4 billion to reward schools that help students innovate, create, and solve, let alone the billion that will be spent on misinformation about "racing to the top." Nor am I under the illusion that that those schools, teachers, and students that will be acclaimed as the top will be substantially better than the ones below--they'll only get paid off for spending so much time prepping for a test. A short term gain for a loss of a generation of learning.
The ones who don't make it will be maligned but what will be worse is the learning lost in teaching to the test that they failed. It's a lose-lose proposition. With $4 billion on this Race to the Top, my uncle's adage sadly takes on new meaning.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Her brief letter bears reading again and again, but I'd like to quote two of her sentences here:
The interdependent relationship between teaching and learning is a priceless labor of love and a joy that must be experienced to be believed.
Show me a teacher who actively pursues through love the art of learning, and I’ll show you a teacher who will never burn out of the teaching profession.
In the first quote Abrams is referring to the dynamic of 21st century learning and how we teachers can find relish in the sometimes unsettling realization that we can learn from our students especially when it comes to technology, and that they have much to learn from us especially when it comes to technology.
The second quote reminds me of my college methods supervisor, Hilda A. Kring, doubting that there was such a thing as teacher as well as their students can never, ever burnout. Of course there are many mitigating factors--supplies, funds, bureaucracies, misunderstandings, societal ills--but some of our best teachers come from schools where supplies and funds are low or bureaucracies and other ills run rampant. Or said another way, perhaps a burnt out teacher is one that has ceased to learn.
Image created at ImageChef.com
at 2:31 PM posted by ceyo
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Kids say the darnedest things. They say they can multitask. For a decade, as they grew up in the digital age, we adults thought "kids these days!" and believed them. I believed them, too. In fact, I envied them.
But then I read Brain Rules, by John J. Medina, a molecular biologist, who points to research that shows our brains and our students' brains don't work on two things as at a one. Like the computers we created in our own image, we are binary thinkers. We sequence. We this then that.
So multitasking is a myth. Stephen Henshaw, Chair/Professor of Psychology at University of California, Berkley, correctly names the activity of processing more than one media at a time as quicktasking. His comments are part of a new video feature at Common Sense Media. While quicktasking may be useful at times, constantly moving from one thing-task-idea to the next leaves our students without the skills of concentration and focus.
Two tips offered by Common Sense Media include:
- Limit distractions, turn off the electronics
- Encourage more reading
What makes this multitasking myth more insidious is the fact that it seems as if it's not a problem. Kids (and adults) think they are doing just fine. The National Academy of Sciences finds that heavy media multitasking students lack focus, understanding, and retention while trying to attend to two or more activities at one time. Time seemingly gained by doing or learning two things at once is actually lost if they are not able to be recalled later.
A study at Stanford University, showed that multitaskers were the worst at multitasking. By frequently multitasking, students are not only suffering when it comes to focusing on one thing, but are less able to focus on anything whether there's one, two, or more things. They scan but do not internalize information presented, perhaps because they treat all information with equal attention and do not focus, prioritize, or otherwise sort it out.
As much as I love to revel in our media world and the creativity it invites, I'd shudder to think that my students live a life without getting lost in a book for an hour or two or sit and write a journal or a poem without interruption. Beyond these romanticist ideals, as a teacher, I am concerned that our students are not able to "turn it on" when focus could mean the most. It is not an enviable situation. Focus, concentration, and retention are benefits too important to be winked at.
The darnedest thing is our students don't know what they are missing.
Image credit: Reformatted from"Multi-tasking." By Atonal. 27 Nov. 2007. Flickr/cc.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
One of my longtime laments is that most film documentaries are too long for classroom use. Fifteen minutes is a maximum usefulness of a video that I'm trying to fit into a 40 minute period, and I tend to get excited by a good 30-minute film. So when introduced to Explore with a variety of high-quality films designed "to champion the selfless acts of others, " I was pleased to find varying lengths of clips from 2 minutes to 48.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
- offering career paths in education,
- ensuring technology is available to aid instruction,
- and increasing teacher salaries to levels of other professional jobs such as lawyers and doctors.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Let's be honest. Kids aren't going to remember what we teach them. Not the content at least and not most of it any way.
Think of how little we remember as adults of our school days? How many of high school lessons come to mind? If you're like me, not many. Over the years, over the lessons, the lectures, the seminars, the books--ideas atop of ideas--it's impossible to sift through the layers of learning. Yet, I bet there are at least 10 days you remember.
My memorable lessons of high school:
- When my 9th Grade English teacher caught me watching the snow fall and just said "pretty, huh."
- My typing teacher assessing my practice: "There is no pattern to your errors."
- Parallel parking in driver's ed, successfully, after a night of practicing in the driveway.
- My French teacher singing "Edelweiss" a cappella (in French) and teaching us to do so, too.
- Running so close to the side of the track that I knocked the stopwatch out of my coach's hand, and his not getting angry.
- The compliment "You have a natural sense of rhythm and movement" from my senior English teacher after I presented a dance interpretation (my first and only one) at a drama club assembly.
- The day the principal approved of our starting a student newspaper, after his hesitancy and hedging.
- My journalism teacher's allowing me to decide whether to print a damning editorial against an administrator at the risk of her job because "it was all true." (And trusting me not to.)
- When my graphic arts teacher suggested I should put my first woodcut in a show.
- All of the modern novels my 10th Grade English teacher had me read and that would change my life.
Likewise, your students might not remember Fermat's last theorem, the Battle of Hastings, or the subjunctive tense. But they'll remember you.
Image credit: "Love, Teach, Imagine." By Denise Carbonell. 9 Dec. 2007. Flickr.
Friday, October 23, 2009
This month we celebrated National Writing Day at our school with a special guest, an alumna, Kristin Bair O'Keeffe, who had just given birth to her first novel, Thirsty. It was a great time for our students and aspiring writers.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
This has been a difficult start to another year of teaching. Seems demands are more numerous and trying out new, innovative strategies with technology are paradoxically piling up next to outdated testing pressures. On one hand we teachers are being held accountable by standardized testing and drill down into the data; and on the other hand we are being told that technology, creative, and performative skills are the way to go. It's like trying to get the moon by digging to the Earth's core: as ineffective and as frustrating.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Technology never promised to take less time. Well, if it did that was back in the '70s when we thought 2001 would never come and by then we'd all be wearing white zippered polyester suits a la Star Trek. This week I spent four days doing with Web 2.0 what used to take ten minutes the old-fashioned way.
Okay, now, to do it again, I could probably accomplish it in two-days, given what I learned in the process.
My students had made what I call "Beowulf Tapestries," panels of muslin fabric on which the students depict a scene from Beowulf on each panel. Together they roughly make up a project in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry, which we study as well. Each panel is to depict a moment from a particular canto and quote text. Then students identify themes that resonate from this scene.
In my early years, I would stitch the panels together for a wall hanging. One year I had a panel for each of the hundred-some cantos. Lately, I've stapled them together on a bulletin board for a similar effect. This year I decided to go digital.
Monday, September 7, 2009
First let me say, for those who don’t know me from previous posts, I’m a digital media literacy advocate. I believe that it’s imperative for media literacy and digital skills to be taught in the English Language Arts classrooms, and elsewhere. But I also believe that students must be taught these skills in tandem with traditional literacies of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and representing. The new media expand these literacies, but first they stand on them.
Without the traditional skills and understandings of basic language arts, digital literacies become just so much pushing buttons, tinkering with software (soon to be updated and outmoded), and presenting the superficial.
Technology in education often has the allure of that was once held by the diorama, the poster, and the book jacket project. Nowadays, we see PhotoStories, iMovies, and PowerPoints accepted without anything more critical than “Wow!” “Cool!” and “Neat!” Not only are digitally made projects new and glitzy, they may even beyond the can-do of the teacher, which grants them special but superficial esteem. Add to this the mandate that the teacher-learn-along-with-if-not-from-the-students, and it’s tough to develop best practices, let alone be sure that language arts our being taught and learned at a deep level.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Can social-networking technology actually be social? I've worried, not just about anti-social behavior like bullying and ranting, but about people substituting face-to-face, or ear-to-ear, and hand-in-hand communication. Much is lost in the media.
Will the next generation be burrowed in their own niches, texting in syllables, with only like-minded fbfs--completely incable of geniune social skills?* No tubs of ice cream in this picture.
Yet I saw a glimmer of hope in the words of Himanshu Nigam, chief security officer at News Corp. and MySpace. In an article posted by Cnet, Nigam made the following points about the potential of social networking sites to promote certain social behaviors:
Post with respect: photos are a great way to share wonderful experiences. If you're posting a photo of you and your friends, put yourself in your friends' shoes and ask would your friends want that photo to be public to everyone. If yes, then you're uploading photos with respect.
Comment with kindness: compliments are like smiles, they're contagious. When you comment on a profile, share a kind word, others will too.
Update with empathy: sharing updates lets us tell people what we think. When you give an opinion on your status updates, show empathy towards your friends and help them see the world with understanding eyes.
So with lessons in media literacy can come lessons of social literacy. What an engaging and unsexpected arena to teach caring for ourselves and others! Conversations about fair, just, generous, and kind dealings naturally can be reasoned out as we teach our students how to best interact on the web. Alas, maybe with media can be geniunely social, even if the ice cream must be served separately.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I find myself in the same quandary every year. I can't recall what teaching teens is really like. By now, my eighteenth year of teaching, I feel like Dante at the beginning of The Inferno, midway in life's path with a dark woods, threat of beasts, and a bit off the trail. No, teaching is not a journey through hell despite its rough moments, piles of essays, and lost weekends of work. It's just that I never can recall the pace or timing of teaching until the rubber hits the road.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Since 2007 when I started this blog, I don’t think I’ve let a month go by without a post. This year I’ve found it difficult to keep up. I’d like to post at least once a week, but working on National Board Certification took its toll and posts dwindled in number and last month I was in Ghana on a Fulbright-Hays group project abroad with little chance to stop at the rare Internet cafes.
Our group of twelve educators participated in fifteen lectures by top experts and visited four regions of Ghana, a country that is a vibrant mix of old and new, urban and rural, a democracy that is reaching toward the future, while remembering its past.
For all Ghananians’ optimism and earnest endeavor to become one of the leading countries of Africa (and a population that is nearly fifty-percent under the age of eighteen), their government apparently underfunds its schools. I found in all of the half dozen schools, students seated at wooden desks, chairs attached that look as if they were there when Ghana achieved independence in 1957. Although a few fluorescent tubes were mounted on the walls and fans hung from the ceilings, all were off to conserve electricity. Students wore bright, clean uniforms and carried oak tag covered notebooks; these I understand are supplied by themselves and not the school.
As much as one can tell from a tour of schools, the students seemed earnest and the teachers dedicated, and they all had the trademark Ghanaian good humor toward life and its problems. Of course, insomuch as bricks and books don’t make a school, the teachers and students achieve despite the lack of both. I saw elementary student notebooks that were printed and illustrated nearly as neatly as a Word document and a high school class of boys studying science unattended while they waited for their teacher to arrive, delayed because of heavy rains.
Yet, in a country that is freckled with cellular phone company kiosks and billboards, I fear the lack of technology in the schools is once again going to leave Ghanaian students without digital skills and more importantly digital paradigms—ways for thinking about and connecting in the world—as my home school wavers over glass and copper fibers for its ethernet.
The contrasts between the schools I visited pale somewhat when compared with the kinship of teachers brought about by the challenges we face, the work we do, and the students we love. When it comes to what these schools lack versus what I find missing in my own classroom, I’m not convinced we’d agree to exchange U.S. electricity and Internet access for the high-valuing education, triumphant sense of community, and focus of mission that I met with the lights out in Africa.
Friday, June 26, 2009
A few years ago I blogged about "booby-trapping your day for happiness," or at least some happy moments. Now research backs up this idea. And it's not just good advice for teachers. Kids too, and in fact everyone benefits from at least three positive experiences for every one negative.
"Doing so might help you learn the sources of your positive emotions and the
triggers for you negative ones. 'The truth emerging from the science is that
feeling good as it is a wise investment in our future,' she says."
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Image credit: "'Dry' Season Road." By hoyasmeg. 19 Feb. 2009. Flickr. Used by permission of Creative Commons License: BY.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past. As part of Microsoft’s goal to deliver the most effective and engaging resources for today’s consumer, it has made the decision to exit the Encarta business.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Okay, I'm slow on the uptake. I see blogs from two years ago discussing this. But it's been only a few weeks that the school where I work updated to MS Word 2007. I purchased the application for my home office shortly thereafter and soon learned that the Insert key no longer functioned to overwrite text.
If I was dismayed to find this out, I was shocked to find bloggers celebrating this change and--further insult!--suggesting that MS dispatch the Caps Lock button next! I happen to find both Insert (to overwrite) and Caps Lock PERFECTLY USEFUL! As a teacher, I am frequently titling worksheets with capital letters and renumbering alternate versions of tests with the insert to overwrite function. I didn't take well to having to cursor over type to overwrite it. Well, fortunately on other online sources, I learned that all was not lost despite such calls for anarchy. If like, me you like to use the Insert key to overwrite, here's the fix.
I quickly tapped on the MS Office button, located the discreetly embedded Word Options button at the bottom of the dialog box, clicked Advanced, and then ticked the box for Use Insert key for overtype mode.
All again is right with the world. And don't worry, Caps Lock, I'll come back after you, too, if need be.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
My blogging presence has been much less persistent in the past few months. In March, I completed the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards portfolio entry, and in April, I took the NB examination. When I began the process I kept wondering "what's so difficult?"
Isn't it just a record of the great teaching I'm all ready doing? Yes, but writing that record and gathering and organizing the documentation of what's happening in the classroom in accordance to the myriad and multiple questions that are posed to standardize the response make the process time-consuming.
It's estimated that 300 hours are spent in preparing the entries. That's two month's worth of forty-hour work weeks atop the thirty-five-hour professional day plus the twenty additional hours of homework. Okay, that leaves only sixty-eight hours per week for sleeping and four hours per week for everything else. Hmmm. Something had to give even though I spread the challenge over more than two months. Describing, analyzing, and reflecting on my practice seemed to take all my words. Ultimately, not just my blogging but also my students' needs suffered some from the process, but they are resilient; my future students' needs will be better served from my processing, questioning, rethinking, and affirming my teaching practice. Time-it-takes is frequently the downside of many worthwhile educational endeavors. So start early and get on with it.
If I had not started in by October, I would not have made it. In November I planned my units, then, in December I completed Entry 4, January Entry 3, February Entry 1, and March Entry 2, and general organization.
Another tremendous help is having a support group of NB coaches. I can't thank them enough nor recommend anyone to find a NB coach enough. It will be a long wait of six months till I learn my scores for the scores, but I know I have fared much better having worked with the folks from the Duquesne University cohort. The definitely helped prepare me with a ten-week introductory course on NBPTS, even before I decided to become a candidate. The cohort's facilitation of state and national funding, moral support, and logistical guidance I found essential, but my coaches' review of written commentaries kept me on track. "Have you answered ALL of the questions?" Best get on with it.
Like all standardized products one of the greatest challenges stems from framing authentic practice is in constraints of artifice. It was a constant struggle--"Who writes this way?" National Board candidates do, best get on with it.
Fortunately, with all of the moving parts to this portfolio, its instructions are available on a hyperlinked CDRom, and the testing centers give you downloadable practice to ease the orientation to the test. These helped a lot, as did Jerry Parks book So You Want to Be a National Board Certified Teacher?. It's packed with helpful lists, not bogged down on theory and details--you get those in the incredibly well-written Standards themselves.
All in all, I was amazed at the number of plates I had to spin between five core principles, sixteen standards, six of the English Language Arts strands, multiple videotaping sessions, and documenting student work. Then formatting, organizing, and responding to dozens of questions about descriptions, analysis, and reflection, all made for a Herculean task. It's not for the faint of heart, nor for the thin-skinned, nor for the egotist, nor for those with inferiority complexes--but, then again, what in education is? Best get on with it.
Image credit: Theremina. Detail of "Spinning Plates." 6 Sep. 2007. Flickr. Used by permission granted through Creative Commons License for attribution, non-commercial use.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
No, that's not a typo. Shmoop is the latest study guide site for students and teachers of literature, poetry, and history. It's put out by professors and grad students at Stanford, Berkley, Harvard, Yale, and other ivy-draped halls of humanities.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
An article in The Wall Street Journal reporting on recent speeches given by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan notes a plan that seems as blind to the causes of the financial crisis as irreverent to the effects it would have on education.
Some may doubt the Obama administration's belief in market forces in other areas, but Mr. Duncan clearly believes those forces can work to his benefit in pushing change in education. He is taking $5 billion of that stimulus money and establishing a Race to the Top Fund that will go to states that show they have both a record and a plan to push the kinds of changes the Obama administration seeks.
But only a "limited number" of states will get funding, Mr. Duncan says, and they will have to compete to win grants. "We're going to work hard with states, but they're going to have to work with us on reform," he says. "The federal government has never had $5 billion to fund excellence....This isn't rhetoric. This is billions of dollars that are at stake." (Gerald F. Seib, reporting for WSJ)
Now, I'm no economist, but market forces seemed to play upon the the lowest natures of humankind. I may be an idealist in thinking that education, especially K-12 plays upon some of the noblest aspirations of people. And call me a cynic, but I am appalled at the idea that government will play a game of carrots (after 8 years of a playing a game of sticks) with school's in the U.S. Can we expect that greed and corruption will not overtake education till we have teacher who care less about fostering the growth of a child and more about boosting scores on a test report (for the margin of profit in paycheck)?
Yes, we need standards, but we need less, not more of standardized testing. I've already seen the loss of more than 180 curricular days go to testing by the time a student graduates high school he or she has missed a full year of hands-on participation in learning staring at bubble sheets and inauthentic writing prompts.
Of course, test scores have gone up over the past two decades. We are reluctantly teaching to the test. It's easier to do, when the testing cartels are lobbying their white-papers to politicians who want a simplified message to wave before the electorate. Teachers are busy professionals with little lobbying power compared to big business of test manufacture. As standardized tests and curriculum to prepare students for them become the main, the professionalism of teachers will become as perfunctory as that of clerks.
If I wanted to games of risk, I would have lost my shirt in Wall Street already. Now, with more than 15 years ahead of me in teaching, I wonder if I will loose my mind (and those of my students).
Thursday, February 26, 2009
As we teach 21st Century literacies, teaching copyright, copyleft, public domain, and other copyright friendly designations like those from Creative Commons often is met by disbelief if not resistance by the my so-called "digital native" students. (They may be native speakers but their digital literacy sometimes has as many problems as their English grammar!)
In November I noted the Center for Social Media recently release of the "Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education" which will help teachers and students in the United States navigate copyright in the digital age. Now there's an interesting case at hand.
While working on video projects, my students point to all of the music and image that is being used on YouTube, while I point to the same as copyright infringement.
"But I bought the album, myself" students argues when I question if one got permission to lay down a commerical track, and "that gives you the privilege of playing it for yourself, not re-posting it in a video on the Web" is my response.
"How do you know if a photo is copyrighted if it doesn't say?" another student asks. "Assume it's 'all rights reserved," I remind. "Ask for permission," I coax. "Whenever I've asked for a photo to use in a non-commerical project I've received a "yes." A collective harrumph, says the digital native as he tromps back to Creative Commnons/Flickr.
Having done lessons on propaganda and advertising in the past, I know sometimes it's difficult to find examples from popular culture that students can understand and care about. Enter the Shepard Fairey /Associated Press /Mannie Garcia squabble over the famous and "Hope" poster of Barack Obama's likeness.
The Associated Press has claimed rights over a photo taken by free lance photographer Mannie Garcia and sought damages from Fairey who found inspiration in the photo for the iconic poster. Fairey has peremptorily sued AP citing "Fair Use" protects his work.
The upcoming ruling on this case may affect creative media use of intellectual property in ways important to digital natives (and immigrants) who use artistic content: how we download, remix and upload media in public spaces including the Internet.
National Public Radio's Fresh Air with Terry Gross presents a synopsis of all sides with fascinating interviews with Shepard and Garcia, a couple of official statements by AP, and commentary by Law Professor Greg Lastowka. All presented in nuggets of audio that can used easily to illuminate the key points and prompt discussion with students about media, artist expression, and copyright. The contemporary hipness and recognizable nature of the Hope poster, the clarity with which Shepard, who started as a skater-street-artist, talks of appropriating images for his graphics, and the implications hanging in the balance for our students and 21st Century media use combine to make this case perfect for students to consider. Thanks to Ms. Gross for her thoughtful, logical line of questions that layout a story's subtleties and nuances.
Obviously this story stands on its own for a lesson on media literacy. Also, it would work in with any study of propaganda--think Animal Farm or 1984. Fairey makes insightful comments on propaganda, the arts, and consumerism throughout. You'll find more of his iconographic street-graphic art at the Obey Giant website, which is a topic of discussion that brings up Orwell as an influence of Fairey's politic.
Image credit: Photo by Mannie Garcia for the Associated Press and Graphic by Shepard Fairey.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
It's been quite a while now that I've resigned to the concept of perpetual beta, the idea that technological change is occuring so consitently and with such frequency that resistance if futile or at least frustrating to getting on with teaching and learning.
Though I can't resist rapid change, I wonder if I must resign myself to mediocrity. Working through problems--such as trying to get all of my students on our classroom wireless at one time, or logging on to an essential site for instruction only to find it is blocked by our school's filter or wracking my brain to remember the control "switches" between PC and Mac--and thus taking twice as long to get to the nugget of learning seems counterproductive.