Thursday, April 14, 2011

Journal 7: My Personal Learning Network

With each class meeting, I learn more and more how to appreciate just how wonderful the Internet is. I now have a means of accessing blog posts, articles, videos, and other websites to obtain information that will be immensely valuable to me as an educator for years to come. Thanks to my diigo library, the use of twitter, youtube, and forums at my finger tips I have contact with teachers, administrators, cirriculum coaches and professional development specialists who I can turn to for all sorts of information on what I can or should do as a teacher to be the best educator possible and enrich my students' lives as fully as possible.

For starters, let us take 3 websites I have bookmarked to diigo. One such site, a blog called "2 cents," unearths the increasingly alarming high school drop-out rate in America nowadays and how it is attributable to students refusing--or even being unable--to adapt to the rigid regimentation of school curriculums. Another blog, "Moving At the Speed of Creativity" earned its place in my library because it addresses the issue of teachers using technology, in this case the website youtube, as a powerful venue for exposing adolescents to all manner of potentially educational videos. This will be valuable to me.

On twitter I took part in a online real-time discussion forum in which poets share excerpts from their work; I took two lines from a piece of mine. The person who started the thread was asking for excerpts that could be compiled together into one giant hodge-podge of a poem that would a composite of dozens of others. It was a fun thing to do, as I have not shared my poetry in a long time, and am flattered that it is part of a separare whole than what I originally intended when I first wrote the lines in question.

For that matter, I am using twitter to now follow 14 people including people outside ED 422. Such individuals include Steve Anderson, an educator and public speaker, Angela Maiers, a literacy consultant, Jerry Blumengarten, an education expert and author, Heike Philip, a foreign language teacher, and a woman who identifies herself as TEFL Pet, a university English professor. All these people and others are individuals I can rely on to broadcast valuable information that I as an educator will cherish.

Upon joining The Educator's Personal Learning Network, one of the first blogs I stumbled upon was a post by one Mike Mackenzie called "Making Math Interesting." In it he explores what is the problem with why the vast majority of young people in their teens are not engaged in math why the fashion in which it is taught needs to improve. Although I am not looking to teach math, I found it compelling because math was always one of my poorer subjects in school and to this day I fail to see the relevance of much of it in everyday life. I agree with him that teachers need to find ways of teaching the curriculum that gets them to appreciate its pertinence to the real world and that at the same time gets students to engage their brains on a much higher level than they otherwise would be able to if the teacher relied solely on their textbooks and spoon-feeding the students information.

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