Ever since I was a young boy I have always had issues with focusing. Going to school in the 70’s and 80’s, there was never any talk about ADD or Ritalin. Instead my parents taught me to use the analog clock to gauge my progress through the school day and I got the natural consequence of poor grades (sometimes) when I was ill prepared. Luckily for me school, with the exception of math, came easily to me and I could wing it better than most could study. Lucky I thought back then, but it set up a life long pattern of winging it instead of fully preparing.
I have to be honest. I have spent several days and have read upwards of 5 articles, plus scanning other articles and wiki sites, and I still don’t think I have a handle on what connectivism is supposed to be. In looking at Group B’s wiki on the cons of connectivism, the following quote from their page sums up my feelings about connectivism.
Connectivism is a “sterile” learning theory. It wouldn’t exist without technological advances of today.
I’ve recently discovered that podcasts are much more than the old time radio shows that I like to listen to or rebroadcasts of current shows that I have missed. Instead podcasts offer anyone the ability to record audio and video about any subject matter that they choose while allowing end users to find a podcast about a subject that appeals to them. As I’ve explored podcasts over the last several days, I have found that podcasts can be created by professionals and laymen alike. I have seen slick video podcasts from the American Chemical Society, and simple teacher created podcasts for a specific classroom like PapaPodcasts.
I first used a wiki in my classroom roughly 7 years ago when I created a wiki for an American history class I was teaching. I had links to resources, journal entries, etc. My district devoted a lot of time that year, and the year prior, to setting up wikis for everyone in the district, giving us training, and troubleshooting any problems we might have. I also spent a lot of time and effort putting together what I thought was a decent start to the use of wikis in my classroom. My students seemed to like the use of wikis and I thought the first year was a success. But as things seem to go in education, the next year we moved on to using moodles in the classroom. The year after that blackboard. Wash, rinse, repeat.
I was really surprised by the responses I received to my blog post this week. I really thought there would be varying viewpoints depending on what type of school or occupation of the commenter, but what I discovered is that, for my classmates, we have all thought long and hard about the process of evaluation of both teachers and students, and while most of us feel there is a need for teacher evaluation, the system in place is designed to be punitive to those who teach the neediest students.
For you special education teachers out there, here is what our federal Secretary of Education thinks about us. It is only going to get worse.
I wanted to add a few links that I shared below that I feel touched on many of the comments provided. I’ll have to say I was surprised that everyone is feeling the heat and shared many of the same opinions, comments and concerns. I believe I am a good teacher, and I can tell by your responses that all of you are dedicated teachers well versed in your craft. If you have time take a look at the following three links.