Friday, August 24, 2007

Making the leap

I have come across an issue that seems so obvious yet I hadn't thought of it. I was walking my students around my website and blog today and telling them all of the grandiose ideas of connecting with other schools and publishing reflections that can be commented on by hundreds of people. I was trying to give them the big picture and impress how great this opportunity is. Some were really doubtful and some were impressed. But the more vocal ones wanted me to surf over to rotten.com or check out their my space page. It dawned on me that they are technology natives, but they have (mostly) only ever used that technology for recreational things. How do we make that leap from recreational to academic and professional? It didn't dawn on me that this is an issue that I think needs to be addressed. How do we shift their thinking?
I would like to also find some math classes that are blogging because I believe the more examples of posts they can read, the faster they can jump in. If you know of any good ones, please let me know.

6 comments:

Tonia Johnson said...

Regina- I'm glad that I read your post today. One of my students said, "this is Social Studies, why do i have to do this?" I thought I had explained the reflection process, but they were angry I was expecting them to do most of the work on their own time. I'm impressed at the work my freshmen are doing, I think it will take longer to impress the upperclassmen who see it as a passing fad!

Dave Tarwater said...

Remember, you (we all) are breaking new ground. It will be an incremental process to have students take ownership and see the value of collaborating outside their classroom and outside their world. I see this with adults as well, just this week as I was helping a teacher setup their Adams 14 Google account and going over the collaborative possibilities with Google docs and calendars another teacher in the room commented, “Why do we have to learn this?”

In the beginning maybe the approach should be to seed your blog with concrete posts that end with questions that would allow the students to comment in more of a journal like fashion. One blog to look at;

letsplaymath

Keep the faith!

Andrew Palmer said...

From what I've done in attempting to transfer the technology mindset of our kids into real learning, I've found that the transition should be a gradual one. The kids are completely engaged by video games, so why dont we use a video game format with math questions used to reach a goal. Or, since our students watch videos so often at home, we can use exciting video to introduce new subjects (here's where UnitedStreaming is a lifesaver). These students love to text each other - set up a chatroom or discussion board within your class where students can share ideas, comment on learning, etc. I think instantly changing from "traditional" teaching to global learning is just asking for trouble. It must be a transition that the kids can buy into.

Stewart said...

I agree Andrew. I had a hard time convincing them that my cluster map was real and why others might want to see our blog. It will be a gradual process for them to buy in first, then expand into "global learning" style classroom. Which is good, cause I'll need some time to get there myself.

Joseph Miller said...

I hope when you look back on this reflection at the end of the year you will be able to answer some of your own questions. Dave is right, we are all just beginning to understand how this is going to work in Adams 14. I appreciate your candor and challenging questions because it reminds us that we are in this together. Thanks for being so open with your reflections.

Joseph Miller said...

Also, I have some math blog links:

Cool blog with lessons and a wonderful list of other bloggers on the side:
http://jd2718.wordpress.com/

A series math blog. Checkout the labels on the righthand panel. Read some of the entries. Just for kicks try clicking Gauss Circle Problem. Lots of fun!
http://mathnotations.blogspot.com/

Brand new blog by a lawyer turned teacher. This blogger is in their first year of teaching. Could use a network.
http://odnt.wordpress.com/

One of the hottest teacher blogs out their. Writes more on teaching than math. Really good stuff.
http://blog.mrmeyer.com/