Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Analysis of a Pet Peeve

I've selected my Instructional Goal and now I need to start diagramming the whole thing, step-by-step. I'm using Gliffy for this:

But in the meantime, I'm having to take care of housekeeping details. I really want my wiki to stay ad free, so I've taken out a subscription for that, and Gliffy is just too useful to not be able to upload and use, so I'm also subscribing to that for two years.

It sometimes amazes me how much I've moved to online life. When I look at all the notebooks on my bookshelves, I wonder immediately if there is enough of value for me to take the time to transcribe them to some kind of digital if not online format. I even take notes in meetings using the laptop now. And yet people say that our students don't really need to have computer skills, "The real world isn't changing that much, just because you're part geek." They say it with a smile, and I smile right back, fully aware that they are missing the mark. What worries me about it is that our kids are getting short-changed. There is no way on earth that my 12 and 13 year old students are NOT going to be using computers, even if they are working in McD's or for UPS!

I have one teacher who is trying to finish the Word module - a module that I hand to my students and expect them to complete with only minor help from one another or from me. She is really struggling with it and needs to be guided and reassured every step of the way. That's my job, and I'm happy to help, but I also worry. She admits to being an "email and attendance" person. What are her students missing out on because she is afraid of the computer? I teach the same kids, but they don't have the opportunity to transfer the learning to other classes. I really don't like teaching Tech Literacy in isolation; perhaps teaching it in context would help the kids learn to transfer learning from other courses? How many times does a Math teacher ask them to write something only to hear, "What? This isn't English class!"

But enough digression. My subscriptions are now updated and I need to get back to eating this elephant one bite at a time.

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