Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Technology: A double-edged sword

Well, I now have a half dozen places in cyberspace I have to check, upload to, or otherwise keep track of - this is nuts! I went to the Pearson MyEdLab site and took a look at the students' [ok, two students'] responses to the video for chapter 3 - they were good! But now I want everyone to be able to see what their peers say - so I think I'll have them view the video at the MyEdLab site but post their comments on the Ning.

That means I'll need to set up some discussion boards on the Ning [or does Ning call them Forums?] and remember that they appear in the reverse order [which means you have to enter them backwards - all very confusing]. That way, all of us can see posts made related to the videos connected to the various chapters. My only misgiving is the possibility that some students might shortcut the assignments and merely read their peers' comments, then bs their way through the assignments. But I am not a policewoman - and the only person who loses in that sort of scenario is the person who is copying others' ideas. It might not make a difference in the immediate context, but if students have not had practice drawing inferences, making connections, and thinking through the videos when they get to student teaching, they will be less well prepared than if they had done the thinking necessary to process the videos.

Meanwhile, I'm anxious to see how Twitter would work for exit slips - the math section is using them, and I think they would work for us in science. We'll see - time to get some sleep. Tomorrow is another day . . .

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Forty-one years and counting

I am beginning my 41st year teaching this semester, and you'd think I'd get tired of this. Fortunately, I am still excited about teaching [which is a good thing since I'll probably never be able to retire due to the recession/depression we are in now].

I've been so absorbed in trying to get ready for the new doctoral class that I've sort of put READ 498 on autopilot - after teaching the class regularly since 1974 [whoa - that's scary] I ought to be able to do that. Of course, I arrived in class today sans folder for the class -- good thing I had done this so many times -- and as usual I didn't get finished with everything. I really need 90 minutes for class . . . but students reading this right now are probably freaking out at the thought.

I want to remember to do less this semester, but in more depth - I always begin with that in mind, and then I don't know what happens - I sort of morph into this fire-hose wielding lunatic with all the information. It's just that I know how much they will need to know in student teaching and in that first year - but I have to remember that I didn't know any of it when I began so maybe it's enough to do a less is more kind of semester. Maybe.

Well, I just remembered I need to upload some stuff to Blackboard and then figure out this Ning - why do I always think I need to learn something new each semester? I must be nuts.