Every time I sit down to wtite my blog post, I go back to the list of suggested blogs and read a couple more. Time passes as i read additional posts on some of the sites…….and before I know it, an hour has passed. Which I guess speaks to one of the best aspects of blogging–they can be very engaging and a reader can keep reading blogs that interest them and have relevance to their own lives. So, I totally get the part about blogging begns with reading! Now i have to move on to the next phase.
I was intrigued by several blogs. I was especially drawn to Why I Don’t Assign Homework by Dan Myer. I found myself agreeing with his assertions-especially about A/B students doing the work and D/F students not doing the work. Or, doing the work but doing it incorrectly–they didn’t get the concept in class, why do we think they will be able to get it at home? Whether you agree with this particular post or not, Mr. Meyer is a thoughtful and thought-provoking teacher. I am encouraged by the thought and introspection he puts into his teaching. Reading posts from his blog encourages me to be a more thoughtful teacher. It is not enough to accept that “we have always done it this way” or to take at face value that a teaching strategy is working.It is easy to fall into the trap of “good enough” teaching. Teachers like Dan Meyer should push us all to do better for our students. Another blog encourages us all to be bumblebees, not bobble heads. Vicki says it better than I can-I encourage you to read this interesting and humorous post.
An unexpected benefit of reading blogs came while I was reading How to Prevent Another Leonardo da Vinci. I have a couple of very bright and creative sons-one in particular is an outside of the box kind of learner. School is often difficult and frustrating for him. I asked both of my sons to read this blog about creativity. We were able to have a great discussion-best of both worlds–technology and face to face conversation. My guys especially agreed with the idea that schools discourage creativity by discouraging curiosity. What material will be learned is decided by the teacher, or the state guidelines. Time constraints prevent tangential questions-which prevents further exploration and learning. This is, of course, one of the strong points of learning online. On our computer, we are encouraged to google this, click that, check this link and so on…… My older son thought that the point about an acceptance of ambiguity was interesting and valid. He felt that black/white answers are very confining and a source of frustration. He also made the point that sometimes teachers assign an essay with a particular viewpoint or answer in mind. There may not be room for other viewpoints-no matter how well supported. Very interesting reading–lots of food for thought!