Thursday, March 10, 2011

Just tell me what to do

I get really excited when I get new ideas, or try out new tools, like googledocs, voicethread, voki. But I keep wondering how to use them in my classes. I keep coming back to that analogy of the violin student - it's one thing to get notes out of the violin, but it's another thing entirely to make music with it. I'm still getting the notes, and I wish I knew how to make music.

For example, voicethread. What is voicethread best used for? I tried using it as a forum for questions/answers on the day's lesson. Didn't take off. Tried it for collaborative problem solving. Better. About to try it with the vector activity. So I'm getting somewhere through trial and error. And lots of persistence. I know that's what I have to do with all this other cool stuff.

It's just that sometimes, I wish someone would just tell me what to do.

I know, I know, I sound like my students. Miss, why don't you just tell us what to do? Can't you just give us the steps, instead of making us try this and draw that and explain and talk about our FEELINGS?

Because, I say, this way is better. This way you get to figure it out yourselves, and you'll feel proud, and you'll understand it better and retain more of it, and you'll become a lifelong learner like me!

But hey, that's fine for them! I, HOWEVER AM TIRED!

And my feelings get hurt when I read posts like this:  which contain a briliant idea cushioned in a giant rant about how awful teachers are these days! In a very dark corner of my mind, I'm telling this person what to do, believe me.

I guess that's the price we all have to pay for being teachers during a revolution, huh? We really have to walk the walk, not to mention find out where to walk and what to bring on the trip, and who to bring with us, and ok I'm getting carried away with this metaphor.

Fortunately, lots of those tools make it easy for us to share our best attempts at making music. That's the whole point, after all, right? Collaboration makes us all greater than the sum of the parts.

It makes it easy to tell each other what to do!

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