Sunday, May 30, 2010

Crap Detection

Crap Detection
I enjoyed watching Howard Reingold’s video on credibility and the internet. I have spent a lot of time this year working with my student’s on being critical when using the internet. I found Reingold’s five literacies for internet usage very helpful.
To recap, here are the five literacies:
1. Attention
2. Participation
3. Cooperation
4. Critical consumption (crap detection)
5. Network awareness

We’re very lucky at our school to have a very knowledgeable teacher-librarian who has made it a priority to teach all the grade 6 students media literacy skills. This means that all the students receive the same information as well as the teachers. She has developed some excellent lessons that deal specifically with crap detection. These lessons all revolve around teaching our children to think for themselves as there is so much information out there in cyber-land. However, I think that we as classroom teachers, must also make a commitment to teaching our students to be critical thinkers. If we all took time in September to go through the five literacies, perhaps we would not have so many issues to deal with during the year.

PLN's and connectivism

Networked Learning: What does this mean?

1. Starting with the self:

- Who is in my network and how do I learn from and with them?
I have a fairly extensive PLN through twitter. This includes teachers from all over the world. I follow music education specialists, tech people, and others. I find that this tool is invaluable for my learning. From this PLN, I am able to discuss pedagogy as well as receive resources.

I also spend time talking with teachers with like interests. This includes colleagues as well as blogs I follow.
- What are benefits of networked learning?
The benefits of networked learning are many. What I like the best about my PLN is that I learn about different pedagogies people are using as well as helpful websites and lessons. I also learn how others feel about different educational ideas and what’s happening in the world. I use Tweetdeck for twitter. I find that this is a great way to keep track of my learning network as I can add columns according to my interests. I have a column for music education, numerous columns dealing with technology in education, one for self-directed learning, one for project-based learning and one for Coquitlam. I think that I have learned more from twitter than anywhere else. People are intelligent and passionate about education. There is no room for complaining!

- What are the risks of not engaging in professional learning networks, digital or otherwise?
I think that if you choose not to engage in professional learning networks of any kind, you run the risk of becoming stagnant. This leads to doing the same thing the same way year after year. After awhile, this leads to becoming bored with the profession. What’s worse, is you begin to become negative and view teaching as work instead of a profession.

- What have we explored in LTT (especially this term) ?
In Ltt, we have explored blogs as a way of connecting with other professional’s ideas. We have watched videos of different kinds of teaching and have been able to analyze whether or not they are valuable to our own teaching.

4) What questions does this raise for you?
As I watched the videos suggested, I started to think about connectivism and how it relates to what I’m doing. I think that it’s invaluable to create a learning network. However, you have to make a commitment to posting and keeping up those relationships. I actually feel quite dumb sometimes when I see what others are talking about. I also find it quite time-consuming. In order to keep up these relationships, you have to follow links, read blogs and articles, and think about what’s been said. How much time am I really able or want to put into this? My biggest question has to do with how am I going to make sure that I am putting enough time into my family as well. I’m finding most of my spare time is spent reading and thinking instead of listening to those who are important. My biggest question is how to prioritize.

Please click the above link to see my map of my PLN