Altho I didn’t actually post this until evening when you all were mostly asleep.
In this podcast I talked about two specific statements that Postman made and shared my view on them. Feel free to find other statements like this and use them for your writing prompt for the week.
Note: I’m getting a lot of questions via email that have answers in the podcasts. Verb. sap.
The one question that I’ve gotten more often than any other is some variation of:
“Do we post our assignments on the blogs?”
Yes. All writing EXCEPT the final paper and presentation should be on your blogs. You’ll get two grades per week. One on the weekly writing (which should happen early in the week) and one on the synthesis that should happen at the end of the week.
Here’s the catch. You should be reading what everybody else writes and commenting on that. You don’t have to comment on everything, but when somebody posts an idea that resonates with you, respond. This is supposed to be a conversation but if everybody talks and nobody listens, it’s just noise. It will be difficult for you to synthesise the week if you haven’t been participating and that will be reflected in the grade.
Most of you are teachers so you know that the only work that gets done is the work that gets graded. I know that, too, and your synthesis grade is the stick. Ignore it at your peril.
The carrot is that the point of this synthesis grade is to get you to focus on your own learning. Philosophically, I’m very much a social constructivist. You will build your own understanding of this complex domain together. Some of you will have a great deal of difficulty with this idea, but it’s really quite simple.
My job is to create an environment that fosters learning. I do that by organizing and sequencing a body of knowledge and presenting that in a way that encourages your participation. Your job is to participate and to learn something along the way. The only you have to do is convince me that you are, in fact, learning something. You do that through your writing. If you want to use another medium — say, a Tumblr blog with a voice line — that’s fine. Just let me know how you’re going to communicate with the class.
That’s it. Learn something and convince me that you’re learning. I’ve given some structured prompts for those who are at a loss in taking responsibility for your own learning, but those are not so much “assignments” as they are “suggestions.” Substitute a topic you’d prefer so long as it covers the same basic domain — the relationship of technology, education, and culture along with the readings currently assigned.
Don’t make it difficult.
And write if you have any questions.