I’ve just finished reading the Saturday comics, this fine early August morning, and I saw something upsetting, pervasive, and subliminally powerful. I saw the ongoing American cultural disdain for education. Three of the comics were about how upsetting it is, for their characters, to think of the pain of returning to school. In one, a pleasant-appearing, bohemian-looking teacher eating an ice-cream cone, asks two kids how they are enjoying their summer. Their discussion after is about how disturbing it was to think about returning to school.
I have been a Posterous fan since I discovered it early in its existence. I used it for class group blogs, for an easy blogging system for students to use individually, and for posting images I found and took pictures of with my phone. I worried a bit when Twitter swallowed it, but kept on adding pictures. Now, with the announcement that Posterous will be taken down – http://blog.posterous.com/thanks-from-posterous – I wish to thank Sachin Agarwal for all his work.
In November, everything crashes –
files are lost,
I’ve just finished teaching (and am still marking) a course called Oral Rhetoric. In it students start by telling a 5 minute story from their own experiences to the class. They also are part of a team that presents, in a business-style, the information they need to know how to complete the course assignments, (to make it as ‘real’ as possible). Then they have a series of small assignments that culminate in them recording their story with added music, sound effects, and interview clips and posting it on their online blogs.
The way to learn is not just by practice, but by paying attention to what happens when you practice. For teachers, this means reflecting on what happens as you teach and learning from it. Here is some information on the thinking of Donald Schön, the author of The Reflective Practitioner – http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-schon.htm and http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-schon.htm