On my education reform rants:
Most of the stuff I post here is fun and harmless; however, I may feel the need to discuss some serious issues from time to time. I believe – as many Americans do – that our education system is in desperate need of reform, and one of the best means of encouraging reform is through openly discussing the aspects of the system that are most in need of repair. So I’m going to say what I think needs to be said.
On my use of Internet resources (both on the blog and in the classroom):
The Internet is one of the greatest (and most poorly utilized) educational resources available to students in the 21st century classroom. While I understand that the Internet has a lot of content that students shouldn’t see, I think ed policymakers overestimate the amount of harmful content on the web and underestimate teachers’ ability to help students properly avoid this content. Teachers and administrators also have to worry about those parents who enforce a stricter content filter at home and have different opinions of what content is “acceptable” for children. Here, I put my vision of the Internet into a handy venn diagram:
I like to pull resources from the edge of the red area. Why? Because those are the resources that challenge and engage students the most. Those are the news articles, the memes, the essays, and the videos that create just enough controversy to draw students in and make them ask questions. Those are the lessons that not only create interest, but morph that interest into critical thought. Plus, those are the resources that I think are the most fun, and when I’m having fun – when I’m genuinely excited about a lesson – my students can tell, and that genuine excitement is contagious.
A final word on my blog:
Please understand that the opinions expressed on my blog are my own. Nothing that I say is in any way endorsed by my school, my colleagues, my county of employment, or any other person or organization. These are my opinions, and I’m making a conscious choice to put them up in a public forum for discussion. I understand the risks associated with posting this material, but I hope the public understands that I’m simply expressing my thoughts with the sincere goals of challenging traditional education, encouraging meaningful reform, inspiring my fellow teachers, engaging my students, and improving myself as a teacher.