Blogging in Education
Maybe I missed something here, but what is the point, exactly? 901am reports on a story from the Chicago Tribune about how blogging will revolutionize education.
One Principal believes blogging is the future of education. And I tend to agree. The ability to quickly assess a students understanding of the course material is huge. And teachers can easily interact with students in the comments section and in the classroom forums. Likewise tools can be created in which to rate, and/or grade posts to help teach students where they need to improve. Built in spelling tools will help students create a solid understanding of grammar and excellence in performance.
That all sounds great, but how is that any different than asking children to get out their notebooks and begin writing? Can't you grade and comment on those? Interestingly, on paper you can even underline things and comment in the margin along with using those little editing marks I was required to learn starting in the fifth grade. Commenting on a blog really only provides the ability to leave a general comment, without the advantage of pointing out specific strengths and weaknesses in the paper. Er, blog entry.

I bet the required word count is a little lower, too. Let's teach our students to think in sound bytes, and express themselves in a good two paragraph blog entry. Short, eye-catching but not terribly deep. And just how does spell check create a solid understanding of grammar and excellence in performance? Isn't that like claiming my calculator is giving me a solid foundation in arithmetic?

I have nothing against technology in education, and obviously have nothing against blogging. At the moment, however, I'm filing this in with that whole movement in education right now which seems determined to provide a minimal education in basic skills with the least amount of reasoning skills required of the students but is highly entertaining. And bears catchy phrases like the "21st Century Schools Project," or the "Partnership for 21st Century Schools (pdf)."

We are training the 21st century mind. Check here to see what it looks like. Maybe you'll get lucky and find something insightful, but probably not. (I take no responsibility for what you may encounter if you follow that link. It is Blogger's random button.)

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