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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The More Things Change...

I was reading David Warlick's very recent post about presenter Sara Kajder's use of Web 2.0 tools.  His point is that she doesn't discuss the tools, but what the tools allow -- "It's not about the blog, it's about writing."  Amen!

David then inserts this quote...

“Learning to read and write is not learning how texts stick together, but how people stick together…” (Brandt 1990)

Here is what struck me from this post.  I bought a book at a used bookstore (McKays in Chattanooga, also in Nashville and Knoxville) called The Art of Teaching by Gilbert Highet.  It was written in 1950.  Sure, some of the things are dated, even gender-biased according to today's standards.  But, at the root of the book is that teaching is an art that requires the instructor to...
  1. know their subject, and continue to learn it.
  2. enjoy their subject, so your passion can carry you through when you are "tired" (p. 20).
  3. like their students.  I love these lines. "It is easy to like the young because they are young.  They have no faults, except the very ones they are asking you to eradicate: ignorance, shallowness, and inexperience" (p. 25).
I am enjoying the book, much like I enjoy re-reading Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato.  There is no sarcasm in that statement, by the way.  I fear that teachers who consider themselves on the cutting edge of education, sometimes forget why the technology (whatever that might be) is so cool. 

Blogs are nothing new really.  It is only another avenue to write.  Yes, I get that the audience, feedback, and method is different, and can have a greater effect/affect on the writer - but it is still a just a tool for writing.  Thus, writing/communication is still at the core of the blog. 

Skype is also mentioned.  Again, a tool for communication that should allow for more primary sources in research.  Wikis, a tool for communication that allow for written, visual, and audio avenues. 

Our job as an artful teacher is to use new tools in order to communicate and relate to our students so the topics of interest and expertise which we teach can enrich the lives of the students under our care.

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