An email from Anthony, a grade 8 (for non-Yanks, that’s 13-14 year-olds) teacher at my school. Anthony is so curious about web 2.0 in education that he enrolled in a Masters in Educational Technology program at some university I’ll spare the embarrassment by leaving unnamed.
This is from an email he just sent me responding to my link-share of NECC’s webcast page. Print it and put it in all your colleagues’ mail boxes at work. It’s funny, sad, and powerful in its own way:
Thanks for the link Clay. I’ve decided to suspend my Master’s work for now so that I can put more attention into the learning and assimilating all of these new tools into my classroom teaching. When considering I was paying $2,000 to be taught how to create slides in PowerPoint and use of Microsoft Excel I said forget it. There is plenty of professional development available online to learn from as well as a host of people who can teach me things and with whom I can have discussions.
Just thought I’d share. Anybody know Master’s Programs (preferably distance) that aren’t stuck in Powerpoint?
And now I have to run, because I have homework for my own for-pay “professional development” course. I just got a B+ for two poetry lesson plans incorporating iLife to engage students in exploring poems. Teacher told me I it would have been a higher grade if I’d included an analytic essay in the assignment, instead of a collaborative film exploring two sonnets.
If I thought it would help, I’d send her a link to the Mabry Middle School video in which a student says, “We learn so much more making films than we do if we just write a paper.”
But like Anthony, I’m just going to do my homework, get my 20th century B+’s for 21st century lesson plans, collect the certificate that labels me competent for $500, and focus on “learning and assimilating these new tools” by doing my authentic homework right here on this blog.
Reader feedback, though it doesn’t give me a nice alphanumeric grade with each comment, still teaches me so much more.
Comments on those poetry lessons, by the way, really are welcome. I ran out of gas at the end of them, and am sure some of you could improve them.
If you want, you can add a grade too.