Writing!

Came across this interesting post by Alex Reid. He writes about recent news articles and statistics about complaints by businesses and professors on poor writing skills of employees and students. I love how the author turns these complaints on their head and suggests that maybe rather than complaining, we do something to help, even so, he points out that complaining will still happen. He writes,

Of course the other way of looking at this is to say that on the whole, college students manage to graduate, get jobs, and keep them (or at least not lose them because they are poor writers). People figure out what they need to figure out. We can undoubtedly help more students be more successful with a better-informed approach to this pedagogical task, but none of that is likely to change the views of professors and corporate officers about their students and employees.

 

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Resilience

I have read a few posts this week that talked about resilience. Perhaps the most powerful was a post written a few months ago by Shelley Wright. I have followed Shelley’s amazing blog for awhile, and recently she began posting again. I met Shelley briefly a few years ago at the National Congress on Rural Education, and she has written a few powerful and emotional posts lately. I certainly wish her the best. In one of these posts, she wrote;

We need to help kids develop resilience.  They need to wrestle with problems. They need to to fail. They need to persevere.  They need to be faced with many questions or problems that have no one right answer.  Or maybe are to big to answer. Some of these problems, like social justice issues, should be so big and passionate they hurt. And they make you cry. Because you need to be able to hurt and get up again.

Her blog is worth following, and please read her latest.

Educational Technology – an add-on?

In a recent blog post, Larry Cuban sets out his interest in exploring examples of technology in action in real schools and with real teachers. Something I have been doing for a few years. In his post, he writes:

One that has bothered me for a long time is why “technology” in education is considered separate, an add-on, when that is not the case when observers look at technological tools applied to business, medicine, architecture, engineering and other professional work. For some reasons in these other domains high-tech tools are part-and-parcel of the daily work that professionals do in getting the job done well.

An interesting observation, and true to an extent. Why is ed tech often seen as an “add-on”? Should it be?

Math Anxiety?

This blogger (Broken Penguins) shares her take on math and math education and, I think, hits the nail on the head. One of the biggest problems with math education, in my opinion, is summed up in this quote. Why is it a badge of honour to proclaim that you hate math or that you just can’t do math or that math is something that is hard or to be feared?  This is a problem we need to address.

In North America, we are taught to fear math. We are told that math is the sport of geniuses and the rest of us mere mortals should be very afraid. In Asia, kids are taught that anyone can do math with practice and on average, they do better.