Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blog Post #10

Do You Teach or Do You Educate? Response
child holding pencil with quotation that says education makes people easy to lead but difficult to drive easy to govern but impossible to enslave
What's the difference between a teacher and an educator? On the surface, they appear to be synonymous. However, the differences between teaching and educating are vast and have far-reaching consequences for my future students.  This video makes the clear distinction that a teacher simply provides an explanation or information, but an educator becomes a mentor, advisor, and guide.  In the context of what I have learned so far in EDM310, I know that most of the students I will encounter will have been raised in the information age.  They will have access to information; so if that is all I seek to provide, I am rendered useless and irrelevant.  My intention is not to be conveyor of information (aka teacher) but a navigator through information. 
To become a mentor-educator, I must first look at my students as valuable participants in my classroom bringing more to the table than an empty mind to be filled with facts.  I also must ensure that every assignment, task, and exercise is student-centered and tailored, not merely a lecture that relays required learning.  Students will not always be eager to learn; therefore, it is my job to create situations that excite and inspire them.  Using some of the methods we have explored in EDM310 (multimedia presentations, podcasts, computer games, blogging, etc..), I will attempt to motivate my students to be self-motivated learners.  That is the goal of a true educator: for students to leave the classroom with a new-found sense of enthusiasm and motivation directing them through the rest of their educational experiences.

Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take Their Pencils Home! Response 

pencil with caption the original computer edit under point and delete under eraser
This post is a clever response to a study showing that children with home computers have lower standardized test scores.  The author relates a story of an administrator saying that he can not allow students to take "pencils" home because they have been proven to lower test scores.  At first glance, the discourse seems ridiculous (until you take the time to research what he is talking about).  I think his main point is that, especially in education circles, it is easy to throw up your hands and say, "That's that. Oh well, we can't let them take computers home now."  Instead, we should be finding solutions to the problem at hand.  In his reply to the administrators disdain for at-home pencil work, he takes a positive approach. It doesn't matter if they may use these tools to play games; students may be learning through things that are traditionally seen as "educational."
In his argument for why "pencils" should be allowed to be sent home, he "debunks" some of the myths presented to him.  First, he explains that a program has been created for parents to help them with using "pencils," and that he also had a meeting with parents about using these tools for education and not just entertainment.  In response to the "no accountability" argument, he replies that he doesn't monitor what they use the computer for at home... but he doesn't mind if they play games.  I thought his post was clever and well-written.  In the end, his basic argument is that while we can't control everything a child accesses on an at-home computer, it does not mean that they are not gaining knowledge or skills that are beneficial.  To jump to conclusions and take arguments at face value is counter-productive to the education of students and does them a great disservice.


  1. Jessica,

    Great post once again. I'm glad you understood the sarcasm of "Tom Johnson's" blog post. Keep up the good work!

  2. Hey Jessica,
    Great job on blog post ten, you are very precise and to the point. After reviewing your post, I see little,if any faults. You express yourself very strongly with your choice of words. As future educators, we will face some of the same issues Mr. Johnson has and it seems that you will be well prepared. AWESOME job and keep up the good work!!