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
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.