Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Friday, July 4, 2008

Students make great teachers

Now I'm not talking about student teachers, I'm talking about students as teachers in their own classroom.

The other day I was reminded about how great the young scholars are such good teachers. We were setting up blogs for our summer school class. It was the second day and those scholars who were present the first day were ready to move on, while the scholars new to the class had to do the work from the day before. After getting the new scholars on task, I instructed the group of scholars making blogs how to create their accounts and to start their blogs. When it came time for the second group to make their blogs, the first group taught the second group. They were typing in the work they had done prior to setting up their blogs, I am poems. When they were done they immediately wanted to know how they could see the other scholars poems. I told them they could find them from my blog. When they saw mine they asked about pictures and changing the layout and more. When they read another scholar's poem they asked if they could comment. "Of course, that is your next assignment. Have fun and be respectful, kind, and generous," I replied. As the class wore on I saw some were making another blog, others were adding another post containing another poem. I am always amazed at the excitement of scholars when they are constructing a webpage, a blog, a wiki. When they are actively engaged in producing they are engaged and when they know they can share this with more than their class they become very very serious.

The number of times they asked if they could do something, could they do this at home, can they put up other work; to which the answer was always "yes." The excitement, the engagement was exhilarating on this beautiful summer day in summer school.

When one scholar said this was better than MySpace and a few others agreed, I was on top of the world.

On the third day I had to speak to them about safety issues like controlling comments and other matters like the correct procedure for peer review. The same procedure happened on the third day as new scholars were admitted and the scholars from the earlier days assisted the new scholars, while I worked with old scholars on their new project. Technology is a beautiful thing. All the scholars are engaged in what they need to do. It is a more engaging environment then a non technology environment.

Now when I say technology I'm talking about the interactive technology of the Internet and especially the web 2.0 tools. This is a much different technology than previous technologies like television, radio, overhead projects, and the like; this technology is interactive. The older technologies were and are one way, whereas as the Internet is two way communications. There is interaction among the users. It helps us help our scholars to be in charge of their own education and to become independent learners.

Is this a good lesson about Independence Day or what?

Happy Independence Day!!

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