Week 6 Reading and Story Critique

This week’s reading was a little wordy, it took my a while to get through.  I had to walk away a couple times.  That’s not to say I didn’t connect with it, but that I actually really wanted to understand it, and needed to process.

I am a very slow reader, always have been.  I don’t have the patience and find myself CONSTANTLY wandering off with my thoughts.  So, with papers like this I need to take my time, and sometimes walk away for a while so I can process.

The chapter itself was on Social learning.  Arguing that learning in collaborative, and learning comes best with some contribution from others.  I completely agree, we can’t learn everything completely on our own, and why should we?  If there is already a ladder why wouldn’t we climb it and use it as a step off point?

The article argues that the internet needs to be seen as a social platform, not just an informational threshold.  In social learning the focus is on how we learn, not what we learn.  We need to make that connection with the internet as well.  It isn’t all about finding information quickly, it’s a gateway to new culture, social networks, and new ways to learn and enrich.

The article also talks about how one’s role can only truly be understood when that individual puts themselves within that role, gains and understanding of their role within the bigger picture, and really engages with the overall picture.  The idea that we are not “learning about” but “learning to be.”  We don’t want our students to remove themselves or alienate themselves from their learning, we want them to interact with it- that leads to a true understanding.

For my article I chose:

Deeper Learning: Moving Students Beyond Memorization

This article talks, in the very early stages, about deepening learning in the classroom.  I liked the ideas behind the lessons taught in the classrooms.  The lessons were “real,” they seemed achievable for someone who teaches in a low income school.  I like to read articles, just like students learn better, when they relate to my current teaching position.  I don’t want to bother with ideas that are not attainable, and probably wouldn’t resonate with my students.

A quote that I particularly enjoyed was from McComb, an English teacher at Patapsco High School.  “Deeper learning recognizes both sides: that we have to attend to the person and his or her personal development as well as their academic development.”  Learning isn’t just about the information being memorized, but the connection of the person to the information.  They can then develop personally, creating opinions, asking questions, developing theories; while learning the information they need to, on a level beyond memorization.

McComb goes on to talk about his students being “engulfed” in their work due to the different teaching style used.  I like to tie this to the push and pull method we read about.  The push would have just given the students the information and tested to see if they remembered it a set time later.  Whereas the pull method allowed them to explore a topic, they were gathering information themselves, asking questions and diving into the concept at a level that is deeper than simply be given the facts.

The article itself is short, but a good reminder on a rainy day.

Story Critique:

This week I chose to visit pbslearningmedia.com.  I watched a “Today in Social Studies” video.  The video was on Vasco de Gama.

  1. What types of “involvement” – and by the author/creator(s), participant(s), and/or audience – are apparent in this story?

The involvement in this video was really well done.   The speaker had a very engaging voice, she made me want to keep watching.  The story board was quick and to the point, keeping the video only 4:31 and engaging the entire time.

2. How would you characterize the “literacy dimensions” present in this story?

The narrative development, was well done.  The narrators voice was very engaging.  She spoke quickly but was easily understood.  I appreciated that she did not drag out her speech, as to keep the attention of the listeners.  The video editing was complementary to the story being told.  Audio recording was clear and concise.  The music in the background really moved the story along, the levels were perfect.

3. What are the online spaces and sites that bring this story to life? Why do these spaces and sites matter to the impact of the given story?

Under the video there were standards listed for each grade, there were also related videos that brought you right to them.  These related to the video in many aspects.  I also liked that the video was already translated into Spanish, this is a valuable resource.  The video was also able to be downloaded!

4. Based upon your assessment of involvement and literacy dimensions, what modifications and changes to this digital story might improve aspects of narrative, production, media usage, and/or audience engagement?

Based on these literacy dimensions I wouldn’t make any changes.  PBS has done a wonderful job making the connections and giving valuable resources to teachers.



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