Sunday, April 7, 2013

C4T # 3

Andrea Hernandez is a teacher at Martin J. Gottlieb Day School in Jacksonville, FL. Her blog is entitled Ed Tech Workshop. 

Learning is Messy...Cause life is Messy

Andrea Hernandez's post is about how she identifies learning as messy. She says that accepting the mess doesn't mean that the mess is always enjoyable. She describes her approach to the mess as a feeling that deep down inside she still sees a goal that must be met in a way that satisfies a part of her that wants "a neat little package, tied up with a string." She compares the moment to the satisfaction felt after cleaning the kitchen as you gaze upon the "gleaming counter tops and an an empty, shiny sink." She makes a statement saying, "The house would stay clean if one lived there." She says learning is messy simply because life is messy and learning is life. She describes how after conducting research projects with 2nd and 3rd graders how they reflect upon, assess, and discuss the mess and develop strategies on new things to try. She says that the process of teaching and learning differs from the process of cleaning the kitchen because it isn't the same process every time. The process of learning and teaching is iterative. 

After reading the title of her post, I was curious as to what it would be about. I agree with Ms. Hernandez. Learning can be messy. Hands- On learning is the best way to learn and can sometimes be the messiest. Learning is an experience that we all do differently. I agree with her statement that learning is messy because life is messy and learning is life.

Great Virtual Conference Expectations

As Ms. Hernandez returns from the North American Jewish Day School Conference and is in the process of co- organizing the upcoming edJEWcon conference she has thought of "virtual participation" at these conferences. She mentions a post by her colleague, Silvia Tolisano, that led to inquires about virtual conference participation. It was suggested that there not be a charge for virtual participation. This brought the fact that virtual participation has a different meaning to different people. Ms. Hernandez looks into what virtual participation looks and feels like. She describes the two parts of virtual participation. The first part is the work of the virtual participant and the second part is reliance on the face- to - face attendee. There has to be a commitment to connect.

Virtual attendance or communication is becoming more and more popular. Technology such as Skype allows people on opposite sides of the world to connect in a way as if they were sitting right next to each other. I like the idea of virtual connections. It can be expensive to travel and this type of technology allows a way around such expense.

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