Tech Task 2

For part of tech task #2, I have subscribed to a few new blogs and sites that are of interest to me.

1) Change Agency

This blog is one that I find very interesting because it is constantly challenging the thoughts and beliefs of education. As I become a professional and graduate from University where I am constantly challenged to question my thinking by the many amazing professors in our faculty, I think that this blog will be a great tool to stay in touch with to help keep me on my toes and help me continue to challenge my own thoughts of what education means to me.

2) Dave’s Educational Blog

This second blog that I have recently subscribed to caught my eye with a post made regarding, “Rizomatic Learning.” The whole concept of Rizomatic Learning and how the learners all come from varying contexts, all our ideas are interconnected, and the challenging questions that it produces are all right down my own alley of who I want to be as an educator.  If you think this sounds like you as well, follow the link to learn more!

3) Primary Preoccupation

This next blog is one that I was introduced to last semester when we were learning about using blogs in your classroom. This is a grad one teacher from Moose Jaw, who has done a phenomenal job using a classroom blog and doing so in a productive manner to document her students’ work. If you are looking to see how to use a blog in your classroom with young students, and the benefits that it has, check this blog out!

4) Schools Matter

Schools Matter is a blog that again challenges the way that we have chosen to and choose to develop education today. What I really enjoy about this blog is that it is parents who want change, are taking action, and how they are doing so.

5) Unwrapping The Gifted

When I first started to check out this blog, I did so because it was relevant to a topic for a project that I am doing for another one of my spring classes. Unwrapping the Gifted talks about students who are gifted and how to accommodate them in the classroom. This is a topic that I have not really learned about before therefore, it is interesting to see what they have to say. If you also have a curiosity for this, check out the link!

The classroom blog that I commented on was very interesting. I found it through #comments4kids on twitter. This classroom demonstrates learning in different ways that simply using worksheets and the “traditional” forms. The students are really exploring their learning. Check out their blog!

Tech Task 2 -Part 2

For the second portion of tech task 2, I participated in a chat titled, “What’s in the Name? “Gifted” Does it Affect the Conversation?” I have linked to the the transcript of this conversation. This chat was a part of #gtchats. This is a organization out of Texas called Texas Gifted, Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. I chose to participate in this particular one because in my other spring class that I am taking, EPSY 322, I am required to do a presentation on gifted students. Therefore, I thought I would kill two birds with one stone. Although the chat that I participated in was not online, I still feel that I got a great deal out of it. During the chat, I noted a few of the comments that were made that made me think and that will sum up some of the main conversation pieces that occurred:

“Labels aren’t the problem, but rather the services for the labels and how schools handle them.”

“With labels come expectations, with expectations come demands. I think labels often cause harm.”

“If a label helps the student get the services needed then it is a good thing.”

“Labels like beauty are in the eye of the beholder.”

“In the adult world labels give us an understanding of a concept.”

“Labels give adults and children a misconception of their ability.”

As you can see, the conversation definitely had two sides. And I found myself finding it hard to determine which one I agreed with. Over all, I do think that labels are usually a negative. If labels were only used to help the students get the services they need then yes they would be a good thing, however I strongly believe that is not the case. As a pre-service teacher I have been warned about the “staff room talk.” In my pre-internship I definitely learned what was meant by that. Many times you will walk into a staff room and a certain student is being discussed and instantly before you even have a chance to make your own perceptions regarding the student, you are influenced by the thoughts of others. This is a prime example of labels being used in a negative manner in schools. In our society we are constantly labelling everything. You are labelled on how you look physically, how intellectually smart you are, who you associate yourself with, the kind of job you have, and much much more. I do not think that as a teacher one will be able to get rid of labels, they are inevitable. However, what is Important is what you do with them. How can you teach your students to have a positive outlook and properly deal with labels? For, this is really the challenge for the teachers. I know that the talk I participated in was specific to gifted students and labels however, I feel that labels do the same thing no matter who they are directed towards.

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