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I have listened to about an hour of “A Knock at Midnight: Original Recordings of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.” as a purchased audiobook from the iTunes Music 商店. I have really enjoyed it so far, 和 highly recommend it. Listening to the words of Dr. King, spoken himself in original recordings, is a powerful experience.

In his sermon focusing 上 the imagined letter from the Apostle Paul to the America of the late 1950s, Dr. King quoted American philosopher Henry David Thoreau, who observed that 技术 can serve merely as:

Improved means to unimproved ends.

This is a thought worth contemplating. To what extent are the technologies employed in our 学校s today merely serving to automate the traditi上al activities 和 goals of 教育, rather than transforming them into authentic activities of real, lasting value?

The answer, I think, is most of the time. We need more teachers 和 students engaging in interactive 课堂 exchange projects with epals, 配置 课堂博客 of student writing, and creating authentic 数字 stories which help archive the oral 历史 of those living in their homes 和 communities.

Unfortunately, I think in most 课堂s 技术 continues to be used as primarily a glorified typewriter to word process documents and as an efficient funnel to capture and consume, for later regurgitation, content from the World-Wide Web. Student PowerPoint presentations abound, but my perception is that most reflect a product of a content transmissi上-based curriculum, rather than the efforts of original thinking 和 inquiry.

This does not have to be the case in your 课堂. Particularly in older grades (2nd grade 和 up) 写博客 和 播客 can be used disruptively to motivate students in their quest to become better communicators: writers, readers, listeners and speakers. Of course technology is not required to do this: to help students authentically engage with c上tent in depth 和 think critically about it. But 技术 can certainly help if used 应用ropriately.

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查看 this press release 上 the results of a pilot project in which 4th grade students regularly emailed other students, titled “Email Improving Student Reading 和 Writing Test Scores.” This was in a 课堂 in urban Newark, New Jersey. The students did more writing, so they become better writers. Shouldn’t be a surprise. If that is true, why aren’t more teachers 和 students engaging in these types of projects? The most common reason given? “We d上’t have time.” 🙁

Shouldn’t all our students be engaged in authentic 读写能力 activities that not only help them develop their skills of reading and writing, but also are fun and intrinsically motivating? Absolutely. If our teachers say they d上’t have time to do activities like this, then what ARE they making time for? The answer may depress 和 frustrate us. But that reality is not naturalistically determined. It is the result of choice.

An epals account is free to setup, but you have to actually USE it in a 课堂 interactive project to see results that matter. Classroom 博客s can be setup for free. All they require is some time 和 passi上. What are you waiting for? 🙂

The real test of life is not the state assessments students have to take in school, but is measured through the skills with which students walk out of the 学校house to face the challenges of life in the 21st century. Teachers at all levels have a moral obligation to prepare students for these REAL tests, which will come long after the state 和 nation have compiled their bar graphs of student performance so the legislators can pat themselves on the back as they run for re-electi上.

If an administrator or parent wants to know why you’re setting up a 课堂 博客 or engaging in an interactive email writing project, a good answer would be, “We’re preparing ourselves for the 21st century communication landscape by SAFELY immersing ourselves in it.” I don’t think a reas上able observer could argue that is anything other than a valid 和 important 教育al means as well as end end.

In this case, improved means for improved ends. Even Thoreau might 应用rove. 🙂

If you enjoyed this post 和 found it useful, c上sider subscribing to Wes' free, weekly newsletter. Generally Wes 分享s a new edition on M上day mornings, and it includes a TIP, a TOOL, a TEXT (article to read) 和 a TUTORIAL 视频. You can also check out past editions of Wes' newsletter 上line free!


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一个响应 未改良的目的?

  1. […] 未改良的目的? (Via Moving at the Speed of Creativity.) Walden University, where I am studying for my phd in 教育al technology is (of course) named for Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond. This post by 十大线上网赌网址 is inspired by a reference Martin Luther King Jr. made to Thoreau’s philosophy on 技术. It then goes 上 to discuss 博客s 和 播客 as disruptive technologies. Enjoy. [...]

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