Sunday, December 2, 2012

Comments for Teachers #4

iLearn Technology: A Blog by Kelly Tenkely

Title: 512 Path

In the first blog post I read of Ms. Tenkely, she wrote about something called 512 Paths to the White House. She found an interactive infographic that showed the different ways candidates could win the presidency. This was found on the New York Times website. Tenkely thought about different ways she could use this in the classroom: students can test out selecting a winner for swing states, explore the infographic as a discovery center, and use it as a class on an interactive whiteboard. In an upper level math course, students could use this to study statistics and probability. There are other features to teach students about the economies of different states, beliefs of each party, and about political advertising.

In my comment, I told Ms. Tenkely that I was an aspiring secondary educator in history. I thanked her for sharing such a great tool. I let her know that I was not invested in politics, but that I could use something like this in my class to get them interested in elections and politics.

The second blog post includes a video that talks about what we are preparing children for. In essence, we are preparing children for "the next step" instead of preparing them to live a meaningful life. Ms. Tenkely's questions: "when are we preparing kids for life? When are we preparing them to engage in the world around them? When are we preparing them for healthy relationships with others? When are we preparing them to ask good questions and seek answers? When are we preparing them for what to do with failure?" These questions are extremely relevant; teachers should teach their subject matter while instilling good values in their students as well. It doesn't matter if you are good at your job, you should still be a great citizen.

My comment to Ms. Tenkely agreed with her 100%. I shared my opinion that we aren't able to teach children how to live because we are too busy teaching them for tests. Teachers are not able to enjoy their career choice anymore because they have no freedom. They have a strict curriculum they have to follow. It takes away the enjoyment of the job. A quote from my comment: "Too many people graduate with bachelor’s degrees that are useless." So true, and so upsetting!

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