Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blog Post #10

An Open Letter to Educators- Morgan Bayda's blog post about her experiences in a university setting. She supplements her post with a video by Dan Brown (a former university student). In his video Dan makes the case that if universities don't make a change then they will become obsolete. I don't think anyone who has attended a university can claim a different experience than Morgan's. I found that my first two years had more lectures than my upper level classes which tended to be more interactive.

I think this video is a perfect example of why we need universities. What I saw was a video by a college dropout who blamed his education or lack thereof on his college not himself. He proceeded to give us a history of learning, from the viewpoint of a college dropout mind you, and a prediction of the future. In any other era this "information" would be marginalized. Thanks to technology, however, mr. Brown has an audience. This in my opinion is the number one problem with the digital age: lack of integrity. Who is Dan Brown? What are his qualifications for delivering this history/prediction lesson?

In a world where everyone has a stage how do you determine fact from opinion? What Dan delivered was an opinion. Does he make some relevant points? Sure. Is he in a position to shape minds on higher educations future? NO. If your going to a university to learn how to do a specific job, your in the wrong place, find a trade school.
Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home- A blog post by John Spencer, an educator in Phoenix, AZ. Mr Spencer shares a story about an altercation with his school's instructional interventionist over allowing his kids to take pencils home. She claims that studies show that kids who take pencils home score lower on standardized tests, therefore, don't let them take the pencils home and they'll do better on the tests. I think that this is a story that far to many teachers are familiar with in some form or fashion. It seems rather ridiculous that research would indicate something so silly. It's even worse that an instructor would recommend the result which defy logic.
What is My Sentence?- I hope that when my time is up "I searched, found, lived, and taught truth to all who would listen."

Am I Better Today Than I Was Yesterday?- I pride myself on being my toughest critic. It feels like I progress one day and then regress the next. I'm good about learning from my mistakes and those of others, but, my stubbornness sometimes limits my progress.

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding analysis Mitch!

    I see your point about the Brown video. Dan Brown's video does ignore an important fact about education, the "Degree". Sure he may do a lot better on his own and more power to him. However, we have an educational system and employers have their requirements and many times (especially for good paying jobs) that is a degree or some kind of proof of higher education. I certainly understand his frustration but I'm not sure abandoning the entire system is going to be productive. Of course, I could be wrong. SS