Paul Cornies’ recent post, 4 R's Meme: Favourite Posts, asks those tagged to select 4 of their favourite posts from their own blog, one from each of the categories: Rants, Resources, Reflections and Revelations.
The posts are then listed with a brief summary on each describing:
why it was important,
why it had lasting value or impact,
how you would update it for today.
The intrepid bloggers are to tag all of their selected posts with the label postsofthepast and then select five (or so) other bloggers to tap with this meme.
After a lot of sifting, these are my favorite (and in some cases my readers' favorite) posts. Like Ken's, mine are not all related to education, but are related to my blog description found on the side of my posts.
In the middle of December's ice storm, I posted a rant about customer service and communication. This continues to be a pet peeve that I have difficulty with. Just a few weeks ago I was trying to find out information from my daughter's school and being bumped from place to place until I found someone that would listen to me and give me some information. I found out through an ad in the newspaper that the person I kept leaving messages for was leaving which was why my messages weren't being returned.
My experience in December and again in June, makes this posting relevant, as it is obvious that poor communication frustrates end users and gives organizations (schools, utilities) a bad reputation. I have the feeling that NO-ONE knows what is going on and therefore, there is probably a lot of waste and corruption/nepotism in these organizations. I am not willing to work with them as they are not willing to work with me. This creates a poor working environment, not to mention outright hostility towards the organization which can result in greater levels of oversight and control from outside of the organization (i.e. government, etc...).
The one area I would update today has to do with the importance of creating an avenue of two way communication. Both customer service and organizational communication systems need to make sure the they have feedback mechanisms and ways around the formal communication process so clients/customers/employees/stakeholders are able to communicate their needs and at least have a feeling of control over the communication process. Computers do not allow for this. Only recently, I tried to call our New York State Dept. of Environmental conservation and was in the middle of an infinite loop. After listening to the 5 options on the recorded message, none of which were the reason I was calling, I pressed the option to speak to an operator, which then brought me back to the same 5 options!
This was probably the hardest for me to decide on. However, I think I like the most recent series of posts on assessment: Incorporating assessment into constructivist based design, Examples of multiple assessment: traditional courrse, Examples of assessment Part 2: Blended course, and Examples of assessment Part 3: Online learning
This was difficult because I don't really provide many "resources" per se in my blog. However, this series (and it is important that it be taken as a series, not just one post) gives concrete examples of assessment tools that are updated from the traditional standardized exam. I have seen little written about assessment, even though I feel this is the currency of learning. It is like looking at economic policy without analyzing the financial data that indicates the results of that policy. While everyone could see the numbers of foreclosures increasing, no one was really looking at the reasons why. In fact, it wasn't until these numbers began to impact the economy negatively that anyone really paid attention to the rising number of foreclosures.
I feel this is the same thing that is happening in education. While more and more people are earning degrees online and training is moving to an online or blended format, little has been done in changing the way that learning accurately captured and measured to reflect the complexity of these new learning formats.
As this was a relatively new post, I would not change anything.
My favorite reflection is something that I come back to on a regular basis: a new way of thinking for the internet society. I think it is important that we recognize that there are different ways to think and our society has preferred one over the other in its educational policy over the years. New technology has made the different forms of thinking more obvious, allowing for spacial thinking to now become more accepted and useful.
I would update this post by include some ideas I have been working on in terms of student preferences in "learning style". Using each of the learning theories, I think each person has a natural tendency or preference towards one style over another. Some people process information well, others learn through repeated actions, still others learn through social interaction and group processes, others are creative in building models or other artifacts that help them make sense of the world around them, while others, like myself, seem to make connections where there does not seem to be any, accessing information through learning networks (Cognitivism, behaviorism, socio-cognitivism or situated elarning, constructivism, and connectivism).
I am beginning to believe that it is important to include all learning theories in a teacher's repertoire so as to help all learners to reach their maximum potential.
I think my blog is one of revelations. In fact, my most popular posts are those in which I have revelations about technology, learning, and communication from my classes. I just can't limit it to one post, so instead I will lump together my 3 favorite posts on blog (and the readers' favorites also) in this category: Hanzel and Gretal through the Internet (an analysis of how I navigate the internet), Lessons learned in Wiki use (a summary of findings from my use of the wiki in my classes), and Time, technology, and the younger set (observations on the use of the internet, mobile technology, and social software by my children).
All of these are timely and impact my own understanding of my students. I use these observations in developing my classes and class activities, integrating technology, but also identifying areas my students may need more support in and a deeper understanding of the concepts behind the formats they use.
I am hoping to update the last post (time, technology, and the younger set) soon as my daughter has been using facebook and a cell phone for the last month and a half now, giving me new insights into the use of these technologies.
Tag, You're IT
It is always hard to find who to tag for this, especially if they have already been tagged.
However, I would like to see that the following people come up with as they contribute to my blog and learning:
If you decide to take this challenge, you should include the tag (label) #postsofthepast. You can find others using this as a search term.