Thing 4: Exploring Sample Blogs

The title of the blog, Why I Don’t Assign Homework, immediately got my attention as something worth reading as a classroom teacher. Too much or not enough homework  seems to be the most controversial topic that comes up year after year with parents.  I agree with the author that a lot of homework (especially a repeat of what has already been learned in class) should not be given.  I do wonder what he thinks about studying for tests, which must be done at home, and also if he gives any project assignments to be worked on outside of class.  I believe one of the most important skills students need to learn is how to manage and organize their time in order to get a project completed.  This is a life long skill they need to learn early.  I also believe it is important for them to have the skill of presenting their project in front of their peers, which also must be perfected at home.  I guess projects would not be as applicable with math, but I assume they would still have tests to study for at home.  To summarize, I don’t believe in giving homework just for the sake of giving it to keep them working after school, but some skills must be learned through a combination of efforts in the classroom and at home.

I agree with the blog, The Myth of a Digital Native, and found it to be an interesting point.  I tend to automatically think that kids today are all in the group of the digital natives, but this author caused me to really think about it and realize it’s not true.  I see it in my classroom and with my nephews.  While some of students can practically teach a computer lesson themselves and constantly beg to use the computer, some of them are still learning to type and find no interest at all in the computer.  One of my nephews, at age 4, is on the tract of becoming a digital native, while the other, age 5, knows much less than him because he is not allowed to use the computer much and would also rather be playing outside.  Although it seems obvious after reading the article, I must admit I was grouping all kids into knowing “everything” about computers, which certainly is not the case!

I enjoyed looking at the videos and pictures on the different blogs, and I loved how Lauren is using a blog to make a difference in the world (Twenty Five Days to Make a Difference).  It is amazing how much response you can get from one simple blog.  People are really interested in reading them, even simple ones written by kids such as Patrick’s Update.  It was nice to see how people can use blogs to be so encouraging to him.  It probably really made a difference in how he views himself!  I also liked Dear Kaia and Skyelar, with the pictures of what most people view as trash.  It showed how with a little creativity, nice background, and music, you can make those pictures into something people enjoy viewing.

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