Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Multimoldal Reflective Practice

I recently attended a lecture by Dr. Sara Kadjer entitled Multimodal Reflective Practice in Teacher Education at Fordham University.

This talk was part of the research colloquium for students in the Language, Literacy and Learning doctoral program and our attendance was strongly encouraged.

The bulk of the presentation centered on blogs/vlogs as a tool for student teachers to reflect upon and share their learning.  Once upon a time (when I was a student teacher) all of our reflections were written by hand and it was up to our advisers alone to read our ponderous questions, usual gripes, ongoing struggles and intermittent successes.

This model was perhaps enlightening for the student - at least it was for me - but I am sure it was less so for the beleaguered instructor who had to schlep these tomes home every weekend to read and provide succinct comments.

New technologies have spurned a wave of innovative choices to tackle these same tasks.  Today advisers like Dr. Kadjer are inviting students to blog or vlog to achieve the objectives once only possible with a pen and paper.  The result has been tremendously positive and motivating for both students and teachers.  Now instead of feedback from an instructor alone, students also can comment on one another's posts.

Many years ago my friend Caye - who will become Dr. Cayne in May! - thought it would be interesting to conduct research on teacher blogs.  There exists a wide range of them out there.

In my original description I wrote that Follow Your Bliss was "the journey of one man who is doing what he loves".  I share my journey first and foremost from a place of gratitude.  The focus of other educational blogs vary.  Some focus on sharing reproducibles or links to pre-made lesson plans while others adhere strictly to what is happening in the classroom.  I even found one that served as a bitch session for a teacher who stated she basically hated being around children and complained about the things each child did.

Technology is developing at such a rapid pace that by the time we discover the 'latest' it is already passé. This may be frustrating but it is never dull.

Onwards and upwards!


Hilary said...

There is no doubt that computers and blogging has changed the face of how many things are done. It amused me when I learned that as a parent, I could go online and discover what might really be for homework, (from some teachers). I like the idea of blogging for the purpose you stated. It's probably a much better, smoother, cleaner and safer venue than Facebook or similar.

Thanks for your visit to my blog. :)

Tess Kincaid said...

This sculpture is the perfect accompaniment for your onwards and upwards attitude.

Gary said...

Hilary - Our school has a website and each class has its own page. I love updating mine with videos, resources, links, calendar of events, information on what we learned each week etc. and there is a place for homework and discussions. Parents can even get an email everytime I update any information. I love it and I wish more parents took a look.

And thank you for visiting FYB as well.

Tess - It is isn't it! I didn't even think of the picture in those terms. I used it because that statue is outside of Fordham University (Lincoln Center) and I couldn't think of any other picture to go with this post. Thanks for pointing out the other connection.


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