Thursday, February 3, 2011

Teachers voices echo students silences

I couldn't help but jump in to the conversation that was happening on @gcouros's blog post "We are all teachers". It's nice to read messages longer than 140 characters long regarding people's insights and opinions! I thought I'd post my response on my blog too! It's interesting that feelings of inclusion and exclusion are universal across cultures and ages. The more signficant insight was by Michelle, which I later responded about what this means for students.

First Response:

Hi friends!

What’s amazing about twitter is how quickly I can become aware of important, highly-discussed topics amongst people whose opinions I respect.

I’m certainly new to this ever growing community, although I’m sure many of you are familiar with the #brocktechies tag that is regularly dropped by @zbpipe. As one of her pre-service students at Brock, I am so excited that Zoe has introduced us to such an infinite resource.

That being said, I am just one of a small group of #brocktechies who understand the value of ‘another social media’. The biggest difference? What you put into it. How do you expect to grow your network without sharing, speaking your opinion or collaborating? As many have already said, surely it takes time. But thankfully it takes time! If this went any faster I would absolutely lose my mind! There is no doubt that those who work hard at developing their PLN and who share constantly would have more followers, and they deserve immense credit!

Without being at Educon (although what a valuable experience from just following the tag) I can’t imagine that it was an environment any different than extended #edchat; highly inspirational and slightly overwhelming, but overall very positive.

My aspiration isn’t to have 10,000 followers but if over the course of time I develop more people who believe I have something to say or have something to share themselves, then all the better. I just find it a bit absurd that a term like ‘a-lister’ would even be introduced to such a thriving environment. It just doesn’t even make sense. As a recent tweep, all I see is human beings exploring with other humans, regardless of race, class, status, or role. Amazing.

The experience is what you make of it and learning isn’t supposed to be comfortable. I’m excited to be at the very start of a wonderful educational adventure, with a very open mind.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. -Wayne Dyer

Second Response:

I guess we can call ‘them’ the A-team I just don’t understand what point the distinction serves.

Michelle has certainly addressed the issue, “How can we ensure that our students are heard? Not all of them are comfortable talking aloud in class, even in small groups. What other options are we giving them?”

I think ensuring our methods are differentiated, allowing for both inter and intra personal strengths to shine, is a start. The best way is to probably be proactive about the entire situation and work from the start to develop a safe, inclusive community.

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