Here’s to another one down…

I realized I have neglected my blog here lately as I am now reading through my huge stack of “blog thoughts” that I have yet to include here…however, I have been quite under the weather this week so I guess that’s an OK excuse.

Anyway, I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like she has killed the rainforest. I mean I seriously leave the copy room with a sick, guilty feeling as I head back with my huge stack of paper copies. (The huge stacks totally go against my “go green” mentality!) Nonetheless, lots copies were made this week. And though I can’t say that I don’t always value an old-fashioned hard copy book/essay/etc. to refer to and physically hold/read, sometimes I think this is the very reason why we should become more accustomed to tech-savvy, enviro-friendly ways of utilizing resources to allieviate the mass copy epidemic taking place in today’s schools. (For example, wiki anyone?)

Going off my beliefs that technology does work I have two *gems* to share with you all. First, my student showed me he had submitted his blog post via his phone; however, had received an error message. After working through to clear his mobile cache, the post went through. I asked him if he always used his cell to go online or if he had a computer at home. His response: “Yeah I have a laptop…but this (his phone) is portable and everywhere I am. It’s convenient for me.” I asked him if I could quote him and everyone laughed, but what he had just shared with me in five minutes was enough to make me realize that there is something behind this new literacy movement…And with that said, I have to bring your all’s attention to this post/image that I found particuarly interesting. Yes, I get the whole distraction part of having phones and texting during an instructional period. HOWEVER (and this is a big however), when schools don’t have the money to give students regular computer access, why wouldn’t educators want to look at every avenue possible — even if it means students’ cell phones? And the bottom line is, if a kid is using his/her phone for instructional purposes (and not distracting the class), hey, I’m not going to be inclined to complain.

Oh, and by second gem is that another student teacher (in government) told me that her student was talking about blogging this and that. Apparently, the student told her something along the lines of “Yeah, at first I wasn’t really sure about the whole blog thing, but then I really liked it. I mean it’s great to just be able to jump online and share my thoughts and to see what others are thinking, too. I don’t know, I just really like it.” Hmmm. Maybe my tech-integrations are working somehow??? Especially if it means that students are positively responding to it, but also walking away with something more (i.e. thinking more deeply about whatever the task at hand may be).

Finally, I guess I will wrap-up with our faculty meeting this week that had a focus on “gangs.” Now, before I begin on this delicate subject, let me say….I understand the purpose behind this meeting was to help inform and I think people do need information. However, when I’m looking around and noticing people writing down notes like, “rap music is bad,” hearing facts such as “90% of rap music on BET is gangsta,” and seeing images of Jordan shoes that could represent possible gang signs — I have to admit, I began to wonder why I was still sitting in the room. I was amazed at 1) how unbelievably naive (though I’m not sure naive is the word) people were because some people did not even know there were issues of violence in the area (or anywhere for that matter!), 2) how quickly people were beginning to judge based on assumptions, and 3) how no real clarity was provided when it came to assumptions vs. facts. I just think if you are talking about a subject like this, you better be giving your audience straight, 100% true facts — not just possible signs to be aware of. I mean does this mean that if I wear my colored shoes that this is a big no-no? Or I should change the music I listen to? I don’t think so. And the truth is, violence is a major problem facing many schools all over the nation today. However, a lot of kids use terms like “O.G” and don’t even know the real meaning behind it…they don’t understand where these words come from or why they are in place today. Again, though I know the point behind this gathering was a good one, I just think it could have been better if more facts were incorporated vs. information that just made naive audience members more judgmental and more likely to make assumptions.

Well, it’s back to bed for me. I’m hoping lots of rest this weekend will make for a more productive week!

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