This was our first full week of The Bloggatteer Experience. We are still learning the ins and outs of the tool, but as we move forward, I can see some benefits:
When I place a question on The Bloggatteer Experience, I try to accompany it with a learning intention and some success criteria. It takes added time for me to do this, but if I can get my class to pay attention to it, it will push them to making better, more robust, replies. Learning - not teaching - becomes the focus. Students - not the teacher - become more responsible for their learning. When it works, the learning becomes more obvious to the learner, and the process of learning is more greatly appreciated.
The very process of learning becomes something that must be taught, and that's where the concept and belief in lifelong learning comes to the stage. You can imagine that when students looks back upon their learning journeys, they see how far they have become. A deep sense of accomplishment washes over them. Like an addictive drug (but in a positive way), they will want more of this feeling, and they will search for ways in which to accomplish more and more in their lives.
There is some value in this, but at times it also becomes a hindrance. A seasoned teacher, who still cares about making lessons more and more meaningful, also understands that the lesson itself is an art and does not always fit a trendy methodology mold. A well-crafted lesson or project can also take on an air of mystery, causing students to seek and find his or her own path of success. If all an advisor is looking for is the posted intentions and criteria, the advisor may miss the intentional planning and successful execution of an activity.
The Bloggatteer Experience easily fits into this process. The struggle is for students to accept their roles. They must continue to work toward their own clarity in learning. Very early in my career, I believed what many teachers at the time believed (and many still do): that educators need to make learning seem like fun - so much fun, in fact, that kids don't realize they are learning. That, my friends, is bologna! Students must feel the pain of the stretch. They must struggle alongside each other, wrestle with their resources, and push themselves to always increase their best. With that, they will appreciate the journey. Then and only then will our mantra of Every child can learn bear fruit.