Saturday, June 20, 2009

Broaden Your Circle

Nearly a year ago I followed a tweet, taking me to a blog that I had never read. The author was commenting on why he would not attend NECC. To put it mildly, his post was quite controversial in the educational tech. community. When I read his post I became intrigued as I had never heard of anyone NOT wanting to go to NECC, the mecca for ed. tech folks. Questions started to pop into my mind as I continued to read other posts by this blogger, but, I was hesitant to comment on his blog and ask my questions, so I emailed him. His response came within a day! His response was very insightful and made me really think about education.

Did I agree with everything he wrote? No. However, he really made me reflect on the use of technology in education. Our exchanges continued and, through his tweets I was introduced to other bloggers. One blogger was comparing Everyday Math to other math programs, showing the inferiority of some of the problem in Everyday Math as compared to these other programs, (like Singapore Math). As a teacher trained in Everyday Math, having taught it for ten years, I became very defensive and actually commented on the blog! The results of which were a conversation about rigor in Math curricula. The author of the blog and commentors showed me another point of view!

Why am I sharing this??? Because, by exposing ourselves to other points of view, we can reflect, learn, and grow. If we only communicate with like minded individuals, I think we can become very complacant. So, taking Matthew K. Tabor's advice, I try to subscribe to blogs that differ from my point of view, and so far, I have learned something valuable. There is something to be learned from everyone, and we do not grow if we do not step our or our comfort zones.

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