Thursday, September 16, 2010

#Plenk2010 What's the problem?

#PLENK2010 I was just re-listening to an interview from the CBC Radio 1 The Current with Dr. Fraser Mustard on Early Childhood Education.  He was recommending "problem-based" education.   That is what we are doing in our MOOC.  Right now, in this first week, we are milling about, talking to one another.  Some people are talking about the correct definitions of PLEs and PLNs.  Some are talking about networking.  Some are talking about the technical aspects of Web2.0.  We are all seeing this course according to the problems we are having communicating with the worlds (various groups) of people that we deal with. 

Some people want to convince their colleagues in universities or schools to loosen up and let their students use the internet; so, I guess we need to discuss rather thoroughly how to evaluate research in PLEs.  Many of us are teachers.  I'm sure we can develop a theory and a variety of rubrics.  Of course, we need to have a clear definition to present to those who are not taking this course; so keep on working away at it those who want to.

Some people, like myself, need to learn how to use the wonderful applications and programs available to enhance communication.  I am so grateful that those who know about them are mentioning ways they communicate and directing us to their own efforts for models.  At the end of this course, I hope I can use them.

No doubt, some people are here to acquire and build a network of like-minded colleagues.

By the way, I am horrified that my Adult Basic Education students thought that Mathematics was a game about number manipulation.  How could their teachers not have mentioned that number manipulation is a tool for solving problems about quantities, statistics, measurements and such?  You know they never attempted Word Problems because they didn't think it was important.  The word problems seemed too much work with no pay-off.  And I blame those who design the courses and the texts and the tests; when only the final number-value "answer" is given at the back of the text for a word problem and only 1 or 2 marks or credits are given, equivalent to that for a calculation example, the student thinks that Word Problems are pointless.  But those who are taught and follow the traditional method, find the the lay-out of a science experiment note obvious, and find writing an essay easy.  Why?  They are all written in a format that follows the Steps of Scientific Problem Solving

There!  That's my lecture for the night.  Tomorrow we get back to solving, solving, solving.

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