Last week's keyword for me was, "Disconnect." Although I appreciated the guest lecturers, I found myself either not paying attention at all or zoning in and out. When the first woman, I forgot her name, came in to speak, initially I was intrigued by the handouts -- I liked that they had practical teaching methods for reading. I also payed attention when she explained how the iPad was used in the classroom as a tool for gathering data and as a tool for visual communication between parents and teachers. However, I'm not going to lie, I barely listened to her speaking for most of the lecture and the same thing happened when Mary came in to speak about the Zimbabwean (?) women and their role in the trade markets.
The fact that I paid very little attention to the guest lectures bothered me. So, I began to wonder, is it me or is it what was being said? I think it was a combination of both.
The more we talk about literacy, the more I realize about myself as a learner. I know now that I get completely lost when a connection between what is being taught and the overall "picture" is not made. Take for instance Mary's lecture, it would have never occurred to me that the women of Zimbabwe had become literate in a different setting, the market, if Mia had not made that connection for me. And I find myself experiencing similar disconnects in Pim's and Rob's class during discussions.
Of course, when I "disconnect" from the material, I don't just sit there in confusion, I ask questions. But I am not so sure if all students, in all grade levels, who may not get what is being learned actually ask for the instructor to make the connection to the class. Therefore, I think it is detrimental to student's learning, better yet, the objective of the course becomes less relevant, when instructors assume that students will be able to make connections.
Establishing "big picture" connections in the classroom is no easy task to do but I don't want to feel the way that I do when I learn things online. I find that with social media and technology, we only know bits and pieces but never whole pictures of issues. I understand and I have seen that technology can be a great contribution in the classroom but the way info is delivered should not be the same where it is just info info info info....more info and no, "So how does this connect to what we are learning? Or have been learning?"
I think my experience in the past week speaks to a larger concern with Ed Lit and, maybe, the 360: How do we maintain the same level of social media and tech lit interaction and make space for processing and, ultimately, connections? Is that space more appropriate/ effective for the classroom or one of our online tools? I think this would be a good conversation to have but then, at the same time, I worry it would take away from the time needed to make solid connections between the readings, the classes in the 360, etc.