Another blog referral today, this one by Bill Ferriter, a North Carolina teacher-of-the-year who blogs for ASCD and for the Center for Teaching Quality, The Tempered Radical. (I love the word “temper” which is I think is a greatly under-appreciated word.)
In the first posting I read, Ferriter writes about “The Curse of the Digitally Illiterate,” asking tough and sensitive questions about the “curse” of teachers in our schools who are, you might say, not even digital immigrants but refusing or unable even to get on the boat. Our students want to, need to, and should be able to employ the best of contemporary tools for their learning and their articulating, and teachers who are utterly incompetent in these best of contemporary tools are limiting the learning of our students. Ferrriter also points to a blog called The Fischbowl, an entry of which apparently was voted “most influential post of 2007:” “Is it OK to be a technologically illiterate teacher?” The answer provided is no.
Another strong Ferriter piece argues that “learning is always about articulation.” It is another way of saying, of course, that the one who is doing the talking is doing the learning, as the graphic above displays. A key tenent is here is that student learning ought to be brought to publication: that by publishing polished product, the learning process will be greatly enhanced, and so I especially like the way Ferriter recognizes and articulates himself that it is in the articulating that we inscribe our learning, that we learn what we know and better know what we have learned.
Furthermore, it is also an endorsement of blogging. I know for myself, my blog is intended as much an anything else as a vehicle for my own learning, and I know that it is by writing what I am thinking and I reading that I learn. Here is Ferriter on blogging as learning:
A perfect example is this blog, where I reflect on what it is that I think I know about teaching and learning. Writing—just like talking—-forces me to think deeply about topics because the act of putting what I know into words that others can understand is inherently challenging. What’s even better is that once I make my thinking transparent, it can be challenged—-and challenged thinking goes through the “refining fires” that lead to true understanding.