Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Foundation First

Is it appealing to today's generation to come to class? This is a concept that has never had to be dealt with before, but let's face it, we have to deal with it today. We are competing for our student's attention. What are we competing with? Far too many things to name. So how, how do we make it more appealing to get an education in today's society. We can begin by laying blame at every possible doorstep, but what have we solved by doing so? We have to focus only on those things that are in our control, and that is our world. Technology is great. It is fantastic. It is a must in todays educational environment. That much is obvious, but just having the technology will get us nowhere if there is not proper implementation and sense of relevance to the planned lessons. But what I would really like to do at this point is sidestep technology. I know, this entire blog is geared toward Instructional Technology, but let's lay some ground work first. Have you ever read Harry Wong. I was forced to in college. I loved his writings. Give him a chance, I think he has some insight that is very useful in today's learning environment. A portion of his focus is on, what I call, the foundation. Consider for a moment the aesthetic appeal of our classrooms. Do our rooms portray a person in control, or do they scream chaos has ensued. I am not being negative here by any means. I am just throwing an idea out there. How do we feel when we come home in the evening and the house is a wreck, clothes are everywhere, dishes are piled in the sink, toys are strowed from here to forever? If you are like me you feel overwhelmed and stressed. I would imagine that is how our students feel walking into classrooms that may be disorganized and chaotic. Some might say look at the school building, it is old, worn out and ugly. But again, we were talking about the things that we can control. I know you are looking for a point, and the point is before we can just throw technology into the classroom and expect it to solve all attention and intrest problems we must first build a foundation that can support it. A foundation of calm, organization, and respect. Let's face it, if we don't show respect for our room, why would our students respect anything in it. I am interested to hear you opinions on this.