Learning Is Messy
Brain Crosby's Learning Is Messy blog is very interesting! Brian Crosby has been an upper elementary school teacher for 30 years and now facilitates STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education for teachers and administrators in six counties in northern Nevada. Brian Crosby has mentored educators and has presented STEM as far away as China, and virtually around the globe. He believes students require the time to "Go Deep" and leverage their learning by providing exciting and motivating hands-on and minds-on experiences.
Brian Crosby's Blog Post "Tales Out of School"
In Brian Crosby's blog post "Tales Out of School," he reflects on some interesting and somewhat disheartening "tales" he has heard from other educators.
Brian Crosby reflects on one situation where several teachers told him about a board meeting. In this board meeting, a board member spoke about how appalled he was over seeing students in middle and high school walk around using smart phones and how often teachers have to ask students to put their cell phones away in class. This board member also mentioned that students were accessing inappropriate sites on their phones while in school. This board member decided he wanted to change the school policy to where if a student gets caught with a cell phone, the cell phone is confiscated for a day. The second time a student gets caught with a cell phone, the teacher is to confiscate the phone, and break it in front of the class to remind the student and the surrounding students that the teachers are serious about the "no cell phone" policy.
Another "tale" Brian Crosby refers to is about a teacher who shared how much she liked the new online grade book program at a training meeting. This teacher also mentioned that since she did not receive a school district iPad, so she was thrilled to be able to access the online grade book program from her smartphone and input grades and notes while interacting with students in reading groups and other situations. This teacher explained that she was trained to do all of this on paper, but then had to transfer this information later to a computer. She explained how much time it saved her since she started using a smartphone to input this data. Other teachers took notes and nodded their heads thinking what this teacher has shared would be super beneficial in the future. Well, think again! In this meeting were several district administrators. They asked this teacher if the smartphone belonged to her or if belonged to the school. This teacher replied by telling the district administrators that the smartphone was hers. The district administrators scolded her and told her that this time they would "look the other way," but technically, they could write her up for going against school district policy. The district administrators explained that teachers were NOT to use a personal device to input grades into the online grading system. The district administrators told this teacher that she was allowed to take home her laptop and input grades since it is a school district laptop.
Brian Crosby concludes his blog post by writing, "Wow! We have a long way to go! Learning is messy!"
My Thoughts on "Tales Out of School"
Like any tool, it can be useful or disposable depending how you use it. If a teacher is having a hard time getting students to keep their cell phones put away, maybe the teacher isn't creating an engaging enough environment in the classroom. Or better yet, the teacher could create lessons where students use their cell phone in some capacity to feed this tech-savvy age group's desire to use a technological device. In my personal opinion, if cell phones are an issue in the classroom, it is due to the teachers' lack of classroom management skills.
Once again, like any tool, it can be useful or disposable depending on how you use it. The teacher that used her smartphone in her classroom to input data and notes, in my opinion, actually used her tool in a productive way. Even though I think this teacher used her smartphone as a useful tool, the school policy is what it is. This teacher should have spoken to an administrator about using her personal smartphone to input grades before she input the grades and shared her idea with fellow teachers in front of district administrators. Trying something new that could be risky is not worth putting your job in danger.
My Comment on Brian Crosby's "Tales Out of School"
In my comment on this blog post, I introduced myself and explained that I will be commenting on this blog post as an assignment in EDM310. I thanked Brian Crosby for sharing such an interesting post. I mentioned that after reading his post, I felt as if cell phones could definitely be useful and integrated in the classroom if used in a productive way. I asked Mr. Crosby if he thought that the teachers who do not like students to have cell phones in the classroom lack classroom management skills and do not provide an engaging enough learning environment. I told Mr. Crosby that I would love to hear his thoughts on my questions and thanked him in advance for his time.
Brian Crosby's Response to My Comment
I have not received a response to my comment yet.
Brian Crosby's Blog Post "Who Gets Noticed? Telling? Or Not So Much? You Decide"
In this blog post, Brian Crosby focuses on how many teachers are, in fact, on Twitter, but they do not follow fellow educators. From what Brian Crosby has found, many educators follow famous people in the media and politicians, but few, if any, fellow educators.
Mr. Crosby mentioned that he noted to a local education reporter that their Twitter follows included basically zero educators. This reporter admitted to the accusation, then followed Brian Crosby on Twitter, and requested that Mr. Crosby suggest other educators this reporter should follow. Mr. Crosby then mentioned that he searched for school board members and school administrators on Twitter and found the exact same issue. Many, actually most, of these people follow other media types and politicians, but zero educators. In this blog post Mr. Crosby writes, "It takes some time to search around and find people on Twitter (in this case educators), but still...really?"
Mr. Crosby concludes this post by writing, "Those with money, power, and high media presence get their views reported...others...not so much. Learning is messy!"
My Thoughts on Mr. Crosby's Blog Post "Who Gets Noticed? Telling? Or Not Some Much? You Decide"
Something I have learned in EDM310 is how important it is to have a personal learning network on Twitter. Before taking EDM310, I had not the slightest clue that Twitter could be used as a resource in my personal learning network. On Twitter, I have come across some excellent educators and educational tools that I have added to My PLN that will assist me in becoming a professional educator.
After thoroughly reading over Brian Crosby's blog post, I have come up with two explanations as to why people in an educational position do not follow other educators on Twitter: Either people in these positions are unaware that Twitter could be used as a resource in their PLN, or there is a lack of interest when it comes to connecting with other educators. I hope that these people are just unaware of all the great and educational resources available to them on Twitter, but I am sure there are educators out there who have made a Twitter account just to say they have a Twitter. If educators are unaware that Twitter is a great resource for their PLN, it is up to other educators to inform and influence them to really do some research on Twitter and find people/tools that will positively influence them as professional educators. If educators have a Twitter, but show a lack of interest, it possibly could be because they are just unaware of all the great resources they could have access to on Twitter.
My Comment on Brian Crosby's Blog Post "Who Gets Noticed? Telling? Or Not So Much? You Decide"
In my comment on this post, I introduced who I am, where I attend school, my major, what class I am in, and explained that I was commenting on his post as an assignment in EDM310. I explained to Mr. Crosby that I have learned in EDM310 how important it is to be active on Twitter in order to expand my personal learning network. I then asked Mr. Crosby how should educators active on Twitter inform other educators around the world that Twitter can be used as a great tool in these educators' personal learning network. I thanked Mr. Crosby for sharing his post and thanked him in advance for his time and thoughts. I included a link to my blog, a link to the EDM310 class blog, and invited him to check out the blogs listed.
Brian Crosby's Response to My Comment
I have not received a response to my comment yet.