This week in CEP812 we were asked to reflect on our current information diet – the information we consume, and how/why we consume it. The danger with gathering information online comes in the form of what Eli Pariser refers to as “filter bubbles” – the information we see is individualized; it is what the internet thinks we want to see, not what we need to see (Pariser, 2011). I use facebook a lot for information. Many of my facebook friends are teachers, so I see a lot of information I can relate to and agree with. I read blogs of educators who teach third grade. Why not read more about what works in their classroom, and see if it could work in mine? Recently, I was having difficulty finding resources to teach making inferences. I began by “googling” and stopped every time I found a lesson for a book in my classroom library. It was a quick, easy way to find resources. I tend to do this with other comprehension strategies, too – as a new teacher, I just do not have the resources built up on my own.
Eli Pariser mentions that we need to make sure the information we gather is relevant, but more importantly, that it challenges our viewpoints and makes us uncomfortable (Pariser, 2011). I generally do not go looking for information that makes me question what I am doing in my classroom. For example, when I googled “third grade making inferences”, I immediately omitted viewpoints and resources from grades other than third, and from strategies that may not be making inferences (but may be related!). If the lesson is for a book I do not have access to, I keep looking until I find one for a text I do have. I could potentially be passing up on an excellent resource, simply because it is a challenge to locate a text.
In order to push my thinking and challenge my ideas, I revisited my RSS feed from CEP810 and added three new resource sites to it:
–ProfHacker – The Chronicle of Higher Education: I see my students in the present, as 9 year olds… not in the future, as college-bound teenagers. This needs to change! I need to think more about whether I am instilling the appropriate values in my students that they will carry through the rest of their school careers. I am building the base of a solid education, and my students are relying on me for that.
–Blended Learning Environments: I always thought I couldn’t have blended learning in my lower elementary classroom, because I have never had experience with it (or know anyone who has). I realize now that it is possible. I need to believe in my students and help them see what they are capable of producing outside of my classroom. I need to believe blended learning is possible so my students can see themselves as successful with it. I need to open my students’ eyes to the possibility of learning outside of school.
–Scoop.It!’s Common Core Online: My facebook is always full of “these common core assessments are too hard”. I also tend to think this way. I need to realize that common core is here to stay, and make sure my students are prepared to meet the standards. Rather than complain about the assessments, I need to stay informed so my students are ready. I have every right to disagree, but I also have the incredible responsibility of educating my students to the best of my ability.
(photo credit: Roberts, Kayleigh. (2014, April 2; updated 2014, June 2). Is Picky Eating an Eating Disorder? Living With Selective Eating Disorder and No Vegetables [photo]. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bustle/picky-eating-an-eating-disorder-living-with-selective-eating-disorder-and-no-vegetables_b_4986010.html.)
Just like being picky while eating prevents us from trying new things, being unconsciously picky with the information we receive prevents us from expanding our minds.
Roberts, Kayleigh. (2014, April 2; updated 2014, June 2). Is Picky Eating an Eating Disorder? Living With Selective Eating Disorder and No Vegetables [photo]. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bustle/picky-eating-an-eating-disorder-living-with-selective-eating-disorder-and-no-vegetables_b_4986010.html.
TED Talks (producer) with Pariser, Eli. (2011, March). Beware Online “Filter Bubbles”. Available from http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles?language=en#.