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Thoughts on Education at the end of the Quarter

December 8, 2010

Happy Wednesday! I’ve been thinking a lot about education lately, probably due to reflecting on my own teaching during the end of this term. I wanted to share some of the most interesting reads and tools I’ve seen lately on the topic of education.

Have you seen edmodo? It’s a way to create private social networking sites for your classes. Since Ning is now charging money, edmodo seems like a good option for educators. The entire look of edmodo is very similar to another large social networking site which should make it feel comfortable to students and edmodo is must more user friendly than most of the learning management systems I’ve seen. If you’ve used edmodo, I’d love to hear about your experiences. I may use it in the next class I teach as I’m always trying to facilitate more interaction and community.

Speaking of education, I highly suggest you read Anna’s post of her responses to questions about unschooling. It’s a fantastic read and will make you ponder (hopefully) your own educational journey and how you want to see education evolve. Like I wrote in a previous post, I firmly believe that there are multiple ways to gain information and create knowledge. Obviously I feel strongly that there is a place for higher education and am hopeful that I can make changes to the process of higher education that will benefit my students. (But going into details of how I envision higher education evolving is best left to another post.)

This post, “Why Design Education Must Change” is a fantastic read. Many of the suggestions for changing design education apply to education in general, in my opinion. For instance, I believe we need to do a better job educating students at all levels in scientific disciplines. And I say this not just because I have a degree in biology and grew up in a house where scientific proofs and logic were held as the standard to which everything was compared. Understanding science is important so you can discern medical flimflam from sound medical advice, figure out whether the statistics in an article are valid or a lot of hogwash, and logically plan and execute studies in the library. I am a huge proponent of a “well-rounded” and broad education, then drilling deeply into one or more areas for your specialties. But that’s just me. Even if you don’t agree, please check out the design education article, it really is fantastic.

I think that is enough seriousness for one blog post, so here is the winner of Unshelved’s Pimp My Bookcart contest. I had to share because University of San Francisco won and the entry is awesome.

Because it is rather dreary here today, I thought we should end with this lovely clip of the tenth Doctor. I don’t know about you, but watching the Doctor in action always makes my day a bit better and less dreary. If nothing else, the Time Lord knows how to give a good “rally the troops” style of speech.

Have a great rest of your Wednesday and I’ll be back soon with more tech and library fun. Allons-y!

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