Thursday, June 14, 2001

Ah, yes the school of the future, all bells and whistles. Here it is in Australia, damned Aussies will try anything and everything. I will be watching closely the results of this school without classrooms. It's quite a bit like my experience homeschooling my own three kids: put the food down where the goats can get to it.
School of the Future

Wednesday, June 13, 2001


Post and Publish when you are done. To answer your questions--I plan to support information about them in every way I can. I hope to supply you with some sample work next Monday if not before. Beowulf I presume.
I'm "post"ing--not sure exactly what the difference is between that and "post & publish."
Thanks for taking me through some of your formats. I'm a blogger--never thought I'd have a need to say that.
I'm curious about the content of your web pages. You catalogue the authors, but I'm not clear if you plan to have their works available on line or just support information about them or what.
There is no concrete notion of what a directed study requires. Obviously, I'd like to see the tangible results--actual pages that you construct (as well as, of course, ready-made applications that you would utilize, such as blogger).
Well, here's what Dr. LeNoir has been asking for--content. In a nutshell this is what I am trying to put on my website: Early English lit (Anglo-Saxon dudes), Middle Ages (emphasis on Chaucer and medieval drama), Shakespeare (basically Macbeth and Elizabethan English history/culture), Renaissance (Sonnets, carpe diem poetry, John Dunne), Restoration (Milton, Pope, Grey, and rest. dramatists), romanticism ( Keats, Shelley, assorted young dead white British males), English novel (emphasis on Pride and Prejudice and Dickens), Victorian poetry (Brownings, Arnold, et al.) and modern British poetry and drama.

Yeah, I know. No surprises there,,, yet. That's Brit. Lit. mild. Within this content I will attempt to follow my district objectives, the states's "Program of Studies" for twelfth grade
POS Englishas well as the "Core Content" for writing Core Content Writing and reading Core Content Reading. Not to mention use the "Implementation Manual"
(either traditional Implementation Manual
or non-traditional IM Non-traditional) and "Transformations" Transformations .

Looks like a minefield doesn't it. All of the material above is fairly generic and what you would expect of any good teacher who knows better than to teach by the book.

An important adjunct to the Brit Lit part of the website will be pages on the writing process, writing forms (narrative, literary, transactive, on-demand, and open response), state benchmarks and scoring guides, reading strategies for different reading forms (literary, informationsl, practical, persuasive), grammar, and the kitchen sink.

The third part of the web site would be the administrative site (tentatively using Manhattan class software) which would include assignments, lectures, anti-lectures, handouts/notices, internet resources, self tests, chat, post office, and, of course, grades..

I am not sure how much of this can actually come under the perview of the Directed Study. That would be subject to intense negotiations over a cup of coffee or a pint of Guiness in the very near future. Typically, an on-line course takes a year to produce. What I am proposing is somewhat more ambitious. There is always the chance that what I will be doing is re-inventing the wheel, but a major function of this directed is to learn how to create an online course and how to manage learning after you have things running. deep resource. Parts of the site are premimu for members only. but the best part is free. Went to IJET , read news on a cool new application coming out at the end of the month called EduCommons EduCommons (peer-to-peer, Gknutella-like software for educators), and got information and links to Western Governors University's Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design (ID) . Pretty impressive. I might even join up for $75.
What to put on a website intended for anyone interested in high school English? Ha, ha, ha. I know that doesn't have an audience. I'll just have to build an audience. There are a few audiences for this locally: my classes, "homebound" seniors, other students (not mine) who want a different take on their class. There are potential audiences outside my classes: new or pre-service (meaning they don't have job yet) teachers, students outside my school who wish to see how other classes approach English, teachers looking for new ideas to steal (I mean this in the best possible sense), non-English speaking students from wherever, homeschoolled students of all ages, and miscellaneous. I guess that means that it is worth doing.

My plan is to make a website that is fairly conventional in terms of curriculum (what's to be read and done)--Senior English "mild". After I have done that I want to work on Senior English "wild" for those who like it spicier. And that gets me to content. Next post.

Monday, June 11, 2001

I love the everyone-is-an-expert nature of education. I've been through it, so I know what's wrong and know how to fix it. Plastic recently weighed in on this. A former high school teacher (he really knows how to fix it: snipe from a safe distance outside) suggests (fanfare) tracking. The torrent of interesting talk is well worth reading and responding. Go on. Be an expert. Expert You can also visit the "offending" ex-teacher's web site to get more information Offending. Pop quiz: how many negative points do you get for skipping school?