WELCOME

My name is Terry-Lynn and I am a middle years teacher in the Canadian prairies. I decided to start this blog because there is a lack of truly Canadian resources and perspective on the net. Thus the purpose of this blog is to critique websites and generally talk about my experiences as a Canadian teacher.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NET SURFING

If net surfing was a sport, I would be an extreme sport rock star, with my own endorsement deals, video game and heavily tattooed boyfriend. Good teaching involves resource-based student learning. The main issue with resource-based learning is the time involved making materials for the students. But teaching is not a new profession. Since Socrates was corrupting the minds of young boys, teachers have been using various resources and techniques to encourage students to question their world. So there is no reason to over-stress, pull hair and stay up all night. Just like in literature, everything has already been created and made, we just need to access them.

The Internet has made the task of teaching easier and also more difficult. And the reason is the same - the wealth of unfiltered ideas. The Internet has made teaching easier in that we have at our fingertips every teaching idea and theory ever created. If I need ideas about how to teach spelling, then all I have to do is google "spelling", and I will be overloaded with thousands of ideas and theories. But it is this overload which makes teaching more difficult. The amount of information on the Internet can overwhelm a teacher, making them feel inadequate. Even I can feel small to the more creative, organized and intelligent people who post their ideas on the web. Another problem is the amount of "crap" on the net. Not every idea or theory is golden, or even bronze, and it takes a lot to filter out the "crap"  so a teacher can surf in pure water.

A side problem when surfing is the amount of spyware, malware, viruses and general smut your wave can smash into. I have programs to protect from every but the smut. Once I was surfing the "teaching, Balance Literacy, printables" google wave, just to be upended by a pair of breasts popping up. And for some reason, after I net surf, I receive a lot of spam encouraging me to "expand my penis". I don't teach Sexual Education. But my surfing history says differently.

So when surfing the stormy seas of the Internet, it helps to have the arrogance of an extreme athlete. A teacher needs to be very specific in what information on the Internet they want. I tend to use at least 3 words or more to describe what I want. Also, a teacher needs to be fast and confident, deciding on the relevance of websites within seconds. It often takes me 10-seconds to decide whether I will stay on a website. A final tip is to ask other teacher what websites they like and check them out. Some of these sites will even suggest sites of their own.

Lastly, surfing can be just fun, no matter the topic so just play around. But avoid the popping breasts.

Later

The Canuck Teacher.


P.S. - If you have websites you like, list them in the comment section. You will notice a small sampling of the sites I use at the right of the blog.

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