March 15, 2007
Okay, so I’ve stumbled upon the name Marshall McLuhan three times in the last couple of weeks. Allowing my curiousity to get the best of me (or was I just avoiding grading papers?), I looked him up in–where else–Wikipedia. It was this “McLuhan tetrad” that I was most curious.
Oddly enough, my enthusiasm for Web 2.0 in the classroom has waned a bit in the past week or so, hence my lack of posts. This is not due to some revelation about all its flaws, or its irrelevance, or a sense of “why bother, it’s just gimmicky”. I believe none of these. In fact, I am exciting to keep going, to keep learning, to experiment in my classroom. (I plan on setting my AP English students up with their own blogs next week…and let them run a bit)
I think it’s just a practical matter of the rest of life creeping back in after the “honeymoon” of all my recent discoveries. Perhaps the intoxication has worn off and the sober reality of what to DO with these tool, this new knowledge, this new direction, is just now sinking in. I want to try so many things; I want to share all of this with all my colleagues; I want to get this into my classroom…all of it. Yet, I want it all to be relevant, effectual, moving my teaching and their learning forward.
Which is perhaps why McLuhan’s tetrad intrigues me so. Perhaps this is one way to evaluate the efficacy of each of these new tools. What does blogging enhance or intensify? Does it retrieve something that was previously lost in my other teaching methods? What would become obsolete as a result of blogging in the classroom? (And would it matter if it did?) Does blogging become a figure, and what becomes the ground?
I could (should?) obviously apply these same questions to every one of the new tools I bring in to my class. Right? I’m curious if other educators see any relevance to McLuhan in their classrooms…