Now that Joseph has stirred up the pot, and it is a pot that definitely needs to be stirred, I thought I’d do a little bit of a response at this late hour.
Right off the bat I think Joseph is right in saying that students don’t use what they don’t think they need. I see this apply to blogging a lot, if a student doesn’t see an intrinsic value in it they will not use it. For those skeptics it takes a lot of convincing that blogging is not really like writing a paper in a word document. I would also say what they have to blog about may make it harder or easier for somebody to write. I will even admit that I have been behind on my blogging for my Digital History Seminar because a lot of what I am doing for that class involves technology and I don’t really like writing documentation. But sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it. I am really looking forward to the idea of talking about solutions for these kinds of problems at Faculty Academy, like really excited. I see this also be connected with something Martha recently blogged about, along similar lines with the FSEM. Basically, I am excited hah.
Jeff also responded to Joe’s post with a lengthy comment/post, there is one particular part that stuck out to me:
Yes, I’m asking students to do something new, or to push themselves, or to think about doing something in a different way, and yes, that potentially takes away from their time to read (or learn) about those darn battles, but that’s a choice I’ve made as the creator of the course. That choice is based in my desire to balance the skills and content portions of my class (that’s an over-stated dichotomy here) to provide the best possible experience for the students going forward, not just in that course, but hopefully in others as well.
This goes back to something I have been thinking about lately. What exactly is the purpose of higher education? Is it about content or is it something more? I would like to think that it involves more than content, in fact I can’t stand the thought of purely a content driven education. Personally, at this moment I am not planning to teach history (my major), or work at a museum, or necessarily do something along those lines. I am investing in a college education because of the experience and the skills, the content is more a coating on the pill to make it go down easier. This is just my opinion, but I am guess that the majority of students are traveling down this same road.
There is more I want to say, but its is too late and I have to get up early. More to come.