Megan's Classroom Connection

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Graduation March 30, 2010

Filed under: Classroom Culture,College Ed.,Uncategorized — meganmeyering @ 9:58 am
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I was in my Popular American Culture class today and the topic of graduation as a ritual was brought up.

Our instructor informed us that the robes we wear actually link back to robes that monks wore long ago and related that to the obvious topic on the minds of the seniors at Michigan State University. He also brought up the idea that graduation is a ritual or ceremony that really gives a person identity.

Talking about graduation as a way to give someone identity makes me wonder if that is a good thing and if it is why don’t we have more kindergarten and elementary graduations? A family friend back home teaches kindergarten and does her own classroom graduation every year. I understand that this takes her personal time and money, but I think it is really important and gives the students a great sense of pride in themselves.

Elementary graduations do not have to happen every year or be full-out celebrations, but I do think that teachers really need to make an effort of celebrating the completion of every grade. Moving up in grades is a big deal and students should feel as though they have really accomplished something when they do so!


Computers in College February 22, 2010

Recently I was in a lecture where the instructor threatened to make the class “a computer free zone.”

I understand when instructors want students to pay attention and that computers tend to distract students, but threatening a group of adults who are paying to be there, a line has been crossed. I really want to reiterate that I am not saying instructors are in the wrong asking for laptops and cell phones to be put away for a time when information is being presented. My question is;  how far is the instuctor really allowed to go? I mean isn’t kind of my right to have my laptop in class? She seemed to take the use of technology very personally so I thought I would clear up a few things about college kids and their laptops.

In the same class last semester, it is a two part class, there was not an issue with laptops. This new problem can be atrributed to a few things.

1. We are seniors and it’s second semester. It’s hard to concentrate senior year, let alone second semester. This is not an excuse all together but rather a rationale for why computers are not the problem.

2. Even without computers I think that students get distraced with other things. Cell phones, papers, looking out the window and day dreaming are common distractioins.

3. Sometimes the lecture is just boring and not interesting.

4. I’m probably going to get on my computer and yes I may check my email, but if the instructor is boring then yes again I will probably surf the internet and attempt to get more homework done.

Students need to pay attention but it is also the responsibility of the teacher to make an engaging lecture or presentation.  Classroom engagement, at the college level,  is the responsibility of both the student and the teacher and depends on what each thinks is important.