As research and projects are moving forward in my 8th grade tech classes, I am finding students have a hard time asking for help from a content expert. I think, in part, it is being shy, but I also think this has to do with not thinking in this kind of way before and doing asking. I’ll be honest, I have a hard time with this too because I am not used to reaching out to ask another person for help with the Web as the resource. Somehow it is taboo. As I am helping my students get comfortable reaching out to others who can help them, I am getting used to the idea too.
The Web is filled with all kinds of folks who are good and bad – no secret there. I cannot be afraid of all of the bad otherwise I negate the good that can come from using people resources there. This is what I am trying to teach my students. The good that can be found outweighs the bad.
Something else I noticed today was how ill practiced students are at real world – professional if you will – working. One of the girls was going to write an email to Dr. Joel Haber who started the respectu website for anti-bullying. She had a really difficult time remembering and using normal letter format. As we went step by step through the process of writing this email, it dawned on me that students know full well how to write a letter in class having practiced it but have difficulty applying it in a real world context.
This is the crux of what I am trying to teach – real world learning and working.