A blog scavenger hunt: methods of teaching

I was sent on a scavenger hunt for information by Casting Out Nines. I was intrigued by the methods of teaching he quoted and wanted to read and cite the original, so I followed a link in “Blogging as Teaching,” winding my way through the internet.

My second stop was Weblogg-ed and his article “Bloggy Research” article, along with “Blogging as Learning.” The idea of blogging and empirical research interested me. I would love to do a paper for a conference again. It’s been years. I miss that.

And I was fascinated by the different reaction towards blogging from the quote he cited, “…we need to move the profession towards a space where we’re more aware of blogging as professional activity” versus the things I have seen previously in the Chronicle of Higher Ed and discussed by John Bruce.

That sent me off reading other things by John Bruce that aren’t related to what I was looking for in the first place, so I won’t distract you, if you are following me around.

So back to Weblogg-ed. Directly under the quote which is quoted by Casting out Nines, Will Richardson wrote, “What’s interesting to me is how the items in that list have less to do with teaching than facilitating and creating a learning environment.”

What is the difference between teaching on the one hand and facilitating and creating a learning environment on the other? Did it have anything to do with why I originally went leaping through the blogosphere? (The fact that I was contrasting which ones I used in homeschooling as opposed to those I implemented in the college classroom.) I may have to go back to this in another post.

But on to the blog hunt!

Weblogg-ed sent me on to Christopher D. Sessums article “A Blog is More than a Communication Tool.”

I found there a fascinating area of explanations for how folks like me use their blogs. How I use mine was not up there, which may lead to another other post.

For a tantalizing hint some of the options were: to teach, as a digital immigrant to learn the web, outboard brain, and as a means of gaining recognition. (Mine is closest to the outboard brain.)

But I still hadn’t found what I was looking for. (U2 just went off in my head.)

So I followed Sessums’ link to “Deep Learning for a Digital Age” from Teachopolis, which is, apparently, the source of the quote I was so fascinated by. It’s a book by Van D. Weigel, published in 2002 and on the web. Love that.

The whole book “Argues that in order for technology to be used in higher education…” it should do some stuff. But the idea is that it was about technology in higher ed. Interesting. So I read on, looking for the quote I started off to find on this scavenger hunt through the virtual neighborhood.

I saw many things I disagree with. (3rd other post.)

But then I found the quote. I had arrived at the end!


Turns out the quote in the book on the net is a quote from another book, not on the net, from before the age of information overload. Seely-Brown, Collins, & Duguid (1989) Or maybe it’s not a book but a paper. I haven’t read that far yet.

But, here is the quote, from Teachopolis, which is far as this scavenger hunt can go online.

Six Teaching Methods that Facilitate Cognitive Apprenticeship

1) Modeling: the teacher “puts his/her mind on display”

2) Coaching: teachers observe students in the performance of a task, offering feedback

3) Scaffolding: helping a student complete a task slightly more difficult than the student is capable of completing on his/her own.

4) Articulating: drawing students out verbally, helping to convert tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge

5) Reflecting: debriefing, replaying and discussion after an activity

6) Exploring: students tackle new areas on their own

It is introduced by this statement which I also find intriguing (4th other post?): “The notion of “cognitive apprecticeship” argues in favor of teaching thinking via a modified form of the apprenticeship model.”

I am particularly interested due to my notation, and thus my remembering, of my students’ reaction to the idea that doctors and lawyers used to be apprenticed.

Apparently some folks are arguing we should go back to an apprenticeship model. (Is that what homeschooling is? 5th other post.)

Update: The actual original article from which the information is from can be found here. Cool. Bad. Now I have something ELSE to read.

But the book, Deep Learning for a Digital Age, part of which is on Teachopolis, is the source of the quote. In the paper it is not that clear cut and is not in a list, but rather has additional explication and examples.

So I did win the scavenger hunt! I found the original source.

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