I have finally posted my WAC program on its own page for everyone to see. It is WEST — Writing eBay Style Today. I created this course because I have taught several people how to sell on eBay, and I feel writing is a vital part of creating a listing on eBay. My WEST Course is a different way of looking at WAC. Instead of writing across the curriculum, it is writing across the categories. Writing well is a must in describing an item to a waiting audience. Check out my WAC program here.

I just watched the music video “Wordplay” by Jason Mraz, mainly because of the title of his song. His lyrics reminded of what we’ve been doing in our WAC class this summer:

“Are you prepared to take a dive into the deep end of my head?
Are you listening to a single word I’ve said?”

As crazy as this video gets, it makes a whole lot more sense to me now. As a class, we have taken that dive into the deep end of each other’s heads, not only listening to what we’ve said, but expanding on it, adding to it. And just like Jason likes to “mix and mingle” in his lyrics, that’s what we’ve learned about in music, writing, and ideas. Isn’t it crazy how everything relates back to WAC for each of us, now?

Writing every day
I’m writing while I’m learning
WAC’s the way to be

Sent from my iPad=

Adalyn ~ Our iBaby ~ enjoying her birthday cake...sorta

So, last Wednesday I completed my case study (whew!) you can check it out on the “USC is WIN-ning” page. And tonight I just finished my “Give me OER Every Time!” page, if you’d like to check it out. In it, I reference my granddaughter who we jokingly call our iBaby because of all the digital technology she has at her fingertips already at just one year of age. She lives in an Apple computer family, and has technology all around her, even in her crib! In writing my response about an OER (Open Educational Resource) on that page, I stumbled across an article on edutopia.org called “The 21st Century Digital Learner: How tech-obsessed iKids would improve our schools.” by Mark Prensky, and I was so enthralled by what he wrote, I had to write a post on it!

First, Mark Prensky starts off with a model of any corporation. In business, you allow the customer to have input in shaping the product. After all, you produce the product for the customer to use. If you ignore the customer, your sales will drop. Viewing education in the same way, the customer is the student. Most students don’t have a say in their own education. They are expected to sit in school all day long without having any input in what or how they are taught. Prensky relates this to the way women were treated before women’s suffrage. Their opinions held no weight. Students have no say in the structure of their own education. Just as women now have an equal voice in politics, Prensky feels that students should have “an equal voice in their own education. Or else our students will drop out (as they are doing), shoot at us (ditto), sue us, riot, or worse.” No wonder kids are bored in school!

Prensky goes on to list several possible reasons for student boredom in school. 1) Student boredom “comes from the contrast with the more engaging learning opportunities kids have outside of school.” If there’s no technology in the classroom setting, how can that hold the students’ attention? 2) “Continuous partial attention (CPA)” or the need “to be a live node on the network,” keeps people always needing to check in so as not to miss anything that might be happening. School is just an interruption to this live feed. 3) Kids are just not listening. They have tuned out educators long ago.

How does Prensky know this? He started having panels of kids at his talks around the country, and he asked them to be honest in their answers to his questions. What he found out blew all the possible reasons mentioned above out of the water. “Today’s kids hate being talked at. They hate when teaching is simply telling. They hate lectures and tune them out.” Today’s students are begging to be listened to, and they want to engage in their classes. Many students, when asked, had ideas for shaping their own education. “More than half of all secondary school students are excited about using mobile devices to help them learn; only 15 percent of school leaders support this idea” (Source: Project Tomorrow. Credit: David Julian). This has to change. We are losing our students at an increasing rate, and unless we stop to listen, it will only get worse. We as educators have to discover ways to incorporate the students’ technology in the classroom as part of the instruction.

Most teachers use the direct teaching method (lecturing) because they say it best way to impart knowledge. Prensky asserts that teachers use this method because that is all they know. He feels it’s time for teachers to change the way they approach teaching. “Students universally tell us they prefer dealing with questions rather than answers, sharing their opinions, participating in group projects, working with real-world issues and people, and having teachers who talk to them as equals rather than as inferiors.” We just don’t listen enough to our students. Prensky suggests “we must combine top-down directives with bottom-up input” to keep our students engaged. It’s time to use our iKids to restructure their own education.

I have a confession to make: I am a logophile (a lover of words). I love words! I love to read and find interesting words. I love to roll them around in my mind and in my mouth. I love the texture, the flavor, the hue of words. I like to play with words and see the combinations and connections I can make with words. There are times that I have been accused of being verbose (given to wordiness), especially when I write. Perhaps that’s why I’ve always enjoyed English. You see, writing is my fetish. (Now, there’s a fun word!)

Remember in elementary school when everyone wanted to spell Mississippi in the spelling bee? We all felt so intelligent rattling off the letters as fast as we could for such a long word. Speaking of long words, remember antidisestablishmentarianism? We bantered back and forth at how that was the longest word we knew (and could pronounce)! We even propounded about the definition, which is actually the belief (back in 19th century England) that opposes removing the tie between church and state. So, if you were for removing the tie between church and state, would you believe in nonantidisestablishmentarianism? It truly boggles the mind!

For my hippopotomononstrosesquipedalianism (love of long words), I offer you a few choice selections. First, for those who love Shakespeare (who, by the way, also had a way with words!), I give you honorificabilitudinitatibus (with honor), used by Shakespeare in Love’s Labor’s Lost (Costard; Act V, Scene I). How absolutely magnificent! Then there’s Mary Poppins’ answer to long words — supercalifragilisticexpialidocious — which is purely a nonsensical word to say when you don’t know what else to say (and, interestingly enough, is the only long word so far in this post that MS Word didn’t balk at). I suppose this makes me a sesquipedalianist (a person who uses long words).

Before this post dwindles down into disproportionableness (the state of being out of proportion), and I begin to babble incomprehensibilities (unintelligible things), I must cease and desist (which actually means to stop for now and take up later). I definitely would not want to cause anyone out there who might have hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia (the fear of long words—how ironic!) any type of excruciation. And so ends a completely superfluous post!

Writing across the curriculum is
Really so
Intimidating at first,
Till you find that you can
Integrate it with all you do. So don’t
Narrow your expectations of what you’re
Going to discover,
And you will find
Connections between each subject or vocation!
Right from the beginning,
Origin, or
Set aside some
Time to write each day or every night.
Having as your goal
Each audience you have
Can focus your own writing and
Unleash a hidden talent.
Ridiculous as it may seem, just
Rapturously write, and
In no time at all you’ll see
Correlations that pop
Up between the areas of your
Life. You may not understand
Until you try this for yourself, so
My advice to you is simply just to WRITE!

Ok, wacmrsl and lcglassford, I made my own Wordle using this blog, and here it is…

Wordle: WAC

Just click on it to see it full-sized.