Monday, April 11, 2011

Professional Reading #9

Selsberg, A. (2011, March 19). Teaching to the Text Message. The New York Times. Retrieved from:

This article is about a college professor using the inspiration of popular media and websites to get students to stay engaged in English and learn to write concisely. I definitely think the ability to write a long term paper is one that all college students should attain, but, I also think there’s something to be said for teaching English through the use of popular forms of communication and technology. It is so important to be able to relate to young students and what is of interest to them at that moment. Formulating assignments around popular websites and social networking sites like Twitter and YouTube is a great way to keep students interest, but I would hope that the professor would do so without sacrificing any English content that should be learned. I especially loved the idea of having students write a book review to post on Amazon. That’s a great way to get students to think reflectively about books they are reading and share them with others, all while using a popular website. I like the idea of keeping assignments concise to keep up with popular forms of communication such as texts and Twitter, but also so that the professor can spend more time on each student’s assignment. It is more difficult for me to write a one page paper than a five page paper. Being concise and keeping our thoughts limited and to the point is a valued skill we should all learn and linking this lesson to popular new media which young students can relate to is a wonderful way to do it.

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