"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Why Do I Blog?

Writing on a daily basis hundreds of words that hopefully make some sense on a topic related to basic education demands quite a bit. Making these sentences attract a reader is even harder. As a scientist, ensuring that the information shared is based on evidence and not on opinions certainly adds to the required effort. Research also limits what can be said. At the end, one still has to compete with sound bites. It is really difficult to compete with tweets and one-liner posts on Facebook. It is amazing how easily a hoax can spread through social media. There are now "internet memes" that combine images with catchy phrases or statements. All of these of course combine to make anyone's Facebook (those who have at least 100 "friends") home page require updating every minute. One can share snippets from a news article, research paper, or blog, and see how much faster the number of likes or shares on Facebook grows while page views or visits to the actual piece lags behind.

So, why blog? A sophomore student, Sarah Almeda, at Milford High School offers a great perspective. She maintains a blog called "Avogadro Salad" as a project in an honors chemistry course in high school. The following is an example of an article (copied and pasted here without permission):


The above post continues with the actual organic compounds responsible for skunk odor:



So, why does Sarah blog? Well, Sarah recently wrote a guest post in Eric Sheninger's blog, A Principal's Reflection:


Sarah also provides additional reasons on why she blogs, reasons that are beyond just fulfilling a course requirement:
...A personal blog’s also the perfect place to vent my feelings. After articulating my emotions to an Internet audience, I realize I’m better understanding myself. In an Internet world where that wretched teenspeak is the preferred language on nearly all social media platforms (bc my insta captions/ tumblr posts r like so articulate lol jk idec) blogging is a practice that expands learning way beyond the walls of the classroom. It encourages self-improvement and dedication in a way that I don’t believe can be taught as well as it can be experienced. And it's addictively fun....
In an analogous fashion, this blog, Philippine Basic Education is an alternative to the "wretched", yet more popular way of looking at education. It is more common to see posts in social media that speak of "teaching students how to think or how to make decisions". How can we think when there is nothing to think about? How can we make decisions wisely when we are not informed? It is less likely to see posts that actually carry some substance. This blog is now more than a year old, but it is not so much about how much I have shared. It is really more about how much I have learned regarding education....





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