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Sunday, September 02, 2018

Why Educators Must Teach Discussion

Hi, y'all,

Much better now. I slept upstairs last night for the first time since my bicycle accident. My sleep app, Sleep App, tells me that last night was the first really good night's sleep I've had in over a week, since I installed the pesky (but useful) thing. On the mend.

I actually "slept in" until nearly 7 a.m. this morning, a rarity for me. Once I carefully negotiated the stairs to the living room, I logged into my computer and of course went straight to Facebook, where I visited the ISTE Virtual Environments Network page (subscribe for updates on all things 3D and VR). That led me to our diva Mary Howard's post on, here:

which I find absolutely fascinating and motivating. Good job, Mary Mary! Somehow, and I am unable to retrace my steps, though I believe it was a recommendation on a sidebar at, I hit upon Howard Rheingold's fantastic article about student discussion, explicitly hosting them on discussion forums (remember them?) rather than on social media platforms, aka Facebook. Fascinating. Read it. Let it guide you to move into this arena for building students' thinking and communication skills.

Do you find yourself motivated to move toward this in your classrooms? Then go all the way with your time right now. Set aside a half hour or so to read the whole 21 page Edward Gallagher article Rheingold references at the end of his short piece, Teaching Students to Talk to Each Other: Improving the Discussion Board. I PROMISE your time will be well spent. Gallagher's metaphors and instructional design are completely, ineluctably, inspirational and practical! Do it. Do it now!


Gus by Scott Gardner Merrick  I wear these navy slacks I found behind O'Shaugnessy's, in the dumpster there. And they'r...