The School Newspaper of Presentation High School.

The Voice

Get Out of My Face, Blendspace

Google Images

Google Images

Leah DiBenedetto, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






You’re walking into your 4th period class, only one more for the day, finally. You settle into class hoping the teacher will show a movie or do a quick lecture on a lesson, but instead she says you guys are going to do a Blendspace. What?! You have to teach yourself a lesson? You have to look at this screen and do work ALL period? This is the last thing you need to top off your day.

Recently, this has been the situation for many of us in our classes. Along with the iPads issued to every Presentation student this school year comes the use of many new applications, websites and programs that are supposed to help us learn more effectively. Sadly, Blendspace really isn’t one of them.

Blendspace is a website that allows teachers to create lesson plans for their students using all types of programs such as YouTube videos, note sheets, and Powerpoints. They can even create small quizzes for the students to take to ensure they are understanding the material. Even though it has many cool features, Blendspace is not the program teachers should be using to teach students lessons and frankly, students just hate it.

Science teacher Diane Rosenthal gives some insight in to why she uses Blendspace, saying, “I use it because everyone learns different ways and it is also good for students to have to learn how to read information and determine what is important.” She also says she likes how students can learn the new material at their own pace.

Although Blendspace caters to different learning styles, such as visual, auditory and even kinesthetic, the program cannot replace the teacher. Since Blendspace can be used to replace a lecture or demonstration, the students are expected to work independently and quietly and often cannot get clarification from the teacher. Therefore, they do not learn the material as well. Often times they are just left with a massive sheet of notes taken, not knowing which points were the most important and focusing on small details instead of the larger concepts.

“I would prefer a lecture because you can ask the teacher direct questions if you are confused on a specific subject or problem involved in a lesson,” junior Emily Carollo explained.

A lecture from a teacher is much more interactive and engaging in the classroom setting. If Blendspace is used in replacement, students are more likely to become distracted and less engaged in their learning, which results in students retaining less of the information. Also, students are stuck staring at their screens all class period. Not only can this get incredibly boring, but only working with one program the whole time could make a student go crazy in the long 85-minute periods.

Another issue students are frustrated with is that teachers tend not to realize how long a Blendspace activity may take. Reading four articles, taking notes on a powerpoint, watching 3 YouTube videos and then being quizzed on the material isn’t exactly the quickest assignment to finish. Since all students learn the material at different speeds, this overwhelming amount of work could become a conflict for many, forcing them to rush through the material and not focus as well.

The final problem is that the format of Blend Space on the iPads is often hard to maneuver. Blend Space was originally made to be used on a laptop, but not every student brings a laptop to school, forcing most to use their iPads. On the iPads you are unable to save the note sheets and powerpoints that the teacher posts for you, but on the computer you can. Also, when using Blendspace on the iPad, the links to an article or a YouTube video can be challenging to find, while on the computer, the article or video will just pop up.

Overall, Blend Space can be a cool new way for students to explore their different learning styles and a good way for teachers to occasionally present material, but it should not be used in replacement of an entire lecture or leaving students to individually teach themselves new material. Rather, teachers should use it as a short aid to a lesson they have already taught or use it engagingly during their own lectures to give students the most benefits of the program.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

One Response to “Get Out of My Face, Blendspace”

  1. Eric Buell on March 11th, 2015 4:14 pm

    Ms. DiBenedetto:

    I thought your article on Blendspace was insightful, there were a variety of issues that were highlighted that are good tools of reflections for teachers at Presentation. Every teacher should be mindful of falling into a “too much content trap” that could get in the way of effective learning. Deciding how much content to teach in a given class period should be the bedrock of every lesson that is designed for students. One must be aware that the amount of content should be balanced with the amount of time given to students.

    Nor should Blendspace act as a substitute for a teacher; a teacher should spend enough time designing the content on Blendspace in order for it to be an effective and interactive guide with the material.

    The concerns regarding the iPad are often felt by instructors as well; we need to ensure that whatever we assign can be accessed via the iPad to level the playing field in class. No student should have an advantage because of access to a higher powered machine.

    I do take issue with one aspect of your article: the clamoring for more lecturing. I am not opposed to a straight forward lecture, but consider how little it demands of students, especially if the teacher provides the lecture slides in advance. A student could simply sit there, tuning in or not, and be required to take part in absolutely none of the educational experience. This type of teaching could also encourage a “sponge mentality” where one simply memorizes an intense amount of information for a very short period of time. How will this help students get ready for college? For the 21st century? For a future job? In short, not requiring any independent work or encouraging collaboration and discussion will leave Presentation students inadequately prepared. While I would never advocate removing the lecture from a teaching perspective, we absolutely need to have students take more ownership of the classroom experience.

    [Reply]

We do not post comments that feature profanity or bad taste. We reserve the right to edit comments for length.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Top Stories

    San Jose Makes Taylor Swift Blush As She Returns To The Stage

  • Get Out of My Face, Blendspace

    Features

    You Are What You Eat

  • Get Out of My Face, Blendspace

    Features

    Hurricanes Hit Home

  • Get Out of My Face, Blendspace

    Features

    Black and White: Change is Good

  • Get Out of My Face, Blendspace

    Features

    Feeling Blue on Halloween

  • Get Out of My Face, Blendspace

    Lifestyle

    Short Hair Don’t Care

  • Get Out of My Face, Blendspace

    Features

    Innovation, Representation, and Presentation

  • Get Out of My Face, Blendspace

    Special Features

    Countdown of Best Halloween Movies: Scary and Not Scary

  • Get Out of My Face, Blendspace

    Pres

    Free Dress Challenge

  • Get Out of My Face, Blendspace

    Top Stories

    Moana Movie Review

The School Newspaper of Presentation High School.
Get Out of My Face, Blendspace