Ok, in fairness to both the author of this poorly written and what I quite frankly feel is a damaging article published in American Educator I have decided to finish my notes on the article:
"At my former school, I led lunchtime literature clubs...The fifth-grade group read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn...We discussed Huck's confusion...The discussion was slow, with pauses. At one point the room fell into a long silence. One student said, 'Ms. Senechal, you're quite today!' Another student responded, 'She's thinking. There's a lot to think about here.'...I am proud that the students were able to appreciate the quite in the room." ¶21-Does this story really illustrate a focus on student learning or is the focus on the teacher's learning? So far in this article all the content learning she has been talking about has been about teachers acquiring content knowledge so they can pass it on to their students. Very little mention of student acquisition of or construction of knowledge.
"Teachers should not have to give up intellectual authority in the classroom; they should bring their knowledge, insight, and expertise to students." ¶22-Completely reinforces my assessment of the previous paragraph and clearly states her philosophy that teachers impart knowledge to students.
"One of the benefits of apprenticeship is that it allows for a long period of learning." ¶23-Is she implying that one ceases to learn when they finish school and enter a profession?
"Twitter, Facebook, and texting add nothing to Skakespeare; they are only distractions." ¶27-Used ineffectively this statement is correct. However, it is not the tool that is important with successful tech integration, it is how it is used. Used effectively these tools can deepen a student's understanding of content and increase student motivation to engage in the content. This author is clearly missing the boat on this point entirely.
"They learn much more about technology this way than they would by blogging and texting-activities they likely pursue on their own."¶27-It is precisely because they likely pursue these activities on their own that make them applicable in the classroom as a medium of engagement. When using these tools to teach Shakespeare it is still Shakespeare the students are learning, whatever learning about blogging and texting that occurs is secondary and ought not be assessed. Additionally, we have a moral obligation to use these tools in our teaching because the use of them affords us the opportunity to teach students how to be ethical and safe when online. By this logic we could also argue that classroom strategies that include talking or listening don't need to be used in school because they are "activities they likely pursue on their own."
-Again, where is she getting this view of learner-centered classrooms? This seems more true of "traditional" classrooms than "21st century" ones.
"Deeper engagement is sacrificed for a more trivial kind, and quiet, independent thought has little place." ¶28
"We do nothing to elevate the level of communication by having them read an write blogs, watch and make videos, an send text messages and tweets during English and history classes. Students know how to use the equipment, but their writing ability remains deplorably weak, forcing colleges to offer remedial writing courses and to assist students with basic writing throughout their undergraduate years." ¶32-Blogs, video, text messages, and tweets are all new and important forms of communication. Engaging students with these forms of communication in any class elevates student literacy in these new mediums. This is the same as arguing that having students engage in oral presentation erodes their ability to write or visa versa. It is also like saying that if a student learns a second language their ability to communicate in their first language will suffer Additionally, colleges and universities offering remedial writing courses is not a new phenomenon, they were doing it before the advent of social media. There has been no study that can substantiate these claims. Otherwise I am sure the author would have made sure to mention it.
"We could seek ways to combine disciplined practice with inspiring lessons, projects, and discussions." ¶34-In other words, learner-centered, constructivist, project-based, progressive, 21st Century classrooms.