In addition to appreciating the list of learning object repositories given by Susan Cramer’s article, I found the article useful in terms of my own understanding of what a learning object actually is; “smaller resources put together to support the curricular content your students must master” (127), most useful in illustrating complex processes and concepts. I found it interesting that these learning objects are defined as such in terms of their relatively narrow focus in relation to particular topics, especially those which may be difficult for students to understand from explanation alone. I was also intrigued by her identification of 3 distinct phases of technology use, underscoring the fact that too many classrooms are mired in the first phases of merely replacing paper-based formats. Simply using technology does not make one a ‘21st Century Teacher’, according to Miss Cramer.
I found it refreshing to read Passe’s and Evans’ assertion that attempts to convey teacher neutrality in controversial discussion settings are essentially a farce; I couldn’t agree more. Students are more perceptive than even they realize themselves, and a neutral facade could actually be worse if students are not aware of the bias being fed to them. Full disclosure and impartiality seem far more practical; no teacher can eliminate bias completely from their instruction. I do remember being frustrated as a student when teachers refused to add anything to the discussions that I had worked hard to contribute to, as the authors predict.