A group made to mentor two classes whose geographical distance from one another plays only a small role in how close they are.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Decided that I'd mix Brandon's obvious liking of videogames (see post after the one linked) with the observations in his post (which was very impressive). You can see the comment here.

Wow, great post! From what I can see your a pretty bright kid. So I won't spare the hard questions.

You say that his [Ponyboy's] senses are dulled from all the traumatic experiences. Do you think that virtual experiences (video game/movie violence) can end with a similar kind of psychological numbing?

The experiences you have in life and how you respond to them give one definition of who you are; how have the experiences Ponyboy has gone through define him (What kind of person has it made him)? So how do the experiences and how you react to them in video games and movies define/effect us?

Student Mentor


Lani said...

Hi Grey-M,

Great strategy, IMHO, picking up on a passion and assisting in making the connection to what's been read!! Bravo!!

I find myself reflecting upon my own strategies and all the ways I might improve in commenting as you forge ahead; thanks for pushing me to those reflections and teaching me.

Might I have your permission to use your in comments in an upcoming presentation I'll be giving in February at the eTech Ohio Conference? They are exemplary examples of dialogue that pushes students to think more deeply. I'm going to request MrSiWy's permission also.

In a graduate course about facilitating online learning, it was suggested that posing numerous questions could be confusing to students and fail to sharpen focus or deepen learning. They called it "the question mill". Now that you can speak from the perspective of both mentor and student, what might be your reaction to this suggestion?


Grey-M said...

Hello Lani,
You most definitely have my consent to use my comments!
When it comes to multiple questions in general I'd say that for a person who wants to learn one is enough. They will answer it in full, thoughtfully and probably cover questions you would ask after. A rare breed of students. For most I can see many questions being good as long as they lead along a path (scaffolded). Each one progressively probing further guiding thought processes. Too many questions going in too many different directions would certainly dull the effectiveness. It would be like working out your upper body then switching to your lower body really quickly. Your arms are pumped but your working your legs... get my drift? Answer your question well enough?

Lani said...

Hi Grey-M,

A terrific answer, thank you! Articulate and insightful! I believe I’ve got the drift, despite my unfamiliarity with working out. :-) a great failing on my part--

I concur with your thoughts that a series of questions that scaffold the construction of meaning toward a specific focus can be of great value. I am thinking that a maximum of 3 or 4 questions might be most effective, particularly in an online venue.

I am surprised that you differentiated strategies for students who are intrinsically motivated to learn from other students and am wondering if that is a reflection of your life’s experiences?

Best wishes,