Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Drive Time

Science teacher emails Tech Coach about managing a wiki. History teacher speaks to Tech Coach about internal conflict, the desire to use vs. fear to operate technology.

Tech Coach immediately sets up time to meet at each teacher's home to provide support, instruction, and collaboration.

Tech Coach feels like doing this, even over the summer, is "a no-brainer".

Both teachers feel thankful, but befuddled by willingness to help.

I believe I'm right. I believe they'll benefit. But what I believe most of all, the 'thing' that matters most:

Their students will benefit.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Personal Blog

SWMB seeks SWFB for collaboration and sharing. Longing for tag clouds. Loves open-source, longing to twit. Admires a good box. Enjoys Skypes. Will Frappr if needed. No HTML, please. Just one question: are you my 2.0???

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Do you have 64 minutes and 28 seconds to spare?

If so, you can listen to the Information Fluency Meets Web2.0 presentation that Joyce Valenza and I gave at NECC.

Click below (Make sure you have a snack with you...and a drink...perhaps a comfy blanket...oh, and a full meal ready to go. You're bound to be hungry by the end).


Happy INTERdependence Day

A community gathers along the sinuous parade path.

They sit and intermittently stand to honor the veterans marching along the parade route.

The classic car drivers, local club teams, and music groups toss candy to children. The kids scurry and sprint to gather the treats; a mid-year homage to Halloween.

Strangers and neighbors share plans for the day. They reminisce about past parades.

And they never say it, but they offer one another comfort, acceptance, and belonging.

And they all accept; with arms outstretched.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

All hands on desk!

Yesterday was workshop day. I ran two sessions, one on blogs and the other on Web2.0 goodies.

These three hour sessions ran back-to-back, with a brief 30-minute hyperlink in-between.

Play by play summary:
7:30 - arrive and check that laptop computers 'play nice' with network. Playing well, indeed!

7:45 - decorate room in July 4th theme. All PD sessions at NECC recommended having a theme ('despair' was summarily rejected)

7:55 - first teacher arrives. Laptop unable to connect with SDST1.
7:57 - second teacher arrives. Laptop unable to connect with SDST1.

8:00 - move to library and log-in the old-fashioned way: tethered to our ports.

fast-forward to 1:00PM, five hours in to the workshop, in order to advance the purpose of this post:

1:00 - As the air suddenly feels saturated with eau-de-overwhelmed I stop and ask a question:

1:01 - "How many of you feel overwhelmed?"

1:01:08 - two-thirds raise their hands.

1:01:21 - "Overwhelmed or otherwise, how many of you are thinking about ways to integrate these tools into your curriculum to enhance the skills of your students?"

1:01:37 - all hands raised.

1:01:50 - "Okay, what ideas do you have?"

1:01:53 - icy silence (is there any other kind?).

And now I could make a myriad of points, but in the interest of keeping things neatly truncated, I share the following:

My immediate reaction: "Well, I suppose I understand the trepidation and now I suppose a true classroom of the future will be 87 minutes of silence."

My immediate internal dialogue: These are the obstacles: Verbal engagement. Participation in front of their peers.

Yes, a comment on my blog from a citizen of Malaysia is enticing, validating, and...well, cool, but shouldn't I be able to have even a moment of meaningful discourse with my classmates?

My latent fear: Uh-oh! What if a teacher sitting here re-evaluates her curriculum and wants to provide her students with more authentic levels of inquiry and problem-solving? What if she sets up a blog and they all post, post like bees to honey.

What if...

The taciturn student suddenly shines with a blogging voice so sonorous, it strikes blog comments of praise from her peers?

The disenfranchised student constructs an entry that actually suggests interest and, shocking to one and all, conveys a rudimentary understanding for the conventions of the writing process?

The truant is present in this on-line community; posting comments nightly, clearly paying attention and making more than one visit to the blog?

When they arrive to class, the teacher projects the blog, asks for some reflection, perhaps some extension, and they stare in icy silence?

Redesign a school. Develop a new curriculum. Go 1 to 1. Wireless. Web2.0. Blog. Wiki. Podcast. Twit, Ning, and Zoho all night long.

But is anybody really talking?

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Name Changes...Nothing

As Kristin Hokanson pointed out in a recent post, someone down at NECC mentioned the following:

Of the 5 questions who, what, when, where, why... 4 of them you can google—the only one you can’t is WHY--Well this has been rattling around in my head ever since.

One little word.

But really the point of everything we do in education.
I am often amazed that no one fired me from teaching in my first few years on the job. Reflecting back on my days as a neophyte, I often wonder if I made any impact at all.

The real joy in the integration of technology is not the technology, but the level of reflection, questioning, and creativity that drives everything I do.

Better yet is the impact it all has on my students.

There is no doubt that after ten years of teaching Hamlet, students in my class this past year had a deeper appreciation for and a heightened level of critical analysis due to their Hamlet blogs.

What did I see, in process and product?

1. Ownership over content.
2. Sharing with peers.
3. Thoughtful consideration of their message.
4. Meaningful integration and analysis of quotes.
5. Reflection and extension of individual and peer posts.
6. Creation of new content for an authentic audience.

And when it was over, I asked myself 'why'?

And today, seven months later, I am asking my faculty 'why?'.

And they struggle to answer.

And I know, it's about the why of it all.

web2.0 goodies workshop

a site with a ton of web2.0 goodies

Zoho - a site for polling/surveys

Toondoo - a site for cartooning! Endless ideas for integration!

BigHugeLabs - fun with photos

ImageChef - simple fun with photos - social bookmarking with 24hr. a day access from any computer!!!

Weebly - make a web page

Pandora - goodbye, radio!

VoiceThread - digital storytelling

Twitter - um...eerily addictive

Ideas for blogging

Here we are sharing ideas about ways to use a blog in our classrooms:

1. assign each student a country to blog about: include images, economy, facts, provide essential question and students can take turns answering and commenting

2. discussion to open up time in class

3. to provide think time

4. make a statement or claim and have students react (with SUPPORT!!!)

5. first a character, be an element

6. poetry analysis


Workshop #1 Not Available in Wireless!

Have you ever been disappointed? The world of wireless is not all that it's cracked up to be.

Visit ESPN! You'll love it!

go to cnn.

"bladlf ja dah;lkads k;ladjf; klasaklf ;ja;l fkja;ldfkj a;ldf akl djf a;d kja;ld fja;ldf ja;ld ja;lkdf ja;df klja;ldf ja;fd ja;dfj a;ld ja;dfjkasf;a"

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Agenda & Practice

So here is a post.

This is not the model post, but it's my blog, so...well...there you go.

Here is the agenda for today:
Theme: July 4th
Topic: Blogs!
Workshop Overview: Attendees will learn what a blog is, how to make one (they will make one), ways to integrate and why (always ask 'why?'), finding and subscribing to blogs.

1. Hello
2. Video and Survey
3. What is a blog? Should I allow such a weird word in my classroom?
4. Where are the "good" blogs? How do I subscribe to them? Welcome to Bloglines!
5. Blogger! Making your own blog. Understanding the dashboard! Tutorial. Play and Collaborate.
6. What else?

I am most excited by a question Chris Lehmann posed to us at NECC.

"what is the worst consequence of your best idea?"

Now I'd like to post a picture of me at NECC. It is a fabulous photo

Me standing in front of my presentation sign!

Here's a great link for, forgive me, digital natives.

A slideshow on blogs

Support Blogging!

Will Richardson's "Hand it in" to "Publish it"