Since my trip to EduCon and SLA, I haven’t been able to sit still. I am
filled with an energy I can’t quite describe. This week alone, I’ve
worked on/helped with/logged into/twittered with/discovered…..
- our history teacher’s project where students research, upload powerpoint to Voice Thread, embed on a wiki with rest of the research, and share
- interesting new voices online-more people to follow on Twitter and more blogs to read
- a new presentation for our juniors and seniors about their online presence and how to create a positive one
- Mr.Mayo’s students’ sites–powerful
- Be Very Afraid, thanks to David Warlick.
with my "skeptic," whom I took to EduCon. He has changed his American
History class as of today. And I enjoy his challenging questions; they
make me think
- the fourth grade Voice Threads with Kim Cofino’s group…we are commenting away
- questions from a language teacher about wikis
- online PD with Robin Ellis and Darren Draper
- Tweets to new found friends that I can now picture
- my new computer–more memory and lighter:)
- twitter with my colleague Jennifer (jclarkevans)
am so grateful for the opportunity to learn and share. Mostly it was
the opportunity to hear new voices, re-focus my own goals, and plan for
this semester in a meaningful way.
You know when reality can’t possibly live up to the anticipation? I had prepared myself for that possibility–that I would arrive at SLA and find just another school.
That the edubloggers I had been chatting with would just be people. Well, ok, they are just people. But fun people, thoughtful people!
But so far, this event has given me much to take home and share with colleagues.
The students are bright and articulate. We had the chance to chat with a group at the end of the day in an advisory period. We asked what the best part of being at SLA was and, by far, the answer given most often was "we are respected and allowed a voice here."
Not the technology, though that’s evident and used effectively.
The teachers clearly love what they do, and Chris Lehmann, the principal has shared a clear vision of what the school should be.
Tori, the Spanish teacher who is with me asked if their experience at school helped them in their internships (they have wonderful opportunities to intern and study in the community once a week during release time). A young man, hair in his eyes, slouched in his chair, raised his hand. "My internship is working with scouts. When I need to teach them, I model my teaching after how my teachers here teach–in ways that I don’t get bored–in ways that really keep my attention." Great answer. Bing, bing.
Keith, our Latin/history teacher, commented on how the students seem so engaged and intellectually curious. Most classes are loud and active, but there is obvious learning going on his this school.
Tomorrow, we will have a chance to share what we’ve seen and talk what makes this work. David Warlick says it well, so please go read this. He says this:
"…you have to walk out of this school with more optimism about education than you walked in with."
I agree, David.
The last several days have been filled with exciting learning moments for me. I spent much of the time working on proposals for Will’s and Sheryl’s Powerful Learning Practice program. We hope to be the contact/organizing school for Virginia and surrounding locations, but that means I need to find 19 other schools to join us. I’ve been writing and phoning, posting on lists and nings, and talking to teachers at my school in hopes of making this work. I want this!
Yesterday, I also met with several new teachers to begin projects, good projects that use technology in meaningful ways. For us, it’s a great start.
Then, last night, two colleagues came to my house around 6pm to set up for some online professional development a la Darren Draper and Robin Ellis at Open PD. Sue Waters chimed in as well as Jeff Utecht–wow–that’s all I can say. Spending time chatting online, watching Darren and Robin teach, and figuring out Skype was invigorating for all of us. (Next time I’ll remember to actually exit Skype instead of minimizing it when I hook external speakers to my laptop so others can hear!)
Today I spent time in three eighth-grade classes working on wikis and research. They jumped right in, and I loved looking around the room to watch learning happening.
After school, I met with the history department. And, although I was hit with some challenging questions about our vision of student learning and where we are headed with all this, I felt like it was a good start to a much-needed conversation about 21st century learning.
Tomorrow. Well, tomorrow, I am going to EduCon.
I hope to join conversations and learn more about how best to work with faculty and students. Plus, I’m taking two teachers with me: my favorite skeptic and a new teacher who is eager to learn. Should be fun!
I’ll live blog and Twitter as much as I can, so stay tuned!
Seth Godin, author of The Dip and other great business books, says schools squash curiosity…
I think that’s often true. One of the greatest gifts we can give our students and our own children is a desire to learn, to be curious, to ask questions and find truth.
I love this.
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From seth godin’s blog, an observation: why aren’t there such things a digital coaches?
“Here’s what I haven’t found: people who charge $100 an hour to hear what you do and how you do it and then show you how to do it better. People who organize data and put it in the right place. People who overhaul the way small groups use technology so they can use it dramatically better. People who use copilot to take over a PC and actually rearrange it so that it works better.”
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