Time to talk

Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Because we are so limited by time constraints at my school, I decided to invite teachers to "conversations" every Thursday and Friday during lunch.
I envisioned a time to discuss broad topics such as: how do we learn? what role does technology play? what can we do to prepare our students for the future?
Thursday’s group seemed to go well. Because the network was down, I couldn’t show the video I wanted. Instead, we chatted about middle-schoolers who can’t seem to focus for more than 5 minutes. On Friday, I had prepared an article and the network was back up, so I wanted to show the video, too. Instead of leading into the discussion, I tried to force a discussion about the article,which no one had had time to read. And then, I played the vid (Michael Wesch’s latest). With barely 3 minutes, left, I tried to get feedback.
Arrrgghhh. Why do I feel the need to control? I want this to be a relaxing time, a few moments in the day for teachers to just talk, share ideas, learn something new.
Thanks to my friend Jennifer, who reminded me of my original intent for the group, I realized what had happened.
We’ll start again next week.

I need to practice

Last night we had Anastasia Goodstein, author of Totally Wired, What Your Teens and Tweens are Really Doing Online, speak at our school. Her message was right on target, and we loved hearing her validate what we have been saying to our parents and teachers. However, it was raining–for the first time in what, months? I suppose everyone decided to stay home, as we had fewer than 25 (including administrators and teachers) in the audience. Too bad. They missed a good session.
At the last minute, I realized I could try to capture her speech using Ustream, so I plugged in the webcam minutes before she started, and clicked Go Live.
Well, I thought I was. But I wasn’t.
I’m not sure what I did, but nothing recorded, unfortunately. I shouldn’t try to wing these things! Next time, I"ll be more prepared.
And next time, I hope we have a better turnout.