Winding Down?

After two days of cold,pouring rain, the skies are beginning to clear in Virginia. It’s mid-May, and it should be hot and sunny. Normally, the warm weather signals a winding down of the school year for all of us.
This year, though, I feel like we are gearing up.
We are finally putting finishing touches on our involvement with the Powerful Learning Practice led by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson. I had hoped for more Virginia schools, however we have a strong contingent to join Elizabeth Helfant from St. Louis, several schools from New England, and 10 schools from New Zealand. The Virginia schools are Christchurch School, Randolph Macon Academy, St. Christopher’s School, and Fredericksburg Academy. We are the host school, so all face-to-face events will be held here.
To say I’m excited is an understatement. This is a great opportunity to put into practice what we’ve been working toward all year–a chance to collaborate professionally with schools around the world and to create a professional network of teachers all working on the same goals.
This summer I hope to arrange several opportunities for teachers to get up to speed on using various tools to enhance their collaboration. My short list includes:

  • Google Docs
  • RSS
  • SlideShare
  • Wiki Spaces

Watching these teachers learn to blog and network with others online shows me how powerful this reflective practice can be. But even those not blogging yet have started using wikis and Google Docs for class collaboration and video creation for student-centered learning. I miss having a class of my own!
Richardson commented about two schools he visited in Australia recently, saying…

Both are ripe for the ways in which technology can supplement real
learning in the classroom, not just information processing. Obviously,
there is much more about the culture and the infrastructure and the
climate that goes into all of this.

It is that connected culture and climate at FA that will allow us to continue this work with our students.
Image: ‘The Brindabella Light Show