With a little help from my friends…..


I left school yesterday feeling rather discouraged. Change is hard, and I was feeling it.
Today, though, the world seemed to shift:

  •  a math teacher came to say a document I'd created (with help from my network) would be a help in figuring out 21st century skills in the math department…and did I know of a way she could try using wikis again in her class? Did I? How about an extra tablet to allow students to share their probem-solving?
  • an English teacher emailed to share that her work with online collaboration has been recognized by NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) as an example of a Story of Excellence. Go Jen!
  • our MS librarian stopped me to say: "I didn't get, but now I get it! It's not only about the laptops, this 21st century learning." And then she shared a fabulous idea about using our MS students to teach others about online ethics.
  • a MS history teacher flagged me down to share a great site for creating online newspapers she'd found and planned to use with her students this year. They'll "track history" all year.
  • a high school teacher in our PLP stopped by to tell me she showed the other history teacher how to use blogs for our students' Senior Exhibits and then how to use RSS to keep up with their posts. He was excited and came to see me to ask how to use an online tool to create a presentation to show a visiting Congressman next week–a way to have students tell him what their hope for their future is. Let's see: Voice Thread? Google Docs? (He also recently used an online survey app to poll students about political issues before and after students' speeches.)
  • our French teacher sent some of her students' VoiceThreads, saying the best part was hearing how successful her students were with using their target language.
  • my own students managed to use a Google Doc to begin a discussion of Elie Wiesel's Night. They opened Google accounts, created a document, shared it with several other students, and sent me the published link for the wiki so everyone in the class could see the responses, correct any issues, and discuss. Cool.

And that was today. No,baby steps here. Uh uh. We're talking leaps and bounds.