Go round up a group of administators and talk to them using points from Dean Shareski’s wonderful podcast and slide show with about 80 administrators. Read his post, Podcast 20: Blogging with Administrators.
Now like anything, Iâ€™m not sure all will make this part of their routine but even if 10 begin reading the conversations that are taking place, itâ€™s going to make a difference.
Yes, it will make a difference and just think what a difference all of us can make if we do the same. You can do the same with any group that needs to hear the story. Go to it!
Kudos to Dean for sharing such a terrific presentation!
I am constantly in awe of Ewan’s posts on edu.blogs.com. Take a look at Learning is what you do in school and fun happens outside. Discuss
Here’s another: Andrew Watt on elearning schools: the greatest challenge of the 21st Century
He has no idea how much his recent postings have helped me as I’ve been knee-deep in similar type thinking. I have been working on my keynote for the K-12 Online Conference. This has been one of the most challenging presentations I’ve had the good fortune to tackle. I say good fortune because it is pushing me to really dig into an area that is probably one of the most important areas we need to address. It’s an area that can really get you down if you let it. I refuse to let it though because all this is far too important. I don’t have all the answers I’d like to have. None of us do but what we do have is a community that is growing and ever at work connecting, discussing and pushing the questions. I know that community is going to make a difference. I know the community will grow. I also know that we must help build communties like that for our students IN SCHOOL AND OUT. We can have enthusiastic, creative, and lifelong learners but we have to call for the questions in many areas that may be quite “sticky.” And we have to do this while trying to do a good job in what is most important to all of us, “teaching and learning.” We have to figure out how to take back a system that does not value us as professionals. We have policy makers and others in power who don’t even have a clue what we are talking about. We have many things to figure out. Yes, the obstacles can be overwhelming but we will not be overwhelmed!
This question from Ewan:
Now I wonder how so what can we do to articulate our arguments better?
He’s right on. That’s an important piece we need to really think about some more. Are we overwhelming? Is what we’re doing working? What could we do better? What do we need to do more of and what do we need to do less of?
Then he follows that question up with another:
So I guess the question is: what are you going to do today to help get that thinking happening in your immediate circle? If it’s not you, it won’t be anybody else…
Good questions. I’m thinking about my answers. How about you? Be sure to join the K-12 Online Conference. I have a feeling that we may just be headed toward some very good answers.
Here’s my question:
What’s one way you can turn an obstacle into an opportunity? It can be little. It can be big. it can work for one. It can work for many. It’s the power of our learning community.
I really like the K-12 Webquest Blog. It highlights webquests based around material from Bernie Dodge’s Questgarden. One that caught my eye was The 21st Century Classroom: Using Wikis: Introduction. Here’s another one on Social Networking that I plan to dig into to see how they are approaching this issue.This blog is associated with the main project, K12 Station. It has a free library featuring over 20,000 web-based resources for K-12 students, teachers and families. Just click on a grade level and topic to view dozens of tutorials, games, movies, simulations, primary source documents, and more. Chris, the web developer and content manager for the site, also has a Site of the Day Blog.
The student blogs have been created. You can link to them from the class blog, Blogical Minds! It feels good to be back in the classroom blogging again!
If you want to see a very good student blog from the College of William and Mary just head over to Teaching to Learn, Learning to Teach. Rachel will be graduating in the Spring of 2007 and she has viewed many edublogger’s sites. Her post about the Oregon Trail brought back some memories of my beginning days in technology with the kids. I taught a summer enrichment program and Oregon Trail was a big hit then!
The Jeopardy games are great fun too. My students would each create their own questions in Inspiration using the note feature and then the calculator to keep score. They tried to devise the best questions for their classmates to try out. It’s good to think back and then see now and where we are and then project ahead. Wow! It’s fun to imagine. It is a joy to view through the eyes of an emerging teacher. She talks about planning for the unexpected. I’ve always thought that the one with the most flexibility is the one in control and is able to use those unexpected moments and make the most of the opportunities they bring. I can tell Rachel is going to be one of those flexible teachers. Isn’t it great to see our student teachers blogging?
See Graham Wegner’s interpretaion of the Web 2.0 Tipping Point For Education which was adapted so well by John Connell on his post, What if…? Graham liked John’s improvement, I do too! This got me thinking about the obstackes we still face. At times they can really get you down. However, Graham’s comment pointed to Rachel’s take on both images. Rachel is tipping us in the right direction:
Very good John I saw this on Grahamâ€™s site but you add an interesting dimension to it that shows how we really have to put ourselves out their on the edge if we want to make a difference. Itâ€™s a little scary sometimes and requires determination & self belief but i wouldnâ€™t be anywhere else!
So I’m staying up even though from time to time we can tip in “down” mode when thinking about the obstacels. I love fusing the humor in with the learning. Humor synthesizes learning. We need more of it. This puts me in the right frame of mind as I am thinking about the K12 Online2006 Conference coming up. Keep all this in mind as we head towards the last part, the obstacles!
I’ve been thinking of ways to take obstacles and turn them into opportunities. I encourage you to do the same. Got any ideas, pass them this way!
The professor I’ve been working with who has just started using blogs with her students this semester poses the following question on Bridging Literacies:
I would like to invite the readers of this blog to join us in defining the kinds of literacy and writing expected from teacher educators and their students on educational, as opposed to personal, blogs. What kind of writing and social practices should educational blogs model to teacher and student bloggers?
Read her entire post here. She is exploring the world of blogs and is seeking to have responsible, thoughtful blogging with her students on course content .Â If you have a moment, share your thoughts with her.
This really piques my interest. I read about this on Boing Boing. Scott McCloud will be home-schooling his kids by producing a blog and a series of podcasts and video podcasts documenting their travels. He is taking his family on a one year cross-country tour as he promotes his new book, Making Comics, by giving speeches.Â Each family member is going to blog about the trip on Live Journal. They’re calling their podcasts Winterviews.(after the youngest daughter, Winter) The daughters are researching some of the comics people they will be meeting. They will be interviewing and presenting. There’s also. It sounds like a good book to use in classrooms and this venture should be most interesting to follow. Here’s the official tour blog and maps of the journey.
Iâ€™m really enjoying reading Scott McLeodâ€™s blog, dangerously irrelevant. I love that name for a blog! A section of his About Me reads:
I believe in the transformative power of technology and its ability to empower individuals in ways that were unimaginable a mere decade ago. I believe that schools are approaching the point of dangerous irrelevance when it comes to preparing students adequately for their digital futures. The pace of change in schools is too slow and the pace of change in technology is too quick. I am a strong believer in public schools, but we need a new paradigm. My work focuses on the leadership necessary to effectuate this new, transformative paradigm.
We need more blogs like this! In his post today he recommended the reading of Freakonomics, He pointed to a website associated with the book and provided to a link to the blog of the authors, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. He was talking about one doctorâ€™s efforts to improve hand-hygiene compliance and techniques that were used to effect change. You must read the post to find out how they were successful in changing the behavior. This statement in his post really got me thinking.
Dr. Bender said, “With people who have been in practice 25 or 30 or 40 years, itâ€™s hard to change their behavior. But when you present them with good data, they change their behavior very rapidly.â€
Scott went on to pose this question “what kinds of ‘data’ (broadly conceived) can we present to teachers that would compel them to change their behaviors and to integrate technology more into the teaching and learning process?
He ends the post with What other data can you think of? Are there other “frightening” images we can use to “scare” teachers (and administrators, for that matter) into changing their behaviors?
That got me thinking some more. Maybe we donâ€™t need â€œfrighteningâ€ or images that scare but images that are truly compelling in one way or another. I wish we had a collection of really good photos somewhere that could be used by students and educators for such activities. Iâ€™m talking about ones like you find on Flickr.but housed where students can freely search. Iâ€™m talking about dynamic, thought-provoking photos that can be used to make points but are very appropriate for classroom use. I wish someone would start such a site just for educators to use in our classrooms. Wouldnâ€™t it be great if they had them available in different sizes, links to sites that let students do creative things, etc. Good visuals are really needed and of course I want this all free for educators. Thereâ€™s a lot of power in the use of photos.
Update: Scott pointed out on a commentÂ that this post was guest blogger Jon Beckerâ€™s ! Sorry I missed that but itâ€™s nice to knowÂ that not only Scottâ€™s posts are good but he has great guest bloggers, too!