I’m back in the K12 Online 2007 Conference sessions. My day started off listening to Brian Crosby’s keynote, “The Why’s and Wherefores.” It was awesome! Of course I loved hearing and seeing the fifth graders as that age is the group that I have done most of my blogging projects with and they are the best!
He zeroed in on some new and engaging ways to use the tools of blogging, digital video, online video conferencing, wikis, and Flickr.
He pointed out the lack of audience or having reasons for students to think critically about their work as one obstacle in our classrooms. Also the lack of voice for student concerns and opinions was another obstacle. Blogging lets students share their work and get feedback. They get heard. They are amazed at how many others are reading their work and this gives them a new sense of ownership that challenges them to improve. I like the way he put it so let’s spread the word! I’ve seen that myself over and over and it is empowering for learners. I couldn’t agree more.
I love what he said here:
The kicker is the feedback they can receive about their thinking. Having them blog stories and poems is a powerful tool but what if you have your kids write about their understanding of a topic in reading or science or math or history or a current event or even a field trip or investigation. Now others can question them and force them to think deeper and support their thinking. What a great opportunity to teach students about the ethics and civility required in questioning and discussing the topic with others.
and there’s more….
If motivating the students to write and care about their writing is an obstacle for you, blogging just might be the thing youâ€™re looking for.
Next Brian focused on the higher learning skills like designing, editing, and analyzing that the media of digital video affords. His slant on the importance of creativity is crucial and he points us the Sir Ken Robinson’s talk on creativity. Don’t miss that!
What I liked best about this presentation is how the student work was front and center. He showed great examples and explained one evaluation part where students had to have another studentwho was not directly involved with their movie help evaluate it. Students were to get feedback from them on their understanding as they plowed through each clip of the movie. That’s putting the students into their own evaluating and learning frame. Be sure to check out his students’ work. It’s inspiring.
His use of Skype to make Celeste, a leukemia student an integral part of class is yet another example of his using the tools to make a difference. It is inspiring.
His use of wikis and Flickr to create community service projects not only enhances their learning but puts them on the path of becoming life-long learners. What could be better?
Brian ends with this thought provoking question:
What obstacles can you and your students overcome with these new tools?
Thanks Brian for such a thoughtful and inspiring presentation.