Obstacles, challenges, questions, and many other issues are being blogged about in this professor’s class. Take a look at these post titles:
What 2 do a/b IM-Spk
Teaching Writing and Pulling Teeth
Choice withing mandated curriculum
Challenges of the technological age
In defense of PowerPoint
Technology and Language
Thoughts on the Art of Wrangling 6th Graders
Teaching with Technology: Harmonious Chaos
The Practical Impractically of Technology
To be technical, or not to be technical? That is the question.
How much is too much?Â
Now one or more of those just have to whet your appetite. Travel over to the student blogs and give them some input on many questions that we have already tossed around over the past few years. It gives you a good view on what’s going on inside the heads of our students who are face-to-face with some of the obstacles we have encountered. then just hearing another view can help with their learning. This class has just started blogging this semester. Hearing from others outside their class may just keep those voices in the arena! Help them overcome their obstacles!
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.
The students did a great job on their simulated interviews with their teachers. Each brought a guest from their classroom and they really got a kick out of sharing their weblogs and working with their partners on the interviews. Gosh, what fun you can have with writing activities and weblogs! Our guests were amazed and everyone left smiling and talking. Next week we’ve invited their teachers to come in. We can’t wait to see their reactions. Of course, we included a disclaimer just in case it’s needed. I chuckled at Joe’s comments today. I like his humor.
Anne Davis has moved and I look forward to reading more now that I don’t have to cross the Atlantic to see what she’s up to..
But let me tell you that it might be worth one more trip cross the Atlantic to go to NewsQuest and click on the student sites and enjoy their simulated interviews. However, a shorter trip can be taken via The Georgia-NJ Connections as the links are there, too.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on good questions. I wandered all over the web looking at reflection questions, self evaluation questions on writing sites, and all my links, of course, took me to other links and before you know it, you have no idea where you are and where you’ve been! Anyway, I took my list, chose various ones and adapted them to weblogs. I also “borrowed” a couple from Will – thanks, Will! And thanks to every other site I borrowed from! Here’s what I came up with:
- What’s your favorite thing about weblogs?
- What have you learned?
- How have you changed?
- What will you do with what you have learned?
- What has been most challenging or frustrating for you and how have you met the challenge or overcome the frustration?
- Can you see using weblogs in other classes? Explain. Be specific with a way you think they could be used.
- Do you feel more confident about any of your skills: Computer? Writing? Reading? Critical thinking? Explain.
- Do you ever find yourself helping others to learn something? How does that feel? Is this a normal role for you or new to you?
- If an outsider visited your site, what would you hope he or she would think about it?
- How have you integrated your learning of weblogs with any other area of your life?
- What skills that you have now that you didn’t have are most valuable to you and why?
- In what ways have you become a better writer?
- How does having a weblog affect how you learn? How does it affect how you write?
- Looking back, what do you wish you would have learned about that you didn’t? Or, what would you do differently if you could go back, knowing what you know now?
- If you could start a weblog of your own, what would you write about?
- What did you think of the Georgia-NJ Connection?
- Did you tell anyone about your weblog? Did others read your weblog? What feedback did you get from people outside the class, if any?
- Do you have any words of wisdom for future student webloggers?
- Discuss your feelings about weblogs now.
- Which response that you got from someone who made a comment about what you wrote did you like the best? Why?
I gave this list to the kids, told them to choose any 10, mull them over, and then bring them in as written answers next week. I love bumping up evaluation type questions for elementary students. They are not used to this type of evaluation questions and I am usually blown away by their perceptions. They just need to have some practice with reflecting on what they have learned. Don’t we all? Feedback welcomed ….