Let’s ‘make stuff’

•9. November 2008 • 2 Comments

To be effective, teachers need to literally EXPERIENCE the constructive power of digital interactions online rather than simply hear about the possiblities in an “awareness workshop.” Teachers need to “make stuff” with other teachers using digital tools, and meaningfully collaborate with others over digital networks.    

-Wesley A. Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity

I was browsing iTunes today for podcasts that had to do with integrating technology in education and I came across this guy. I’ve seen his blog a time or two but I guess I didn’t stop to read it. I was listening to the first minute or two of his podcast and I heard this quote from him. I was very much intrigued and I thought I would pass it on, hopefully it inspires more of use to get our hands on resources.

 

M.

Service provided…

•8. November 2008 • 1 Comment

I was given an opportunity to provide some ideas and training for my fellow staff. Heather and I were asked to give an inservice presentation about our involvement in E2T2 and current projects that we’re undergoing. Most of the teachers were very intrigued by the possibilities that are out there; they were also disappointed that the resources were not at their fingertips to begin some of these projects. This got them thinking…and acting.

As they were looking at our inservice webpage, they were inspired to want to create their own webpages, they wanted resources! When I told them it wouldn’t be feasible to use an outside webpage-creation software because the district refuses to link a non-district webpage to our names. This go the teachers thinking, why haven’t hey offered to let us begin making our own pages yet and when I didn’t have an answer for them, they started emailing, it was amazing.

It was a treat to help out the staff and I look forward to working with them more.

 

M.

Jumpstart!

•2. November 2008 • 2 Comments

I was super pumped about getting my Podcasting started in the spring…soo, I started Vodcasting this past week! I felt like my kids, with a little modeling (and a word-of-the-day-script), were ready to take the responsibility and run with it, and they have.

I’ve already had comments from parents that say they’re so happy to be able to see the kids at home. One of the boys went running home and the first thing out of this mouth was ‘mom, you gotta see this.’ He proceeded to turn on the computer, get to the homepage and even BOOKMARKED it on his own. He was showing his family and the guests they had over with immense pride. 

 

Links for all the kiddos!

Links for all the kiddos!

 

 

Pride is the driving force of this project. When I first introduced it (I won’t lie…I was kinda flying from the seat of my pants!) they were glued from the moment I mentioned they would be published on the web! Since then I’ve heard comments about Hollywood calling and they applaud each other after we watch the video in class.

The downside is…I am not able to throw the post right up. It takes me a few (many) minutes to get the video edited and put online. All of the equipment I am using, is my own. I use my laptop, my webpage and my digital camera & tripod. None of these resources are at my fingertips at school so how am I suppose to share this fantastic process with other teachers? Sure, I can send them the link and gloat about how fabulous my kiddos are, but without the same resources available, they can’t begin a process similar to what I’ve done. I thought the point of integration is that it was seamless??!! Guess not!

I will continue to move forward with my project and I will happily share the ideas with my colleagues, but I won’t know what to tell them when they ask for resources!!

 

M,

NEMEN in October

•26. October 2008 • Leave a Comment

Breakout sessions are extremely nice when trying to work with only a few resources. It was comfortable just working with a couple of my colleagues during out E2T2 classes this weekend. It offers more opportunity to be able to work with the materials, ask questions and provide feedback without feeling like your walking on someone else’s toes.

I’ve had a few introductions to SMART Boards in the past but never this up close and personal. I enjoyed being able to take a closer look and actually use the technology for a moment. I truly feel this is the technology that will be in every classroom within the next 10 years and I’m excited to have an introduction to it early. I feel I have benefitted and will continue to benefit from this fantastic exposure. 

This weekend I felt a bit overwhelmed with the room filled with pessimism. I feel that if were are going to call ourselves leaders in this area of expertise we need to have the mind-set that we will be able to overcome the barriers that we fear and continue forward, even though we might think there’s going to be a roadblock. We are working together as a team and I think we’ll be able to overcome the roadblocks when we get to them. Let’s keep on movin’.

 

M.

Sight

•25. October 2008 • Leave a Comment

I’m starting to see more opportunities for our district, our building and myself. There is a lot in our digital work and I think that our kiddos are capable of using these tools. It puts us in a place to ask ourselves “what am I able to start doing right now with what I have?” I feel that we can’t dwell on the things we can’t do but look forward to the things we can. While I realize we should reflect on the things we can’t because in order to change the directive of our schools we need to pinpoint realistic goals to curb the bad things our district is doing or restricting.

As I’m working with my building Media Specialist, I am getting more excited to follow through with our project. I have acquired a version of GarageBand to use with my students in order to record their voices and build their weather reports. As I have ben reflecting on the project, I have been thinking about how I could move through my student body a bit quicker and have the students report the weather daily! I would love to be able to integrate the web-based weather report into my daily Science.

Just some more thoughts and things I’m excited about working on!!

): pessimism :(

•24. October 2008 • 2 Comments

It’s getting so old! I’m done with listening to all of this negative spin on what kids are able to do and what they are comfortable doing. As with anything, students will become comfortable with what we give them access to. It is nothing more than that. If we hadn’t given them access to a textbook for the past 20 years, we couldn’t possibly expect them to be comfortable with reading and analyzing texts within its covers. 

Students (children) are people just like adults and they go through the same set of realities that adults do. They will adequate themselves with the surroundings they are in; at home (if they have access) they are familiar with searching the web, browsing resources, interacting with friends, playing web games; at school, students are comfortable with following the directions the teacher is giving them, wanting to know what is expected of them and staying within the guidelines for product output.

Let’s first let down our own barriers of comfortability, then break loose from the conventions we are used to in the classroom and finally, let our students develop in the web-active world they’re growing up in!

Let loose.

Networks

•23. October 2008 • 1 Comment

I find blogging can be all-consuming. When I make a post on a network that gets many, many posts I feel that if I’m not constantly checking and searching for updates or posts related to mine, I get lost. While I’ve begged and pleaded with other members (‘the money-minder) of the household, I feel that nothing short of having an iPhone like device would keep me up-to-date enough for my liking.

As far as posting on in-network blogs, I can follow them much closer and less stricly. No offense to anyone in the NEMEN group, but it’s not like any of us have a big following at this point and posts don’t get lost in the shuffle.

I do find it very informative and a fantastic source of information for me. I like looking at professional blogs as a way to gain new ideas, perspective on the global technology circuit and general data for the educational-friendly technology that is available today. I have set up a NetVibes account. This has been handy as far as streaming my news, blogs, mail, weather and entertainment to one place. I now have a one-stop shop when I open my laptop at the end of the day. However, this has cut down my dead time, or the time I like to sit and aimlessly wonder the internet in search of random facts, news and highlights! Darn, less dumb-time!

M.