Are you ready to grow? What's holding you back?

Are you ready to grow?    What's holding you back?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What is our 20/20 Vision?

I had the opportunity to listen to keynote speaker Will Richardson at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference today. Having read his book, I was anxious to meet him in person and learn from his experiences. As I listened I found myself jotting down some quotes that spoke to me. I thought I would share those.

First is my title, 20/20 vision, did you realize that our current kindergartners will be the class of 2020? What is our vision for them, what should their education look like?

"Own it for yourself before you can give it away." How true, when we get teachers to experience technology themselves, like creating their own eportfolio, podcast, or participating in a wiki or blog, they will understand the value and will be more inclined to use these technologies with their students.

"Give everything a purpose beyond the classroom, it has to have wings." Do you need to memorize the names of all the countries in Africa, or do you need to know how to find them? Which will give you wings outside of the classroom?

"Real work for real audiences in the real world." So much more meaningful for our students!

"Interaction is where we learn, blogs become classrooms."

"When we break away from cubicles, everyone gets smarter."

"24/7/365" That's when we learn, not 6th period on a Monday!

"Everything is shifting, but education, the kids aren't waiting for us!"

Let's catch up!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Second Life

What an adventure for someone like me! I tend to work hard to stay up-to-date with new technologies, but one piece I have missed, purposely I might add, is the gaming avenue. I have never had much interest in that type of activity mostly because I enjoy the outdoors along with art and creativity and never felt that gaming would be the best use of my time. I've also pushed my four children in that direction, allowing them to play these games at friends' houses, but not bringing it into my own home. The reason I bring this up is because it immediately came to mind when I first started using Second Life, it was very foreign to me! Just to walk was difficult at first, I was also challenged to problem solve in this environment, consequently a lot of time was spent getting myself acquainted!

I tried to put myself in the shoes of others who use Second Life, I realize one of the benefits to many people is the opportunity to become someone different, not themselves, a way to escape the real world for a little while at least. For me, I found it difficult to become someone different than who I really am. Maybe it was because I was meeting my class there, so it really was a part of this life. But, I tend to think I would have a hard time with that anyway.

Another interesting note I thought I would share, when I first got on and was learning to walk, I walked into a few walls, there were a few people who walked up to me and tried to assist me. How nice to know there are good people out there. But, the day before meeting for the class, I got on to find ISTE Island and practice getting around that island. I'm not sure what I did but somehow I ended up doing a flip, when I landed on the ground my left arm became detached and my neck stretched out to the left quite a distance, I was quite deformed. I had no idea how to fix it! So I decided to ask passersby for help, no one would respond, it was almost as if I was looked at and ignored. It really made me think of the real world and how people are treated. It became very important to me to get myself back to normal! Maybe Second Life could be used as a way to get a true sense of how it feels to be disabled, overweight or just different from what is considered the norm. Just a thought!

All that aside, I see Second Life as an opportunity to meet new people, and to learn from others. It's a way to collaborate and work together. I wouldn't suggest it as a way for a group of staff members to collaborate or those who encounter each other on a regular basis, there are certainly easier ways, email, blogs, meetings etc. But, it would be a way to work with anyone from anywhere. As a teacher it would give me the opportunity to talk with people that I don't know from other schools and even other countries. This is just another way that we are flattening the world!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One Computer for Every Student

I feel lucky in my classroom to have a cart with 20 laptops in it. True, it's not just for my students, I have to share it with the rest of the middle school. But, sometimes I feel like it's all mine and every child has a computer at their hands. It's wonderful, the kids love it and I feel like I have the opportunity to teach the children to be real learners. What if every child had a laptop all day, in and out of school. What would education look like then?

I took some time to look at the program for developing countries where students will be given an XO laptop, some will have this before even experiencing books, paper and pencil! What an amazing idea. The tool itself is worth taking a look at. It was really designed with kids and schools in mind. It's the first time I have seen anything like it. It's designed to withstand extreme temperatures, outdoor classrooms, sand, rain and little fingers that may slip and drop it! Not only that but its capabilities show that someone really had foresight into where education should be going and how technology can support that. Not only can children easily access the internet with the wireless component when available, but when not available they can become a part of the mesh network, which is connecting with other XO computers. So, even though they may be in an area where there is not wireless, they can still be connected to each other. On top of that it has been set up with many child friendly features such as chat rooms, eToys where they can play games with others they are connected to, data collection and graphing, RSS feeds, viewing news, drawing, taking photos, video slideshows, record video and audio, perform music, compose music collaboratively and writing. It also includes a journal of laptop use which can be used as assessment.

I am really excited about the opportunities this opens up for students around the world. You might be asking how you could get ahold of one. Well visit the Laptop Giving site and you will see how you can be a part of supporting this program for children of developing countries while also obtaining one yourself. I already put my order in!

If you are wondering about other software abilities, there are people working on that all the time, visit the wiki to find out more.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Evaluation has come a long way, or at least it should have! The assessments I remember from grade school and high school were tests or quizzes that were written, true or false, multiple choice, matching and fill in the blank. Those types of assessments still exist now in many classrooms. However, many teachers have moved beyond this type of evaluation. As a teacher I began to move away from them a number of years ago when I came to the realization that some students just didn't test well, which didn't always mean that they didn't understand the material, in many cases they did and struggled to represent their knowledge in that format. Now I use a variety of assessments and often offer the students different methods and let them choose.

As education begins to change and more information is available to students, I strive to teach my students how to solve problems and locate needed information and then to evaluate it. So how do I assess these skills? One way is with a problem solving rubric I have created. I give this to the students at the beginning of the school year and we use it a number of times throughout the year. They realize quickly that they should be focusing on solving problems and improving their skills in this area. I teach them that problem solving applies to all curriculum and is a process where one identifies and defines a problem, analyzes pertinent data, and resolves the problem. An advanced problem solver consistently identifies the problem, defines and clarifies the problem, organizes and evaluates data, resolves the problem, has the ability to judge practicality and merit of the solution and uses inductive reasoning to draw conclusions from the solution. This skill could be used anywhere from not having a pencil for class to finding the most accurate and up to date website to gather information for a research project.

So, can a podcast be an assessment of problem solving, how about blog postings or a YouTube presentation? Why not, couldn't a student show their process of problem solving in all of these methods? In fact aren't those more effective ways to show evidence of problem solving than a written test? I am all about evidence and artifacts these days. What would be better to add to an eportfolio a multiple choice fraction test or a video presentation showing the process of adding fractions and why a common denominator is needed?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Moodle and more!

I am constantly discovering new benefits to this free opensource software!

My school is scheduled to go through its next accreditation in 2010. For all high school teachers who have gone through this process, you know it's not too early to start! I was recently made the chair of the steering committee, although an honor, I am fully aware of the great amount of responsibility and work this means.

This was my idea, I'd love some feedback and suggestions! In order to organize all of the committees involved; instruction, curriculum, assessment, leadership, resources and community, I thought I might use Moodle. I was thinking of using the online class option and putting all the committees that I set up on Moodle as a class. The chair would be the teacher of the class and could create assignments and discussions for their members. I would set deadlines for all of the classes. For example, I might require the assessment committee to have examples of formative assessment practices from all subject areas by this June. The chair or teacher would then present the format and requirements to the members and assign them each a subject to research and report back. The chair could use the blogging on Moodle to have discussions with all the members about their progress, I could also visit these to give support and guidance. By the end, not only do I have evidence of the final product, but I have a record of the process and growth.

I confess that I have an ulterior motive here. One of the goals I believe the faculty at my school need to improve on is communication and collaboration. We seldom work together on things for our school or our students. Although people will tell me its because of time constraints, I also feel it is because of a lack of training and experience in collaboration. It is so important that we teach our students to communicate and collaborate with each other and those around the world, yet how can we teach it if we don't know it ourselves? So, my hope in this process, is that the teachers will grow in three ways, one they will value the process of accreditation, second they will experience the benefits of communicating and collaboration and third they will become well experienced in the use of Moodle and blogs that they might transfer that to their own classrooms.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Seeking an Identity

In a recent class I took at PSU with Dr. Michael Fischler, Social Behavior in a Diverse Society, I was touched by many new things I learned about people. But, one aspect that has returned to me many times was my understanding that it is a persons natural instinct to seek identity. There are many ways in which we identify ourselves; teacher, mother, artist. Those who feel a lack of identity, for example those students who struggle academically, are not successful in sports or other activities and maybe deal with a difficult home life will search for a way to identify themselves, even if negatively. They will work to save face.

I mention this because as I read through Siemens, Knowing Knowledge, this idea surfaced again. Consider his statement; "There is something rewarding about having an idea, owning it, being recognized for it. Even when we share, we attach identity to what we have created. In creating knowledge, we experience life, identity, hope. To contribute to the public space, to be recognized, to be a part of something bigger, these motivations drive us."

I feel strongly that as a teacher, community member, mother that it is my responsibility to help students find their identity. Who are they, what do they stand for, and how do they present themselves to others? Although spaces like Facebook and MySpace have caused a lot of controversy in schools and communities because of the way in which some children are presenting themselves, could it be that they are struggling to find their identity? If taught and supported couldn't these public spaces be a place for them to discover their positive identity? Why aren't we teaching children how to profile themselves positively, I believe they are looking for that guidance.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Personal Learning Networks

Working collaboratively with others fosters learning. Bringing students away from the model where they feel they can only learn from the teacher will help them realize the value of others. Learning needs to take place in our every day activities. Everytime we observe someone else or ask questions we grow. Creating networks of friends, peers and colleagues is not something new for us. However, today we can expand that network of people to those all over the world, the quantity and variety of individuals is broader. What does that mean for our learning and the education of our students?

A learning network can help us sift through all the data that is constantly available to us and identify the information that will be most useful to us. It helps us learn from others, but also encourages us to participate and contribute to the learning of others. This can be so valuable to all of us.

I have not yet taken the opportunity to create individual learning networks with my students, but have created one as a class for the human body unit we are working on in science class. The students have been enthusiastic about checking what new information has come to us each day and taking the time to respond has helped them to work collaboratively as a class. My only frustration is the fact that social networking as a whole is blocked in my school. The Websense that we use has allowed me to access some of these network connections using quota time, which is only about 10 minutes at a sitting.

How do we create 21st century schools that encourage our students to create networks and collaborate with others, but also keep our students safe? I believe education is the answer, not avoidance!

Classroom 2.0

Classroom 2.0 to me really means a 21st century classroom. It is a classroom where using collaborative technologies to teach skills is ever present. I have had the opportunity, because of collaborative technologies, to become a part of a healthy discussion about Classroom 2.0 ( in a blog with over 3,000 members. These are people all over who are working hard to make changes to their classroom to bring it from the 20th century to the 21st century, no easy task for many.

Once I became aware of what Classroom 2.0 really meant, I started to evaluate my classroom, am I close to where I need to be? Then I read an article by Clarence Fisher. It helped me think about the setting of the schools and classrooms today. Are they the same as they were 40 or 50 years ago, for many the answer is yes, other than an occasional computer and printer on a desk. But, otherwise have they changed? What should a classroom look like, feel like in today's world? How are schedules, lessons, assessments and the actual set up of the physical room be different. How do I create learning spaces for the next generation?

Another thought - remember the bumper sticker that says "If you can read this sentence, thank a teacher"? How has literacy changed now? Should the bumper sticker read something like: "If you can produce a video clip in collaboration with another student/professional from somewhere else in the world, post it on the web, and participate in a blog discussion about it, thank a teacher!" Check out the articles on Remote Access, it will make you think about this!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Technology Professional Development

Teacher's always struggle with professional development that takes them outside of the classroom and then sends them back alone to integrate. How many times have we all attended workshops or conferences and came home with a bag of fliers and information that gets put in a pile, until you have time to revisit it and figure out how you can use it in your class? I always try to walk away from a workshop with one thing I can go into my classroom and use the next day.

Sylvia Martinez presents research that technology professional development as it exists today is not working for our schools and its students. I think a lot of us can see that. But what is the solution? She presents the idea of students mentoring teachers. Although it takes an open minded, unthreatened teacher to participate in this, I do believe we have many such teachers. In her presentation, Sylvia gives examples and shows footage of the success of this idea. Why not have students work with teachers to plan lessons and activities, while helping teachers become comfortable integrating technology into their classrooms?

The way I see it, this is one effective way to begin breaking down the barriers in schools and catching up with the invisible boundaries that exist in today's world.

Disappearing Boundaries

David Warlick is a keynote speaker at an online k12 conference. He talks about the boundaries that have always existed in our cultures and our classrooms, but are now becoming invisible in the 21st century. I found it interesting to hear him speak about watching his father get ready for work each day and that he always had a sense of what his future held, something similar to his father. He says that he was probably the last generation that could see his future in his parents, our kids know it will be different.

Our students are connected constantly, we as educators, should not fight that, but embrace it. There is so much information available to us if we are only paying attention. The difficulty is that it involves so much change, as a classroom teacher, our education did not prepare us for a career in education, that preparation must continue on a daily basis. At this point it is feasible to have students who are more literate than their teachers. It has become a flat world where we are all working together to gain information, share it and learn form it.

As Mr Warwick said, "It is the first time in history we are preparing our kids for a future we cannot predict, we must teach kids to teach themselves."

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I was able to load my podcast onto my eboard (an electronical information bulletin board used at my school), I put it here for students and parents to listen to. The kids were excited to share with their parents! Just a first try for me! Once on the site, click on "Nature's Classroom Interview."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Technology - Is it changing the way we teach?

If you walk into almost any classroom today you can quickly see that yes, we are teaching differently. We can say that because we see computers, LCD projectors, smart boards, digital cameras etc. being used by teachers and students. Computers and LCD projectors have replaced overhead projectors (but, not entirely), smart boards have replaced chalk boards, cameras have replaced markers and colored pencils for drawing and we could go on. The question still remains about the effectiveness of the use of technology in many schools.

Is technology changing the way we teach has a whole new meaning after reading Siemens, Knowing Knowledge, The Flow of Knowledge. He states that "we have always had access to more knowledge than we were able to handle. It has intensified in our generation." The human brain cannot handle the amount of knowledge available to us today, if we considered knowledge the amount of information you know and have stored for retreival later. It is becoming apparent today that knowledge is more of the idea that one possesses the skills to obtain knowledge rather than a collection of information.

"Our ability to learn what we need for tomorrow is more important than what we know today. When knowledge is needed, but not known, the ability to plug into sources to meet the requirements becomes vital. As knowledge continues to grow and evolve, access to what is needed is more important than what the learner currently possesses."

As a teacher, that is a powerful statement, something to ponder. It makes me question how I teach, am I preparing the students to have the skills to obtain knowledge rather than feeding them knowledge? Has technology changed the way we teach, in some ways, but are we as teachers really preparing the students for the 21st century? Is "know where" replacing 'know what" and "know how"?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I was enthusiastic about podcasting after reading Will Richardson's chapter about finding, creating and using podcasts in schools. Although it is somewhat new to me it has clearly been used in creative ways all over and by all sorts of people.

I decided to create an audio podcast with my students. They thought it would be cool to talk about their recent trip to Nature's Classroom. They wanted a different way to share what they had experienced with other students, parents and community members. So I downloaded Audacity and started to play with it. Using a simple external microphone we were able to record an interview where the students told a lot about their trip. I was then able to add music in the background. Saving it was another story, I was able to export it with a WAV file onto Media Player. This has allowed me to play it off my computer, however I am not able to upload it to any internet site. After more research I found and downloaded to provide server space to store it. I am still having difficulty putting it on the internet... help, what is my next step?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Topic of Choice - Moodle

With the state wide intiative to implement eportfolios into all schools in New Hampshire, I have begun to look at Moodle, After researching a number of software solutions for eportfolios I came to the conclusion that although there are many products we could spend our money on, and many that may offer more options for our school, we needed to pilot the free open source option first. So this year I will be working with students from grade 6-8 to create their eportfolios using the Mo0folio option on Moodle developed by the Seacoast Technology Center. Moodle has a lot to offer, like most software is has more than most people would use. I have used it to create an online course for my students and am now working to set it up for eportfolios. Has anyone used it for this purpose?

The benefits I have found so far is the ability to easily add artifacts and both student and teacher reflection. It also allows a teacher to lock an artifact from being edited after completion. We will host it all on one server, link it to our school website for easy access. Students will be able to get to their eportfolios using their regular school log in. The software is easily downloaded and managed for the entire school population. Photos, video, voice, powerpoint etc. can be loaded as artifacts.

Some of the downfalls are its lack of pizzaz as the students might say. There is an option for new themes including color, but they are very limited. No backgrounds or photographs will appear when opening the eportfolio as it is not created to do so. This may take away from the motivation of the students. However, because it is open source coding, we can work to make the improvements we'd like to see, and will benefit from the improvements that others make.

I'm curious about the progress others in the state have made with their student eportfolios, please share!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wikis in Education

When I first discovered Wikipedia I had no idea what a Wiki was. I just simply thought it was a digital encyclopedia! I used it often and with my students when doing research, I didn't question the validity of the content as I believed it was written by experts just as encyclopedias always have been. There was a short time when I realized how Wikipedia was created and I questioned its value. However, I have begun to have a better sense of trust for the greater good.

I truly believe people are good, honest, caring and live their lives trying to do what's right. Those are the people who contribute to the content of these Wiki sites. There is always a risk of encountering those who set out to harm, but they are few, and no competition for those with a stronger sense of right and wrong. How interesting that a better understanding of a Wiki can give me a comforting sense of the world today and where we are headed as a global community.

What better way to teach children to value not only their work, but those of others? Our western culture is so focused on the individual that we could learn something from the eastern cultures who find it shameful to take credit for themselves, it is the group that becomes successful, not the individual. Wikis are a true result of what strong collaboration skills will do for us. Could Wikis possibly be the beginning of a cultural change?

Media Sharing

Google Image search was such an exciting new tool when it first came out and educators scrambled to come up with ways to teach using this tool. But, little of that information was shared with other educators.

Today, not only words are being used to communicate ideas and thoughts, but photos are also. Sharing is not a new concept, but technology has promoted more sharing and in wider circles.

I am glad to see that sites like Flickr allow for restricted use so that educators or parents can have some control of the photo content the students are involved in. Although I am an advocate of teaching students how to handle what they may come across, rather than hiding it all from them, I fully understand concerns of parents and school districts. The restrictions allow educators to involve their students in a safe way.

Now I find myself wanting to join a blog discussion with educators about the different uses of media sharing in the classroom. What are the uses of media sharing in the classroom and how do they reflect the state standards we are so closely tied to, not just the technology standards, but throughout the curriculum?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Social Bookmarking

There is clearly a whole new world out there for us to explore. Much larger than it was for me when I was growing up, how did it get so large in such a short period of time? It is amazing to me how much is available to our students, but then the question arises, are we teaching our children to use these resources or are we teaching them to be successful in the world we grew up in?

There is the traditional classrom where students' work is done in isolation, how many classrooms can we walk into now that are still run in this traditional fashion, for at least part of the time?

A question from Will Richardson's book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, "Is it starting to feel like you need your own army to help you keep track of all the information you might need or want?" leads me to realize that I am not the only one who may be overwhelmed by all the information available. The amount of information available has grown, while the world of access has become smaller.

What has struck me most about social bookmarking, and blogs and wikis too, for that matter is the fact that they are continuous conversations among many participants. People are more than willing to share their ideas and resources with others, in order to improve their cause. They understand by doing this they will get something great in return and they are!

How amazing to a person who grew up thrilled when I had a project to research and I actually found one paragraph in the encylopedia that pertained to the subject. Do our children even realize how close they are to a wealth of knowledge from not only experts, but everyday people who have a lot to offer.

I love the ideas presented by Will Richardson in his book mentioned above, I feel like I can start tomorrow!

RSS Reader

I have always been amazed at the amount of information coming to us, it either causes me to shut down and back away or try to organize in a way that I can manage it without becoming overwhelmed. As more and more cooperative information gathering and reporting continues to happen, the more important it becomes to have assistance in organizing what is essential to the task at hand.

Although it takes some time initially I can see the benefits of a "Read Simple Syndication" program to allow the "real simple" user to keep track of all information that pertains to an interest or career.

I decided to test this new concept before using it with my students in the classroom. So I set up a RSS that would help me gather information about pottery, one of my favorite passtimes. I did then first by subscribing to a few blogs of interest. I then decided to expand on that so I went to and filled in the search terms, with pottery. I quickly learned to carefully define what I was looking for and put in terms like "mixing glazes" and "throwing clay" that way I got more of the behind the scenes information I was looking for. I also created on aggregator for the handmade baskets that I make, it helped me find some valuable information about techniques and other designs, what fun!

I can certainly see the benefits of using RSS feeds with my students. When I begin my unit on Global Warming, it will save me lots of time feeling like I am just stumbling across worthwhile information. It will also benefit the students in many ways, information will be at their fingertips and updated regularly, how quickly education is changing!! How important it is that we change the way we teach our students to learn.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Connectivism and Knowledge

How do they relate? One of the strategies we teach in reading is making connections. In everything we read we take the time to talk about how it connects to other text, or to self. The students become better readers and learners because they think beyond what they are reading. If they can make a connection, it means something to them, they gain understanding and knowledge.

Teaching our students how to connect with each other, their families, their communities and behond will help them become strong, productive community members. When students are simply provided with information they have the ability to gain knowledge, but won't necessarily learn how to use it or where to find it when needed. What struck me most in Siemen's chapter about Connectivisim,, was the question, What happens when knowledge flows too fast for processing or interpreting? Are we getting close to a time when there is more information given to us than we can handle? Although the human capacity for learning is tremendous, technology has provided us with ways to organize and manage knowledge. We don't need to be able to store all information, but have the ability to locate it and use it. What that means to me in the classroom is that I need to be teaching students to learn rather than learning for them and simply passing on the information!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What are Blogs?

The idea of what a blog is grows in my mind as I experience them more and read more about them. I think a blog is not only a place for people to freely post their opinions and ideas, but it is a tool to collaborate on similar goals or projects.

As a middle school math teacher I have discovered some advanced math students that are enthusiastic for higher level math activities, a way for them to use the skills and knowledge they have and apply it to real world situations. Not all of those students are currently in my class, so I struggled to come up with a method to keep them involved and thinking, while communicating with me and their classmates. So I set up a blog Math for Life, . On this blog the students are asked to view various videos that relate to the topic. They will be posting their comments and working collaboratively to answer the essential question. The other exciting piece in blogging is the possibilities of inviting other professional into the conversation. It's much easier to do than to have a guest speaker into the classroom.

Last year I set up a literature blog with my reading students and we held book group meetings on the blog, the greatest effect of that was the fact that the quietest students in class had a lot to say, it was great to hear their voice!

For me, this is just the beginning of blogging!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

School 2.0

I am struck by how many times in the past few weeks I have read about our 21st century world, how quickly it has changed over the past 20 years and in contrast how slowly the nation's schools have changed. The gap between the skills our children need to be successful in the 21st century society and what is being taught in schools is growing. Although many teachers make efforts to "keep up" with technology and its affects on everyday living, it would be difficult to affect the needed changes in schools without full input and support from faculty, administration, board members, community members, state and national government. It is much bigger than what one can accomplish on their own, it needs to be larger group effort.

School 2.0, , is designed to help schools organize community discussions and make plans to meet educational goals. It encourages schools to discuss what the next generation of students will need to function in a different world than those who are currently educating them. School 2.0 guides the discussion about ways that schools need to change and how technology supports those changes.

The process begins with the people, it encourages involvement from a number of representatives from the whole community. This is one positive of the program, in my eyes, as it's time for educators to realize and accept the fact that one room, one teacher, school houses are now gone, and so is the time when teachers can close the doors to their classroom and still be successful with their students. In order to prepare our students well for what is coming their way, we must open the doors and go beyond.

School 2.0 leads these community members in a discussion of goals for their students and school. They design a school, program and instruction to support their goals. This is another important aspect, how often do we realize the needed improvements or changes in our programs, when the building or equipment is not designed to support these changes?

The group is then lead to the technology piece, exploring how technology can bring the world into the school and focuses on engaging all members of the community to educate its young. The group is guided in purchasing technology that will support the schools management needs and instructional needs.

Once all of these steps have been taken School 2.0 guides the participants in creating a well-documented plan.

I do believe School 2.0 could be an effective tool for communities to begin the process of change. There is no doubt in my mind that the process needs to happen. But, before it can the people involved need to have a strong understanding of the need. This, I believe, is the bigger challenge. Change is hard for many people, it is difficult for them to leave their place of comfort. But, without the willingness to look into the future for our students, we will not be able to prepare them for the larger world they will encounter.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Thoughts

How exciting to have, yet another opportunity to learn more about technology, especially when it relates to education and gaining knowledge. The more I learn about technology, the more I realize I don't know! I tend to be a task oriented type of person, who feels a sense of acomplishment every time I complete something and can check it off my list. However, it didn't take me long to realize that technology and my education around it was never going to be checked off. That's okay though, because one of the reasons I went into education was so that I could foster my need to be a life long learner. The constant changes in technology will certainly give me that opportunity.

I am thrilled to learn more about podcasts, from what I know and have seen already, the wheels are turning about integrating them into my classroom. I have used blogs in the past school year to converse with all of my students about their reading. We have had some great book discussions on a blog. Not only is it a great medium for students to contribute to, it also encourages them to listen more to others and respond to their comments. Wiki's are fairly new to me, the idea that we don't just have the experts sharing their knowledge in a one way conversation, but that we have information from many sources that are working together to enrich each other is very exciting.