Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nailing down the professional day

This week is the one-hour workshop I volunteered way back when to present to my department. Now it seems like I have to move beyond the "here are some things I can do" stage to the "here's what I am going to do."

First, I have lots of good feedback on my original intentions, which Brian suggested may be too much to undertake in one hour. Point well taken. Essentially, I want the teachers in the department who are still unaware of the possibilities of web 2.0 tools to glimpse what is possible without being too overwhelmed. It has to be practical for the classroom, without being forced down anyone's throats. If the teachers leave Thursday's session wanting to experiment more, than I've achieved my objective.

Another thing came up as well when I posted Karl Fisch's Did You Know? video to my students and asked for their reactions. I, too, plan to show the video to the teachers to kick off a discussion of what we as educators are facing in the future. Then, I want to hand out some excerpts of what my students said in response to my posting on the English 10 blog. Two birds with one stone: modeling one possible classroom use of a blog and presenting valuable content to the participants. As one of my students wrote "The only thing is that as of right now, it seems as though people are being taught how to use the technology that we have, but the problem is that the technology keeps on getting even more improved so people have to keep on learning more and new things about new developments in technology. The only thing that I believe that we can do is just stay on top of what is going on in the world with the technology being used and fully understand and be capable of using it when we have to use it."

"...stay on top of what's going on in the world ... and be capable of using it when we have to use it..." He's absolutely right because there will be times when we have to use it, and if now's not the time, I don't know when it will be. For English teachers, playing around with a blog is the most accessible entry point into the read/write web. I can show a few good examples of classroom blogs to show different ways they are used. The more technical stuff, the pedagogy behind blogging, can come later when teachers have a better sense of exactly what a blog is.

I think that will be enough.

However, I'll keep on deck a Google Earth Lit trip file for Night, which shows Elie Wiesel's journey into the Holocaust. It's a great visual and - just as important - presents another easy entry point into the classroom.

I'll keep you posted.

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