Where does inspiration lie? Everywhere!

This is my attempt to pounce on and then shape the words I breathe.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm back!

I see a summertime pattern here--it has been a year since I had time, inclination, and inspiration to add a post. Today the inspiration came from Teacher Librarian making a final comment in a course she took on using Web 2.0. Her entire post is revealing, but this part helped me the most in thinking about the next year at FLC:

But I hadn’t made the leap of understanding that I did when I watched the Stephen Heppell video the other day. Listening to him discuss metacognition and how we can work with the twenty first century learner or we can choose to ignore that Google exists and continue to teach as we have for years. Putting Heppell’s ideas together with Lana saying how she teaches a few kids in each class to be organizers of the wiki (leaders and teachers), and Lisa saying how she wants to do cross curricular collab in secondary, and Lisa also wondering what would happen if she collaboratively planned a unit with her students using a wiki, created a big shift for me. I have known since my career began at a little alternative school in Vancouver, that teachers are not all knowing beings who share their knowledge with students, but that teachers are facilitators of student learning. But for teachers to collaborate with students to create new learnings had not occurred to me until yesterday.

Me either.

Franklin Learning Center has won a joint grant with another school to develop project-based real world learning in our classrooms steeped technology. Teachers now have MacBooks to create with and have been promised interactive white boards in the fall. As I think of the changes I need to make in my approach to the core curriculum and creative writing, I will try to incorporate student collaboration on the creation of each unit. I think this will help them learn more about what "the standards" are that we base our activities on and evaluate for. And it will help me learn how to take them beyond the standards.

Last year I researched Web 2.0, but this year I am REQUIRED to move forward. What a change! I am not in shock exactly, but am a little overwhelmed. The trainer facilitating our move forward into new territory, Mike Muir of Maine, reminds us to "eat one piece of the pie at a time," but we have to show progress in this direction.

My new questions are: How confusing will it be for students to hear about this initiative differently in each of their classes, to continue doing traditional work toward the standards along with some innovations? Will they be as patient with our individual learning curves as we try to be with theirs?