Monday, February 09, 2009
21st Century Thinking-My Blog Visits
I must say, I had so much more free time in life before TWITTER! But, because of Twitter, I have learned so many new things. I get so many great links and find so many smart people through Twitter. I have learned to manage my time better when I am on Twitter, but it has really helped me think through lots of things related to teaching/21st Century Skills.
I followed lots of sessions at Educon 2.1---a conference hosted by the Science Leadership Academy. So many great people in attendance and I was able to actual participate in some of the sessions --it was like I was sitting in the room. That part alone was amazing. But, The Science Leadership Academy is amazing. One quote by Chris Lehman (principal at SLA) from the conference (that I got via twitter was this: "I want 4 things for SLA kids. I want them to be thoughtful, wise, passionate and kind." What a goal! You can hear the voices of SLA students and teachers in a video here.
So, as I mentioned, I popped into a few of the virtual sessions at Educon. Watched and listened a bit. Love that I could do that. Chris Lehman is pretty amazing. But I was pretty struck by the fact that a very, very small percentage of people at these types of conferences and in these conversations are elementary teachers. I was always struck with that as a literacy coach. The absence of classroom teachers. It is easy for those of us not in classrooms to think about these things but how do we make sure classroom teachers are part of the conversations? Not just coaches, and tech leaders, and administrators. Change can't happen without classroom teacher leadership. How do we network so that classroom teachers--especially at the elementary level---are leading some of this conversation?
A great place worth spending some time is Networking: A New Literacy wikispace. I learned about it from Karl Fisch. The wiki is designed as a way to promote conversation but there is so much to explore and so much great thinking to do. Lots of reflective questions that really helped my own thinking. And many great links.
Totally fascinated by this idea from Dr. Michael Wesch. He and his group of students read and discussed 94 articles--having each student read 5. From what I can tell from the article, the conversation, because of the way Dr. Wesch structured the work, was powerful because expertise was built quickly. Lots to talk about early on. I can't explain it as well as his blog post does but this is the kind of things where some tech tools can really change teaching and learning. What a way to share so much in so little time.
Kevin of Kevin's Meandering Mind has a great slide sow of the different ways to use video in the classroom. I keep thinking that, as teachers, we just need to see the possibilities and this post does just that--quickly shows us lots of possibilities for using cameras in the classroom. I got several ideas and am hoping that others post things like this using other tools. Seeing the possibilities for learning is what helps me create a vision and this did just that.
A great post about the power of teachers who share. I appreciated the beginning of this post, "While I know that like any profession, there are good teachers and bad teachers, I don’t see many bad ones. My work usually has me working with passionate, caring teachers who truly want what’s best for kids."
As always, Karl Fisch posts in a way that helps us think and reflect on our own teaching. His post, "What's Impossible In Your Classroom?" helped me to reflect on the limits that I place on teaching and learning. This post will stay with me as a way to listen to my own words--do I think some things are impossible and I do I take a new stance?
And, I don't really get digital storytelling yet. But this post helped me to see the amazing possibilities in digital storytelling. It includes links to several different examples of the ways stories can be told. Definitely worth a look--again, to see what is possible.
I revisited an older article by Carol Dweck, thanks to Debbie Miller. The article, "The Perils and Promises of Praise" seem to tie in completely to all that we are working toward with any 21st Century Learning. The urgency to teach children in ways to build agency and identity is key. When students are engaged and interested in their work, there is no need for outside motivation. So much of my thinking around 21st Century Learning is more about student agency and learner identity and this article connects to that thinking.