As I sit in a classroom with a variety of colleagues from across my district and beyond, I feel the sun on my face and find myself listening and agreeing to what is said. Prior to coming here today, we read a brief article by Bob Marzano, one of my favorite education gurus of our time, on interactive white boards. In this article, Marzano shares a study that using interactive technology can have a profound impact on student learning. Of course, the study shows that it's not the technology itself but how the teachers using the technology are structuring the learning. I do believe technology serves as a wonderful tool, but I believe it is just that--a tool. As teachers we need to embrace this tool because it can help us differentiate our learning activities, but we need to continue to do our own work before we get to class so we know how to use it to help our students.
What skills do my high school students "need" to succeed in college and the world beyond? In my college prep class, I teach them a variety of skills like how to search databases, how to determine if resources are valid, how to post information, how to participate in online and face-to-face discussions, and how to write. I guess it all boils down to teaching them to think and share and work together. Technologies available certainly make that more efficient but not necessarily easier. Thinking is difficult and gaining confidence in one's own thinking abilities still seems a daunting task to a high school senior serious about wanting to learn and grow.
This year I have been fortuante to be involved in a technology grant project. I've received training on Web 2.0 technologies galore. I've improved my wiki, created a Ning and Twitter account, embraced Facebook for more than my own fun, and learned to use a variety of applications I never knew existed.
When I started this blog, I envisioned a place where I could post ongoing thoughts about specific topics. I started writing about people who influenced me to be me. This year I plan to write about people and situations who keep me being me, specifically the people and situations that make me smile each and every day.
THIS IS THE FOCUS FOR MY CURRENT BLOGS!
In this blog, you will find my simple thoughts from my little corner of the universe. That is all...