One aspect of my job that I enjoy very much is that most people do not have a clear idea of just what I do. Which is both good and bad I suppose. But today was one of those days that when people say “Thank you” I respond, “Just doing my job.”
I started the day having three hours with the middle school PE department helping them to set up their blog. Two of the PE teachers came to a PD session I did on blogging. They then went to their administration and asked for a half day release to sit with me and put their plan into action (It’s great when we get time to really do this type of learning).
So for three hours I sat with 5 middle school PE teachers today. We started by talking about the layout, the difference between pages and posts and what information they wanted where and how/who they wanted to access it.
It’s a group blog so all of the PE teachers can post about their classes or information about activities. We brainstormed and created categories to help them organize their thoughts. The theme they picked isn’t showing the categories in hierarchy form like they are suppose to (if anyone knows how to code this in I’d appreciate it!) but we’re working on that.
We then set to work to start creating the site. It worked really well and in three hours everyone learned the basics and I helped different people learn specific skills. Taught one how to resize pictures, taught another how to add/edit a table and yet another how to run the sidebar widgets. They then showed each other how to do their new special skill. A great day of learning and the start of a great PE blog.
At one o’clock I then transitioned into a presentation for 8th graders around their global issues presentations. Basically the 8th grade ran their own conference all day. Listening to each other and then inviting some teachers who were passionate about change to come and present as well. After today the 8th grade teachers will choose four presentation that they feel were particularly well done and nominate them for the Global Issues Network Conference sponsored by EARCOS this spring in Beijing. The top two groups will then fly to Beijing to present their Global Issue to other students from around the region. I’ve been helping EARCOS to set up a ning site for the conference as Apple has donated a laptop for each participant while they are at the conference. The hope is to have students from around the region connect on different global issues and create opportunities for really world change.
My presentation talked about the digital divide and education focusing on the work being down by the One Laptop Per Child organization. I also asked the students to pay close attention to the presentation style and used the opportunity to demonstrate a good presentation and good use of PowerPoint.
- Less is more
- Tell your story
- Know your content
- Allow pictures to speak for you
- Be passionate
We had a good debrief about the presentation, the XO laptop, and how the little green machine works. The kids were fascinated by the computer and that this computer was made for education, to educate some of the poorest kids in the world and give them the opportunity to connect with others and with knowledge. International students, I think, get this more then most. They travel to places were poverty is present…I mean real poverty, and I think it excites them when they are given the opportunity to create ideas on how to solve some of the problems facing our world today.
That’s what we’re here to do, create opportunities for learning and reflection. That is our job!