Blogging, Classrooms, Clarence

Today I sat down with the 8th grade team who asked me to come in and talk about blogging. All 8th graders have blogs and all of the teachers now how blog. But “Now what?” I’ve only listened to half of Clarence Fisher’s Keynote for the k12online conference (Don’t want to ruin the LAN party fun!). He touches on how pedagogy has to change. Which is exactly what I told the 8th grade team today. I sat down with them. All of us with laptops in hand and started by saying “If you are not going to commit to blogging…really commit to it, it will fail.” I think that shocked them a little bit. I’ve set up more blogs for teachers than I can count. Some have been very successful while others have stopped using them after a week. What makes the difference is commitment. Not commitment to blogging or blogs, but commitment to changing your classroom…change the way things run, change the way things work, change your assignments. Lucky for me I have been thinking a lot about how to sustain blogging in the classroom as my k12online presentation on that subject is released on Thursday this week. It’s really no secret. You have to change the way your class runs, you can not add blogs to what you do, they have to become what you do! They have to become a learning tool, they can replace something you are already doing, or you will  have to rework your schedule to find a way to make them part of your classroom. Teachers need to understand that blogging is not journaling…journaling is journaling. Blogging is a conversation, blogging is a reflection of thinking, a creation of knowledge all done in an open come-one-come-all format. If you are not willing to change…then don’t blog! [tags]k12online07, blogging, pedagogy[/tags] Technorati Tags: k12online07cl01, k12online07, k12online2007, blogging, education,...

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It's just hardware!

Yesterday I, along with about 10 other educators from my school, went to the first Apple seminar for international schools held here in Shanghai. Apple has sent a team here to “break into the international school market in Asia.” They are based in Beijing but travel around Asia promoting their products and what they can offer to schools who are looking to either go to a full 1:1 program or just looking to get more technology in their schools. I get teased a lot from fellow teachers who are Mac lovers for being the “Dell guy” because I do own a Dell computer. But I can run both platforms (although I’m a little rusty on OS X) and at the end of the day it’s just hardware! What follows are brief notes that I took from the presentation: Title:Digital Tools for Digital Kids: An Apple seminar for international schools Apple’s Education VisionA world where all students discover their own special genius Basic SkillsTechnology Fluency21st Century LiteracySense of Self Talked about wikipedia being a powerful tool even though we can’t access it here in China but not about the connectiveness of information. The challenge is: Change managementChange pedagogy Standards for Authentic Instruction Higher order thinkingDepth of knowledgeConnectedness to the world beyond the classroomSubstantive conversationSocial support for student achievement  Case Study taken from Mabry Middle School An iChat with Dr. Tyson from Mabry Middle School. (Thank you Dr. Tyson for staying up until 1am to chat with us here!) What needs to be explained is how Dr. Tyson has set up his school. The difference between Mabry and the regular Middle School format as in technology support, administration expectations for staff, and administration support to try new things. Dr. Tyson said when he was hired he was seen as the “Geek Principal”. Question was asked after middle school what is the high school like where these students go? Is it just as computer friendly? The short answer…..no. Showed movie on Stem Cell research from the Mabry Film Festival. Students as creators of information. Not a lot of notes for a 3 hour presentation. I made it about an hour and a half before I shut the lid on my laptop (yes a Dell) and started drifting into Jeff’s World. I do not blame Apple’s Educational Speaker/Rep and actually he did a pretty good job of showing what iLife can do. We...

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