I missed last week’s deadline because I was busy attending one of the most amazing conferences on the planet: ASB Unplugged.
While in Mumbai, a friend remarked that this was probably the most international conference she had ever attended (over 500 teachers from every continent). It was also probably the conference where I already knew the most people!
These two statements demonstrate the power of connected learning. Because of my twitter network in particular, there were already tons of people that I already “knew” even if I hadn’t met them face-to-face yet. As somebody else said, twitter is the ultimate icebreaker: by already connecting with people over social networks, it allows you to maximize your time with them and to feel a level of comfort because you are already familiar with them and what it is that they are doing.
It was great to put a face to so many twitter names this past weekend. I even got a chance to meet one of my fellow online cohort members Marcello!
As for this week’s (last week’s?) prompt, one method to authentically embed technology into curricular areas is to give students authentic problems to solve! Give a student a problem that requires her to think like an historian and she will have to use research skills to find, analyze and verify information. Give a student a problem that requires him to think like a mathematician and he will have to generate and analyze data. Give a student a problem that requires her to think like an author and she will have to write, edit and publish her work. All of these things are done ‘in the real world’ using authentic technology tools. Yes, we as teachers need to provide appropriate scaffolding based on age and ability, but there is no need to over-complicate the question or over-simplify the process: just get out of the way and let them figure it out!