Category Archives: Thought Provoking

How Are You Evolving As A Teacher?

Thriving by Jason A. Samfield, licensed under CC BY NC SA

There is an interesting article in today’s New York Times about how technology is changing how students learn. The article has been released in conjunction with two major studies: one by Common Sense Media on Children, Teens and Entertainment Media: The View from the Classoom; and one from  the Pew Internet on How Teens Do Research in the Digital World:

There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two surveys of teachers being released on Thursday.

Cathy Davidson, co-founder of HASTAC, strikes back:

 if we do not think learning is something so dreadfully dull that it has to be regulated, assessed, made compulsory, rule bound, divided into disciplines, and in all other ways “measured out in coffee spoons” (as T. S. Eliot would say), then the potential of kids and all of us to learn is enormous.

I bring these articles up to ask a question: In this technology-rich, digitally-immersed environment that we find ourselves teaching in, how are your ideas of pedagogy, practice, curriculum and assessment evolving?

The NETS*S and the NETS*T (for teachers) offer  great starting points when considering this question. It’s also something to keep in the back of your mind for Course 5!

Categorize Your Uncategorized Blog

Some rights reserved by lapidim

I’ve noted that many of you are not yet putting your blog posts into categories. A little tip from experience. The sooner you start categorizing your blog posts the better. Here’s why…

  1. At some point you’re going to want to go back and find a blog post you wrote. Much easier if you have categories.
  2. When others visit your site categories help them find structure to your blog and ideas and thoughts.
  3. The sooner you do this the less blog posts you have to go back and add to a category. Easier now with a few then later on with a lot.

In the end categories and tags are how we bring structure to the chaos. Learn to use them well and they’ll start making sense. You don’t have to use the “course 1″ “course 2″ structure. Find a structure that works for you, you can categorize posts in a number of ways….the only wrong way is not to categorize at all.

If you need more help on how to use categories and tags here  is some good reading and videos to get you started.

Have a Chat

The other day I was on Cindy Hopkins grade sheet and saw she came online at the same time (you can see this in the upper right corner of a Google Doc, each person is represented by a colored square) and took the opportunity to chat with her in real time.

I often see more than one person looking at the blog list, or one of the Google Docs for the weekly assignments. Take time to chat with other members who might happen to be online at the same time as you are. It’s a great way to build that personal connection with others. You can talk about the class, your school, your kids, or your favorite wine. ;)

There are opportunities all around us to chat and connect, we just have see them and then use them to connect.

And the winner is…..

Some rights reserved by HiMY SYeD / photopia

I just spend the past 7 hours reading and updating everyone’s grade sheet. If  you do not have a grade sheet or you don’t see a comment from me then please re-share it with me. Here are the directions again to setting up a grade sheet.

After reading through the blog posts the winner clearly is the RSS Reader in this first course. Many of you talked about using your RSS reader, getting it set up, and how you’re starting to come to terms of skimming to find the relevant information you want to read. RSS is a powerful tool and once you understand it and how it links things together kind of behind the scenes on the Internet you’ll start seeing it everywhere.


Some rights reserved by Alan Joyce

iTunes for example runs on RSS. I set up the media blog and then give iTunes the RSS feed to that blog. iTunes just pulls in the media via RSS into iTunes. So anyone can be in iTunes…you just need an RSS feed.

Your Blogs Impress Me!

I have been so impresses with your level of reflection and blogging in this first class. Some great insight into the readings, your own readings, and your students and own kids. It’s been fun to get a glimpse into your head over the past 5 weeks.

What has impressed me the most however is your commenting and supporting of each other through comments. It’s these connections that make a community work, and you are well on your way to becoming a great supportive learning community.

I’m excited that this first course is coming to an end, all the systems are set up, as well as my personal systems to keep track of everything, and we can continue to learn together.