Tech Travelers

It’s official: we’ve created tech travelers at our school as the trek through our Google Mail, Calendar, and Blogger to create, circulate, connect, collaborate, and consider.

Our tired trekkers meet each Tuesday from 3:00 to 4:00 PM, taking on new challenges and overcoming tech fears. Each step makes us one step closer to confidence.  In fact, look at our wordle for sessions 1-5 combined, to show how much we’ve grown. Wordle takes a group of words (our reflections) and translates them into a cloud in which the most frequently used words display larger.

“Login,” “know” and “use” are now part of our tech vocabulary !  Look how prominant they are! Wowser to us!

Check out what we can do:

Our links:

Please leave a comment on their blogs.

If you read the comments there already, you will notice links to two wonderful posts by Denise Krebs, a teacher who took part in a blogging challenge at Edublogs along with Ms Edwards and her students.

The Do’s of Classrom Blogging:

Create, Contribute, Connect, Collaborate, Curate

Joining the Conversation

” Online we can all be on a level playing field. We can all make valuable
contributions. Even the weakest writers can do the work of the 21st
century when they share their own genius.”

Our teachers have created and contributed to the conversation. We step closer to a global conversation, a collaboration and connection that creates authentic learning for our teachers and our students. Soon our teachers will have “trackbacks” to their blogs when others learn from them.

Another commenter, Nancy Carroll, recently wrote a blog post on Lifelong Learning that is pertinent here:  Lifelong Learners Even though our teachers did not grow up with technology all around them, they see the value and need to continue learning with what kids today consider “natural” learning tools.

As of this writing, another commenter joined my call on Twitter to encourage our new bloggers. Paula Naugle and I have shared many Classroom Live Eluminate sessions learning about technology.  Paula’s blog post, A Teachable Moment – Pay It Forward, shows how in one small classroom blog in one corner of the world, a lesson can be shared across borders. Class blogs do “Pay It Forward” through shared lessons and student successes. And sometimes our failures are shared as we reach an “Aha!” moment that guides someone else to success.


Thanks to Denise Krebs, Nancy Carroll, and Paula Naugle for their blogger courtesy, showing the power of our personal learning networks (PLN). And thanks to Nancy, Jama, Gloria, Kayla, Sharon, and Terrie for taking their precious time to consider new ways of creating, contributing, connecting, collaborating, and curating (Thanks, Denise — those verbs rock!)

Keep Trekking, Techies !

Cross-posted at Our Tech Journals

Welcome New Bloggers

Please take time to welcome our new teacher bloggers from our school. They have set up and posted on their new blogs. Let’s congratulate them as they join us on our journey into the cloud.

Students:

Give them a safety tip on Internet use. What is the most important thing they should know about Internet safety? What would you like to them to write about on their class blog?

Student task:
  1. Click to a teacher blog.
  2. Congratulate their new blogging skills — design, content, ideas.
  3. Give them two safety tips on internet use, one of which is the one you think is most important.
  4. What would you like to know about their class? What should they post about? Help them get started 🙂
Teachers:
Remember how nervous you were when you started blogging?  What tips do you have that would help these new bloggers?  Thanks !

Our links:

Be the best blogger you can be by commenting on their blogs.
Cross-posted at Eagles Write for students and Ms Edwards

Tech Beginnings 1

The set up of our class wiki (http://whatelse.pbwiki.com) has begun and is ongoing. I created the project as part of PBWiki Summer Camp to promote the use of wikis in the classroom as a collaborative writing format. As a result, I am now a PB Wiki Educator 🙂 so if teachers or principals have questions/concerns/suggestions, please contact me. I’d be glad to hear your ideas or offer suggestions about wiki implementation.

PBWiki Certified Educator

One project for eighth grade will be “Letters to the President” sponsored by Google Docs and the National Writing Project. The goal is for students to investigate and discuss issues and concerns they would like the future president to address. Students will collaborate in Google Docs and write letters in Google Docs to be transferred to a website of participant’s letters. It’s a fantastic opportunity for students to express themselves responsibly and sincerely to possibly effect change in the future.

As the year started and students filtered in, the eager faces mingled with those students who are less concerned with education and more concerned with being center stage with inappropriate language and actions. I thought about the implications the work of often contrary students could bring to the project; would they continue their negative, distorted views? In the next instant, though, I knew that it is precisely these students who need the opportunity to participate. Their immediate issues and concerns can be transcended as the the whole class deals with and discusses issues of the community. How else will all the students become engaged responsibly if we (I) don’t invite all students? Our purpose and my stated goal is to facilitate student civic responsibility; I believe the students, all of them, will want their voices heard, and they can only be heard if they learn the protocol for responsible sharing. I share these feelings and concerns I have so my students know how carefully and thoughtfully I plan for their successful education and hope for their future.

So, students, what do you think? Are you willing to join students across the nation in “writing the future” by learning how to address concerns to a public persona with thorough discussion, research, and writing?