Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Where do we go now.

Reflecting on the past year I have decided to write down my experiences. Here is the what was and what will be.

My year and "life" into the new interweb started one Wednesday morning in early September when my principle handed me a division email he had printed off. It was a request for each school to send a teaching staff member to join a division committee on technology. The committee was to be a part of a laptop project with the goal of being technology support people within the school. I was excited about having a laptop to use but had NO IDEA had much I would learn.

I was always interested in technology but had very little hardware and an average amount of time using different software. In a couple months I went from ...

to here ...

How you ask?

With the help of Donna DesRoches, my In-tech group leader, and the rest of the in-tech's, I allowed my inner-geek to come out. I began as many do, sign up for everything under the sun. I also started adding these new web applications to my teaching...
  • Problem #1 - I began to add technology for the sake of having technogy.
I learned quickly that not only are the students not as interested as I thought they would be, but I presented it to them thinking they would have my same excitement. I changed many of my ideas, assignments and pedagogy after attending the k-12 online conference.

One major success that I had was taking on Konrad Glogowski's blogging assignment and using it for my ELA 10A class. I designed a full unit of blogging and allowed my students to use some of their interests to engage in writing, reading, speaking, listening, viewing and representing. Many students enjoyed their successes, as did I, and the new knowledge they were learning.

Another major success was combining with a colleague on some interdisciplinary assignments using the new technology skills we had learned.

Along with many other bumps on the road and successes along the way, I transformed my classroom into a much more engaging environment.

This is just a few thoughts from the teaching perspective. Next post will be on the changes as "the techie" on staff.


pcone said...

Wow, Eldon, you are a dedicated edu-geek! The extent of my reflection in July is reading other people's blogs (such as yours).Carry on, my colleague!

Anonymous said...

Self learning is so much easier to grasp/rewarding than forced learning. When you give the students tools to use, ideas, resources and a few examples then tell them to take something they enjoy and see how many area's their interests fit, they will start to play around with their own interests and learn there is more attached to their interest and will follow the tools more and maybe even drift into other random topics they find interesting.

Bloging is a great way to learn from others and develop your own being. If you stay active you'll learn society traits, popular culture, technical advancements, literal skills, typing... the list of practical life skills is endless. The added bonus is that due to the medium you also learn to react faster or you develop. You'll type faster, think faster etc.

The trick for you is setting guidelines. I have never believed in marks or grading as an accurate measure of your learnings or learning ability. On the other hand I know it is your job and I do not know how you'd set marks. I guess make simple requirements if you meet those you'll get a 60 the more you exceed those you'll get higher. I'd also give them very broad subjects to start with and let them explore. For example "If you had a million dollars what would you do with it and why? Give web examples." or I think a very good one would be "What do you want to do after highschool and why?".

Lastly I remind you I have no idea what grade you teach but I think its highschool. If not the questions would be like "who is your favorite TV personality? Find examples so you can teach your teacher."

Eldon said...

Very insightful comment, thank you. I agree with you that the grading system sucks, especially for something like technology, videos, or even writing.

I also agree with tapping into students interests and giving them as much time as possible to explore, make and fix mistakes.

I am starting off the year in my CPT course with the door project. It is a video project in which you barely give instruction and allow the students to take one scene and redo it to perfection over a number of classes. Shoot ... analyze and discuss ... plan ... re shoot ... analyze and discuss ... re-shoot ... etc.

FYI - I teach grade 10 English Lnaguage Arts, Information Processing (technology course) and Communication Production Technology.

MommyAtHome said...

I guess that is one thing that I miss ... getting excited about trying and learning new things. I miss that a lot. I guess I get to live it through you and hope that with my own blog I will share and experience new ideas. I also miss the communication with other teachers. Maybe this year with the kids I can get out more. Maybe with my luck I can make some money at home or even help you out.