Sunday, October 29, 2006

Catching up with K12 Online

Catching up with K12 Online

I listened/ watched a number of presentations this weekend andnow I feel a little more like a conference participant. In the process I have learned a “new” online skill. I’m sure for most of you this seems obvious but it was a great delight for me to realize that with a word processor open I could jot notes as the presentations were made- kind of a first step to live blogging that I want to do later this month when I attend an Alan November workshop.

So here is a look at the points that resonated with me this weekend.

First I re-listened to David Warlick’s keynote address which I will view again with my staff this week. This time around I zeroed in on his discussion of the four types of people who will succeed as described by Thomas Friedman. The point that the future experts will be adaptable and able to learn, unlearn and relearn is particularly poignant. It points to the needs of our students as they prepare to participate in the global market place of the future but at the same time I think it is an interesting comment on our educational systems and on us as educators. To be able to learn , unlearn and relearn are essential conditions of our own success.

I also listened to Vicki Davis's presentation Wiki Collaboration Across the Curriculum. I did not get to take notes on this presentation because I was cleaning my garage a the time. It was a great presentation though with straightforward steps to utilizing wikis. One thing that was very interesting is the interaction she described between the high school students and the 8th graders…this put a local spin on the idea of learning communities. I also appreciated the rubric she shared, her guidelines for wiki entries and the explanation of how she sees the relationship/ purpose of wikis and blogs.

Clarence Fisher’s presentation, Globally Literate, helped to pull together the specific skill sets the students need. (Clarence I loved your introduction…I did move to a front row seat!) He also put the literacy issue in its historic perspective. One of the thing I appreciate about Clarence’s presentation was that he presented skills in a hierarchical which is particularly important in the K 8 environment when foundational skills are being taught. He outlines teaching access skills and all that entails, comprehension skills and moving into thoughtful responses ( which entails production skills). I also appreciated the description of the factors involved in reading a web page and a teacher’s responsibility to provide direction and instruction for the students. (Questions raised include the multiple representations of information , links to more information, comments etc.) It was one of those things I knew in an intuitive way but have never taken the time to consider implicitly.

I also go through about half of Mark Wagner’s presentation on Web 2.0 and 2 Way Teaching before life interrupted me. On a practical level I came away with several things that I want to look at more carefully. One was an off handed mention of Google scholar which I had never heard of and now I want to explore. I also want to explore the wiki hmtech because our primary teachers had been considering making a wiki for Reading First. I hope to get back and finish listening to this presentation soon.

Tomorrow I have some student work to share.

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