Saturday, February 10, 2007

Learning from experience and thinking about the future

A week full of immersion excursions and also some thought provoking reading!

First for the immersion excursion….(Sorry, couldn’t resist) This week has been busy with the photo-a-day project! It is growing daily and currently has 13 school involved from across the globe. In my own community it has gendered quite a bit of interest at all grade levels and among the parents too. Because we are taking photos all around school I sent a letter to the parents with a permission form. The reaction was characterized by comments like “That sounds really neat. How can we see the pictures?” It is really exciting to see the parents wanting to be involved. All of the teachers also want their students to view the project too so this will be the first school wide Web 2.0 activity.

On a personal level it has been an opportunity for me to “practice what I preach”. That is to plan and carry out a project even though I was not well versed in using the particular tools we employed. To plan the project I built my first wiki and to do the project I built a Flickr group. Both of which were firsts for me. There were kinks and bumps but I feel good about how it is all coming together. And I can say with confidence it is okay for learning to be a little messy! Monday the student photographers and I will meet to talk about the project, what we have learned so far and what we can learn from the pictures posted by the other schools…. And then the next level of fun will begin with student interactions! Sooo much to learn…sooo much fun to learn!

While I was busy with all of this I have also been reading and thinking about the next level… the next Bhag…. How to have one foot in the here and now and one foot and an eye on the place we are headed. There are so many of you who are forward thinking and who keep stretching me…thank you! So these are the things that I have seen this week which have me thinking. Miguel at Around the Corner has taken up the BHAG challenge in his own way and has posted a wiki for us to answer the questions……
1. How are you building your network?
2. How are you modeling your learning?
(Source: Questions asked during Will Richardson's preso at the Connectivism Conference )
My own thoughts are centering around call for passion by Konrad at the blog of proximal development. (If you haven’t read this post you need to). Rekindling passion…. encouraging passion… about our subject matter is the life’s blood of education. If we are not passionate about what we are doing we are only half alive. So what works against passion? I see an intersection here with another topic that keeps coming up….moving away from dependence on textbooks and staying current through Rss feeds. Curriculum can not afford to be mind numbing…it must be dynamic and engaging must be empowered….and my next Bhag will have something to do with kindling passion for course content through the dynamic interactions of web 2.0.


Patrick said...

It's good to hear from someone else who is moving through the same processes as I am with the application of web 2.0 technologies for the first time. I am interested in using Flickr also, and your project looks like I something I can model something after.

We just finished our first round of wiki projects with a few different classes and the response from parents has been great so far. We have kept it fairly walled so far with no collaboration from outside the district, but we are exploring some of these ideas now.

Great job with everything so far, and thanks for some inspiration.

Tom Barrett said...

HI Barbara - I hope that I can be involved with your project and help my school contribute.
best wishes