Thursday, July 03, 2008

Back from NECC- Where the real learning begins

NECC is over and now I am home sorry to have left the face to face leaning community but I am also ready to begin to think deeply, reflect and move forward. Tomorrow is Leadership Day and I am also thinking about what I have to contribute to that conversation.

This NECC introduced me to a few new tools ( not that there weren't plenty of them out here) but most of what I sought was a deeper understanding of the pedagogy and the learning that the tools facilitate. To that end there are several presentations I want to reflect on including, Wes Fryer's session at Edubloggercon on Digital story telling and Oral histories, Alan November who always helps put the big picture in focus and Chris Lehmann's presentation on pedagogy. (Those will form /inform my next post).

What tools am I using, what tools are we using at school, and why are we using them? What do we need to be doing? Having teachers with me this year was a great opportunity to hear what they needed, what they were excited about and what structures I can facilitate to enable them to move ahead.

A few ideas are already surfacing..

Mentoring...teacher to teacher...who will really learn what tool well and be willing to help others

As a community we need a repository ( social bookmarking) of tools and tutorials for just in time learning and to share academic content

We need a way to bring new teachers quickly up to speed and fire their imagination with possibilities

To avoid projects or technology being an end in itself we need to have clear curricular goals.
and a clear understanding of the big picture....inclusive of the concepts of Global awareness, digital literacy, critical thinking, creativity and innovation in problem solving etc.

So in the end what do you need from technology? Perhaps it is only three basic things- Connectedness, publication capacity audio and visual, & collaboration tools. It does not matter which specific tools ....It is about what tools work for us and about the learning and skills they facilitate.
Chris Lehmann said tools are invisible (not to put too much of a spin on semantics ) I was challenged by that to move beyond simply transparency for our tools. At what point do tools truly become invisible?
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Patrick Higgins said...


Hearing your analysis of "what comes next" makes me wish that I'd seen what you did. I will be reading to see how it turns out for you and where you go with these ideas.

I've been toying with the idea of how to make everything transparent, to get teachers' minds off of the push of tech and tool and onto the pedagogy. We should really talk about how this can be done. I'd love to pick your brain.

Barbara said...

Thanks for the comment Patrick..I am looking forward to the day when we get o have a f2f!

I am convinced if we wait until Fall we are too late. I had the good fortune o taking 4 people with me to NECC and I think it is going to help( some of "my" ideas came from them. Chris 's session on Pedagogy was good too and I think it is Ustreamed.

If the teachers have been exposed to the tools and the vision I think (I hope) that if we focus on curriculum maps and big picture in August the tech/digital literacy/global awareness will find their natural place.

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