Sunday, August 27, 2006

For Librarians

Should there be any librarians reading this blog, I thought I would share this. Joyce Valenza a librarian I was fortunate to meet in Boston has been doing a lot of thinking about how new technologies are changing and will change how libraries function. At this site she also explores the implications of the changes. It's well worth reading. (via Will Richardson) As David Warlick says - Shift Happens. Let's make sure we understand what and how things are shifting.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

What is happening with blogs?

I just finished listening to Miguel Guhlin's podcast with a group of teachers who are using blogs with their students. It takes about an hour but is worth listening to. One thing that really comes through is the social aspect of learning - how important it is to learn through conversation or written feedback. The students were motivated to write because they had a real audience, but they were also interested in reading what other students wrote and commenting on their writing.
Another important issue that came out of the podcast is the ongoing learning for the teachers. They, too, are reading blogs, learning from others in the field and reflecting on their own practice. This has certainly been the case for me and I thank all who are sharing.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Code of Ethics

When I worked in a school we had an acceptable use policy. It was quite simple - statements about taking care of hardware, respecting people etc. Today I read one on David Warlick's blog. It is much more complex but included some interesting ideas. First of all it states that ethical teachers and students..... I like the document addresses all the school users, that students can see that they are held to the same standard as their teachers.
Included in the statements about using information respectfully and citing sources were
"Tell the story of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
Examine your own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others. "
Those are important messages to give students. It's about thinking and not parroting. It's about the responsibility to be thinking citizens who think beyond oneself and one's own needs. The AUP becomes an ethical statement that goes way beyond the use of school equipment. I like it!

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Monday, August 14, 2006

My new Tune Talk

I spent most of last week at a literacy workshop for teachers, consultants, librarians.... I brought my new Tune Talk mic by Belkin with me and am now working on editing some podcasts which will include some of the snippets I recorded. I'm learning. I discovered (I'm not a good manual reader) that I have to be quite close to the speaker to get a good sound level. But on the whole, I am delighted with the quality. I'll have to play around some more. More podcasts in my future.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Introducing Teachers to Blogs

How do you get teachers excited about learning? about joining a community of learners? Teachers have so many pulls on their time from the demands of the students to the demands of the administration. Whenever I introduce blogging to teachers i always get someone who says - not another thing to check, another thing to read. How can I get them to see the power, the energy you get from being part of a community of learners?

Some of them "get it" and see the connections to what they could do with their students. And they see how easy it is to use the blogging tools. There is a sense of "I can do this". Slowly teachers will move out of their closed-door classrooms and enter the community. I just did some workshops for language arts teachers and got some aha's! One teacher even saw how she could use a bulletin board blog (not enough computers available for the real thing) to start discussion and writing within her classroom. A blog made concrete. The important thing is starting conversation.

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