This was the first week of a new Masters class. And while I try to find something to apply in every class I take, this might be the best one yet, as it’s related to technology!
While I am by no means an expert, I do consider myself to be reasonably tech-savvy. It hasn’t always been that way, but over the last year and a half to two years, I’ve been jumping in and trying things that I’ve never done before–blogging, kid-blogging, Twitter (for my own learning), my class Facebook page and Twitter feed, as well as just learning to use new apps on the iPads at school (for myself and my students). It’s been great fun to try new things and see them immediately helpful to my students. I think my favorite part has been the impact that my blog has had on the world. Ok, maybe not impact necessarily, but it’s definitely encouraging when people around the world that you don’t even know read, comment on and retweet things you post! Makes what I write feel more meaningful and is motivating to keep me going. 🙂
So since I’ve already been on this technology journey for a while, many of the things we read and watched for class this week were review. But, like with most things in life, if you pay close attention, you fill find something that you can learn. And I did! Let me tell you about it…
This week we watched a series of videos from Darren Wilson, a teacher and tech-leader in Texas, about Inspired Classrooms. While much of what we shared were things I was already doing, I did catch one thing that was FABULOUS and that I will start using even as soon as tomorrow!
One of his main suggestions was to use a class blog to document and record learning, but also (here’s the new thing) as a place to give assignments. What?? I’d never thought of that before, but as soon as he said it, I knew it was something I had to try! Up to this point, I’ve only used my blog as an after-the-fact place to reflect on things I’ve done, to share experiences with our families and other readers around the world or to record what we’re learning for a later date. His suggestion, instead, was to use the blog as a place to share in-the-moment type things, to post articles, projects or assignment directions. In small groups, kiddos would read the post, do what it says and then “turn in” their work by posting a comment with their thoughts. Duh!? Why hadn’t I thought of that before? So simple but so powerful.
And so that’s what I’m going to do tomorrow. I shared the idea with my kids and they also thought it was a FABULOUS one! And, like they do with most things, had a great idea for how we could use it: as a rotation in our math schedule. We already have a station that is Activ Activity–usually a game or flipchart activity that they do as a group on the Activ Board. Sammy suggested that I could post their directions for that activity on the blog and they could give their answer during that station. Brilliant!
Please be sure to check back soon to see how it went! I am pretty sure it’ll be great, because I know the kids who’ll be doing the work, and they’re pretty great. 🙂