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I created this draft earlier, and now, after a couple days, I do not remember what this entry was going to become.  Random thoughts:

- what are the ramifications of being able to publish thoughts so quickly?

- how will this become something meaningful?

- who will teach people to know whether I have anything worth while to add to the cloud?

- Why, in a world of instant communication, do people feel isolated from one another?

~M

I just recently viewed this video–http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW8amMCVAJQ and I was surprised at the profound message it carried–extracted from such a simple interaction.

I will try to find a lone nut today-if I cannot, I hope to have the courage to be one.

~M

I’ve always thought teaching was a perfect job for anyone who wants to grow spiritually and emotionally.  On the other hand, someone who is stunted in those areas sometimes make it a home for a LONG time.  Perhaps, as in everything else in life, we have a choice as educators to grow during those stressful moments, or to balk, stay afraid of losing control, of getting out of our sphere of comfort–all the while asking students to.

I need to remind myself sometimes that students aren’t quite human yet–not in a disrespectful way, but in the sense that a piece of artwork, half-way to completion, is not as polished as it will eventually be.  And though worth the respect of an admirer, still susceptible to the critical and molding eye of someone who knows better.

Perhaps it all comes down to humility–a quality easily striven for, but often difficult to achieve.

LTT

So, I’ve taken a job in Germany as a Tech. integrationist–I’m excited.  I have always been drawn to technology and to using it in my classroom.  And yet, the more I learn about new trends and practices, the more I realize how much is out there, but also how important the ability to discern personally useful tools and information is.

Here’s what happened: I told my 7th graders that they were going to publish their very own wikis (http://history7humanhistory.wiki.zoho.com/) it was exciting and a bit scary for me as the old question popped into my fear box, “what if they don’t learn what they’re supposed to learn?”  But, the echo of “21st Century Skills” I’ve been reading about everywhere online crashed resoundingly in my mind and I set them loose–after a ten minute how-to on editing a zoho wiki page.

Day one went well; they were finding pictures and facts; they were putting information in their own words; they were… all that lasted for the first day.  Today, day two, things went more slowly.  I began thinking, “where is the value in this?”  ”There are other wikis out there that discuss the neo, paleo, and mesolithic eras–are we doing something valuable?

“Philip” and “Gregory” were surfing on youtube “finding videos,” while “Nancy” and “Kennedy” spent the whole period formatting two short lists of facts into the browser.

I began to think I had given them too much freedom, despite the warning I had read somewhere to “give kids their freedom when creating wikis–you won’t regret it.”  But then “Philip” ran to me excited about a video he had found involving “Tarneg” the “Mesolithic hunter.”  He was excited, I wondered if he had learned something.

I left the lab thinking that I needed to brush up on the eras myself so that I had a better idea what I wanted my students to learn, but also wondering if it wasn’t somehow valuable to them after all.

What do you think?

~LearntoTeach