Just in case anyone might be interested in signing up, I’ll be giving a three-hour workshop at NECC this year titled “Empowering Practice: Leveraging the Read/Write Web for Professional Growth” on June 26 at 8:30 am. As I’m sure is obvious by this point, my focus has been shifting of late from classroom practice using these tools, which, by and large, I think has been relatively unimpressive, to personal learning practice. (Don’t get me wrong, there are some great examples out there, but they are few and far between.) I think had I written the workshop description today, it would have had even more to say not just about the how to but about the why and the process of building networks of practice. To me, that’s what really will translate into effective, ethical classroom use.
Anyway, just thought I’d post it up here in case anyone might want to join us…
Technorati Tags: NECC07
John Pederson says
There’s a little voice in my head that’s getting much louder over the past few weeks. “Stop teaching teachers how to teach. Focus on the learning.”
Easy questions to answer.
Who do they teach?
What do they teach?
When do they teach?
Where do they teach?
How do they teach?
Why do they teach?
More interesting questions…
Who do they learn with/from?
What do they learn?
When do they learn?
Where do they learn?
How do they learn?
Why do they learn?
We’ve traditionally been focused on the business of teaching when our real focus needs to be learning. Funny things these blogs, because after reading what you wrote above, I searched my own blog. We were having this conversation way back in May 2005. Steve Dembo actually got me thinking about this.
http://pedersondesigns.com/2005/05/07/teaching/ Nearly two years later, it still sticks…and goes deeper. It’s becoming increasingly clear in my own experience and professional practice that learning is our business, not teaching.
Will Richardson says
That gets it…for me it goes back to that post “SAT Questions We’d Love to Ask”…How does your teacher learn? More and more, I just see that as the most important thing these days. In an environment where we can learn 24/7/365 and not just 8-3, 180 days a year, we need to model that lifelong process…
Chris L says
Of course classroom practice and personal learning practice don’t need to be exclusive. In fact, recognizing that they are NOT may be the most important missing realization amongst many blogging teachers and students. Lately I have been working on some very particular interests regarding learning communities, communities of practice, and “Third Spaces” as potentially realized through social software and networks. The ultimate ideal for me is to empower a student to become a part of the community of practice of being a learner, creating and finding for themselves that space, and allowing me as an educator to see a part of it as it relates to the learning process around the curriculum and content I am providing and facilitating.
Nothing new, as I and others have often said that the ideal situation is when students develop into learners and discover their community and turn that entire apparatus towards and into their learning environment.
Chris L says
I should clarify that when I said “nothing new” I meant that *I* was saying nothing that was probably new to you 🙂
Barry B. says
First, I really enjoyed your keynote at Google yesterday! The beat about your son and the response he got regarding global warming on wikipedia was pretty neat; THAT has great classroom potential.
In response to your post, I agree with you that blog use in the classroom as an activity is probably overall not a tool that bears lots of pursuit for mass student use with teacher moderation. With “so much to do and so little time to do it” (not my words) I think a far better use is to have teachers use blogs for reflection of their thinking (and learning) process when planning and implementing a lesson. I think so much of what happens in the classroom is kept a mystery from kids for reasons far unknown to me. Why teachers don’t post (or even share) their goals for the day, reasons why subjects are being studied, how students are assessed, how assessment translates into grades…these are so rarelt shared with kids. A teach blog that kids could read to see this thought process would certainly “de-mystify” school a bit and maybe (just maybe) the reason for learning something in school won’t just be “because I told you that’s what we are doing today”.
Nazhatulshima Nolan says
Hello! I came across your blog when I was trying to do a research on educational blogging. I started blogging for self expression; and after I felt the irony of teaching my students to write but I was not writing myself. What started off as personal reflections for me has now become more than that. When I made my students respond to my postings, I’ve discovered the learning process for both;my students and I, and I became more enthusiastic to learn more on what I can do. Despite being a ‘baby blogger’ of 7 months, it did’t hinder me to share the ‘little’ knowledge that I’ve discovered to a group of educators through a conference,The 2nd International Conference on ELT Materials held in Malaysia last week. My workshop titled ‘Blogosphere: Materials for Teachers and Learners’ has managed to unlock the fears of integration of technology in ELT. My enthusiasm has proven to be ‘contagious’ when a few of the partipants have created their own blogs. I’ve just submitted an order to purchase your book and hope to learn more and also hope I can join NECC workshop or perhaps the possibility of inviting you to come to my university in Malaysia to share your knowledge.
Sincerely awaiting future collaboration,
Universiti Teknologi MARA Johor,
Segamat, Johor, Malaysia.
Ted Ingraham says
Really enjoyed your presentations at eTech/Ohio. I’ve had time to explore/learn about blogs due to the snow days this past week. Thank you for introducing this world to me.
I was “on the fence” about attending NECC since it will be at my expense, but after hearing you last Monday, I’ve registered for the conference and your workshop.
Diane R. Chen says
Reflective practice is so vital to handle change, yet it has been invisibly practiced. Through these networks of practice we have new ways to continue our reflection, meet other colleagues of similar interests, and make our learning visible to our students. Years ago one of the questions on my oral comps was “How do you intend to stay current on library information science when you are the only librarian in your building?” We’ve come so far. Our tools have broken down these barriers and increased visibility. Yet when I work with teachers on Library 2.0 technologies, the question always surfaces “But how do I do this with my students?” Our learning doesn’t always have to involve the total class. Thanks for the post.
Alice Mercer says
Part of me was not happy hearing that the focus shouldn’t be kids blogging, but on getting our peers doing it. But thinking on it, I was able to bring technology to my classrom because I had personal experience with it
Frankly, I think it is harder to teach technology to adults, than it is to teach it to children. I’m scheduled to do trainings on podcasting, and one of the struggles I’m going to have is how I can be effective with the adults.
Ken Ronkowitz says
Will’s comment: …my focus has been shifting of late from classroom practice using these tools, which, by and large, I think has been relatively unimpressive, to personal learning practice.
makes sense to me & isn’t surprising. In my 25 years in secondary school & 7 in higher ed, it has been clear that getting teachers to be personal users of technology (or practices) was the best way to get them to use it with students in a genuine way.
Whether that was getting writing teachers to be writers, and not just ask students to write (and bemoan that the kids didn’t enjoy it) or it was getting teachers to read blogs and create one before you tell them to have their students blog.
Nothing will critique one of your assignments better than having to actually do it yourself.