I’ve been mentioning the work of Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach quite a bit here lately, and by the looks of things, that may continue. Today, she posted a reflection about her first year of work with a group of Alabama teachers to intergrate social netoworking tools into their practice in ways that would <i>positively impact student achivement</i>. She’s done a great job in the post of articulating the model that they used and the ways in which it was put into practice. I was lucky enough to do an Elluminate session with her teacher a couple of months ago, and I know she also featured Darren and some other edbloggers in the process.
I really like how Sheryl and her group framed the work:
Are you willing to change â€“ to risk change â€“ to meet the obvious need
for better alignment between “school as we know it” and the needs of
21st Century learners? Can you accept that Change (with a big “C”) is a
sometimes messy process and that learning new things together is going
to require some tolerance for ambiguity?
This is a risk for most teachers for all of the reasons that we talk about in this community on a regular basis. It takes a supportive structure to bring teachers to the table, to mitigate that risk. And that seems to be what’s happened here. The projects that the teachers involved in the program celebrated last night are pretty impressive, I think. Tons of blogs, wikis, podcasts of all shapes and sizes. As Sheryl says, these are teachers now with the ability “for setting a school’s feet firmly on the path to full-scale 21st Century Learning.” Nicely done!
Tom Hoffman says
The interesting thing about this, to me, is that it is not “blogs all the way down.” That is, the kids are using blogs, but the teachers are using Eluminate and TappedIn. I think eventually teachers will appreciate just using simple one tool for everything.
April Chamberlain says
I am one of the Fellows working with Sheryl. John, Sheryl, and Cathy created a supportive environment in which to learn and grow as educators integrating technology into our classrooms. It was not an easy task because many of us had never heard of blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc. before much less completed any form of online collaborative work. As I reflect on the first year of this project, I see how far I have come and how the structure that they put into place for us is being replicated in so many schools. That is what it is all about – taking the risk, learning from it, and sharing with other educators.