Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thing # 23

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?

I enjoyed all the exercises, although many of the Things involved applications, tools, or platforms of which I was already familiar. I think that aspect made the exploration that much more enjoyable. The mystery and unease were removed and I always found some new twist of functionality that I had either never seen or missed. Having said that, my favorites were the on-line image generators (Thing 10) and the Web 2.0 Awards (Thing 19). However, my favorite was finding other “Things” as off shoots from the tool you began with. This resulted in hours of enjoyment.
How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
Participation in the program has reinforced the idea that there is always something new to learn - always some interesting way to engage or re-engage students. For the most part, it has been an experiential application of some of my life/parent/teacher mantras – “Be the Change you wish to see in the world” and “Talk is Cheap!”

Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

I suppose I always KNEW this, but it was a pleasant surprise to re-learn how clarifying and even therapeutic creativity and writing can be.

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

I would like to see some activities/assignments that required participants to demonstrate more than basic competence in programs such as Excel and Photoshop. (I have dark, blind spots with these) The assignments should be difficult enough to require some serious time with Atomic Learning in order to complete them. I would also like to see a staff development opportunity that requires the completion of an entire PBL unit – Essential Questions, Unit Questions, Presentation Products, Student Samples (what a teacher would like to see their students produce), scaffolds, instructions…everything needed to pull it off. I think having the opportunity to collaborate on a project or even products in a work-flow environment would be especially beneficial.

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?

Definitely, unequivocally YES. Further, I would like to see the district require a Things course for all instructional staff – (particularly administrators, CIS, Coordinators, even the Superintendent and Board members (Good Luck with that!). I do not think this is unreasonable given all the instruction benefit that would flow from it. I think having administrators participate would create community AND give great insight to the challenges of incorporating effective use of technology in the classroom. The bean counter Big Wigs would benefit in experiencing the Bang for the Mega & Scarce Bucks they have to raise, justify and allocate.

How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities?

23 Things: Relevant, Worthwhile, Inspiring, and Renewing Professional Development.
(Yeah right, like I can say only 1 word – that’s like 1 Pringle!)

Now go and comment on some of the other Players' blogs?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thing # 21

I spent my summer in staff development.  I was guided by my reading of A Whole New Mind - Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink. As a Language Arts teacher, it was such music to my soul. Naturally, my little PhotoStory attempts to reflect that feeling.