Tag Archives: life long learning

The Best Thing I’ve Done Online, Wanna See?

On July 28th at 10:00 am the second iteration of the best thing I have done online will begin. The Reform Symposium began as an offhand comment on Twitter, evolved into a conversation on Google Wave (remember Wave?), then turned from an idea into an event. The conference brought together a disparate group of presenters who were willing to donate their knowledge to everyone who wanted to listen. To me it represents the full potential of social media and what can happen when motivated, like-minded educators are given the tools to collaborate. I have never actually met any of my amazing collaborators, but I consider them to be my dear friends. Try to imagine organizing a global conference for educators ten years ago. Would you be able to do it with free online tools? So if you are looking for some free professional development take a look at the schedule and see if there is something you are interested in learning. Better yet, volunteer to moderate one of the sessions. Hope to see you there.

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Teachers: Go Back to School, In Your Own Building!

In this golden age of global communication and collaboration I sometimes forget that I teach in a very small district (except of course during gloomy budget meetings), with really great people. On Friday I did something that I have been meaning to do for a long time, but have continued to put off for one reason or another, I attended a class right in my own building. During my planning period I asked if I could sit in on a class that my neighbor, Mr. Sherwood was teaching about economics. Mr. Sherwood was very hospitable and enthusiastic about me sitting in and immediately the students took notice of my presence. It was great for me to see different content and teaching styles. This experience was so positive that I plan to attend at least on class per week if my fellow teachers will allow me to. I will even do the coursework when I can. Maybe I will learn even more than I intended to.

Here are the benefits as I see them:

  • You get to see what other teachers are teaching, and how they are teaching it.
  • You get to build closer relationships with your colleagues.
  • You can help your colleagues by offering possible technologies they could integrate.
  • You model lifelong learning for students.

Here are some possible pratfalls to avoid:

  • Don’t over participate. After all the students are there for a grade. Contribute to the lesson when it is appropriate.
  • Be careful about offering too much advice to colleagues. Here is where you are going to have to feel the situation out. The real purpose here is to build better relationships with your fellow teachers, not to make them do it your way.

Be sure to thank whoever it was that let you participate, and then follow up with them at another time, and then don’t look now but you are talking about pedagogy. So I challenge each of you to try to do the same. If you have already done this, or if you plan to please share your experiences.

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