I'm starting to get involved with this place and it definitely has me intrigued. I've already learned a lot here and my mind is spinning. I'm still trying to figure it all out. Like this blog thing. What do I want this place to be about and how is it different from the forum? Also, the chatter thing. I really don't get that yet. At times this site also seems slow.

I can see how environments like this can take up a lot of time and become somewhat addictive. I can identify with some of the reasons my students get obsessed with this stuff. It is also a little scary because up until now I've really been a lurker. I've been reading a ton, but not putting myself out there. Putting yourself and your writing in a public space among people you don't really know is a little intimidating. I want to hear people's opinions, but I also feel vulnerable.

Regardless of all of that I'm going for it. I've started a blog at school and I've published an article, I presented at a conference and hope to do more of that. I'm getting out there and it is exciting. But is this becoming about me and my learning more than about student and teacher learning? Is that ok? Lots of things swirling around in my head....

Views: 52

Comment by nlowell on April 10, 2007 at 9:19am
Good to see you stretching your wings!

But is this becoming about me and my learning more than about student and teacher learning?

Don't discount the meta-cognitive value in Ning.

Here's my take. If the teacher doesn't know a tool -- and I mean really own it -- how can they use it in their practice?

Some tools you're forced to use in the classroom and you learn on the job in front of the students. It's the "one chapter ahead of the class" situation and I don't know any teacher who likes that.

What we have here is the opportunity for teachers to begin to gain some expertise and familiarity with the tool *before* trying to answer the question "how will this help?"

There was an earlier conversation about this being "about the kids" and improving practice. That's true. But before you can improve practice, you have to understand it.

I'm not one of those people who thinks that teaching is a science. You don't teach with a recipe. Sure, you have some ingredients that you use and you tend to mix them about the same way each time, but the outcomes -- once you factor in the learners -- are always different.

Teaching is an art form and what we're doing here is giving those teachers who want to explore the new medium a chance to do so in an authentic way by using it to teach themselves.

Like you are.

And you're doing great!

Don't stop now!
Comment by Sylvia Martinez on April 10, 2007 at 10:46am
I'm thinking along the same lines as you, and hoping it all works out. I guess you have to be the guinea pig sometimes.
Comment by Carolyn Foote on April 10, 2007 at 1:10pm
I've found that almost everything I have done online the last 15 or 16 years ends up paying off in my professional life--whether it was learning to chat on AOL in the "old days" or learning to use a webcam or edit a personal photo--all of those skills are ones I can call on when needed.

It's like the oxygen thing on the plane--give yourself oxygen and you can help others.

So now if I'm "playing" online, I know it will pay off later somewhere down the road!

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