Reflection 9/21 09/22/2011
Many of you seemed to really enjoy the Google Doc activity last night. Something to keep in mind as you start designing/developing your own discussion and technology activities. Something I’m beginning to keep in mind is that it helps to develop activities that ask everyone to “do” something and then try to systematically share on some level so everyone is interacting. Someone specifically asked about “wanting to know more about how to collaborate as a class;” you are only limited by your creativity. Hopefully we’ll continuing trying different activities that give you ideas for future classes you might teach. I’d argue the point for THIS class is not to only repeat what has worked because we won’t explore alternatives (the good, the bad, and the ugly).
I’m bummed someone really didn’t like the “zero” activity I had; however, I think it was more because of not detailed/clear enough directions. I think you all appreciated having a self-starting activity to kick off the class as we get connectivity up and running. I will be sure to make sure there is always a “zero” activity and be sure to leave more detailed instructions. Next week will return to the Teaching Writing with Technology grid we started this week.
A few mentioned being overwhelmed with how much Laura “got” from the Brain Rules reading. FYI...Laura has a background in this info. She knows more about it than I do. So do not fret if you were not “getting” it as much as Laura. She’s got the advantage on all of us. Someone specifically asked for more reading/research about brain wiring and literacy learning. I don’t specifically know anything; however, that type of an interest is a great way to start your final project. Maybe search for some resources (and I’m happy to help if you want to chat with me) and then design an learning unit/module based on that research. OR, if there really is no research with that direct correlation; design your project and choose the assessment option to do that research yourself--add to the field!
Someone asked about other technology ideas for the Brain Rules notetaking challanege. Don’t forget I left you a list in the original assignment prompt. You may want to play with some of the technologies emerging on the Teaching Writing with Technology grid. THIS website has a listing of technologies I share with faculty when a do “digital writing across the curriculum” style workshops. Playing with various Google Applications is always a good idea. And you can really go wild and starting playing with tools from Go2Web20. Don’t feel like you have to run a new technology by me; just make sure you are able to somehow “take notes” in it.
Someone specifically asked for a more “current” reading by Selfe. Folks, this is still a “intro” to computers & writing pedagogy class (yes, MA programs are still basically “detailed” introductions into the field). That means we do lots of history and intro stuff. It’s kind of the nature of the beast. There is nothing that keeps you all from going to Google Scholar, searching Cynthia Selfe and sorting by date. ;-)
Someone mentioned not completely hearing the discussion of the technology and an assignment at the end. I think that was when I quickly referred to the outline/rubric I made for your class facilitation assignment. In short, your “presentation” and “facilitation of discussion/engagement” with the assigned reading also needs to include some technology. I just added a little more description to the document (just trying to give ideas). Again, as long as you sincerely try, I’m generally good. :-)
A quick further follow-up on Live Scribe pens (someone asked what/how/why); I wanted to share with you one of the VERY COOL things one of my former math colleagues figured out. She posted it in her blog (and I think she’s got some other posts you all might find interesting in your “spare” time).
Last week someone responded to “wanting to know more about”: I am interested in learning more about the physical technology limitations and imposed district requirements for use in the public school setting in K-12. This seems to create quite a bit of angst, and it would be intriguing to see what is being done about it.
I’m not quite understand what you meant by “physical technology limitations” --can you fill in the Ticket Out one more time (or email me) with some more details to help understand what you are wanting?
My “short” answer for the second half of the question is we always have to work within contexts that restrict one thing or another. Last night we briefly discussed building up a repository of resources (usually references to scholarly articles and research results) to help us make arguments both for and against specific “restrictions.” Doing classroom research, like assessing a specific activity you use with your students, also helps because you can provide evidence about how it is working. However, I also know a lot of teachers who run under the radar and just do what they think is best (both with and without technologies). There is no magic bullet for “fixing” issues of access and administrative policies; there is just continued patient working within and around the system.
CC image posted at Flickr by Pink Sherbet Photography