Showing posts from March, 2010

Twitter and #PTChat

As a member of Twitter ( KerryHawk02 ), I have participated in several #EdChats. But this past week, on Wednesday night at 9pm, I participated in #PTChat. It is a discussion about parent-teacher communication and the role of parents in the education process at school. Some of the participants were just teachers, some were just parents, and some were both. It was really interesting and eye-opening.The moderators are @Parentella and @ShellTerrell . I have been following both of them for a while and found them both through participation in #EdChats. Here is a taste of the conversation, from KerryHawk02's posts (my posts): The part of the conversation I liked was that it wasn't all positive. Many people posted issues involved in parent-teacher communication. Some of problems discussed included working v. non-working parents, child care for parents of other young children, and teachers talking to parents as if they are students. All of these are real issues that are not easily solv

Technology, Teaching, and Tradition... Are They Compatible?

Will Richardson , the beloved author of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts... , recently posted an interesting, and somewhat troubling, anecdote on his blog. His blog is called Weblogg-Ed and the post is entitled Reality Check . It is compelling, and yet brief, so I'll post the entire text here: Recently a school administrator shared a story that reminded me why I need to spend more time talking to more people outside of the echo chamber. She said that a group of parents had requested a meeting to discuss the methods of a particular teacher and his use of technology. It seemed this teacher had decided to forgo the textbook and have students write their own on a wiki, that he published a great deal of his students’ work online, that he taught them and encouraged them to use Skype to interview people who they had researched and identified as valuable voices in their learning, and that he shared all of his lectures and classwork online for anyone, not just the students in his class, could access

The Power of Wikis In/Outside the Classroom

A little over a month ago Anne Low, an 8th grade teacher at Parker Middle School in my town, and I had the idea to help ease the course placement and transition process for 8th graders by hooking them up with 9th graders. Although I now teach high school, we taught 8th grade history together at Parker for the past two years. We noticed that students get a lot of information in a formal way (through presentations from RMHS administrators and guidance counselors during the school day or through evening meetings at RMHS that are expressly for incoming feshmen) but they never get a chance to really ask the questions that make them the most nervous about high school. Questions like... I think I have the choice of going into all honors classes for my freshman year. Do you think I could be able to do that and still have a social life at the same time? I heard there are different lunches for each grade. So is there some freshmen in a lunch with a few kids from each age? And how many kids are i

Marblehead: Connecting Me with Alan November

Ellie Freedman, RMHS principal, shared this video with us, her faculty, after attending a session with Alan November over February vacation and listening to his ideas. I was intrigued by the setting November chose for the video. November juxtaposed the history of Marblehead, Massachusetts with the need to assign class work and projects that all students to be contributors, not just workers in the classroom. I worked at Marblehead Veterans Middle School as an 8th grade social studies teacher for 4 years prior to coming to Reading. I'll admit the connection is tenuous, but it was enough to help me recognize many of the narrow colonial streets and coastal landscapes in the video. Myths and Opportunities: Technology in the Classroom by Alan November from Brian Mull on Vimeo . Based on this video (and a complimentary article by November you can find if you click here ) we have both learned a few things from our time in Marblehead: Technology for technology's sake is NOT an imp