Here is my new curriculum focus for 2010:
Reading, Riting, Rithmetic and Rules of blogging, commenting and netiquette.
I should be lounging and vacationing but alas I am planning, preparing, delaying (I have essays to grade.) 2010 is around the corner and I am not ready. There are tons of things that I would like to have in place for the class when the New Year starts. My goal this week is to see how much I can get done this week and still enjoy New Year’s Eve.What is the most important thing that needs to be accomplished? Hmmmm. I feel that it is necessary for me to redesign my mind, curriculum and class.
I say redesign because with my dedication to the integration of technology has come a need for revamping the way that I do things.I now create podcasts/vodcasts about everything because thanks to Jing it is so much easier to create a video that demonstrates what I want them to see and/or do as I walk around and manage the class.It is these technical directions that are sometimes more demanding and difficult to deal with more than teaching the reading and writing skills. There reason for that is that the students are so impatient. They need my attention and direction NOW. Or course, they are asking the same questions that I have answered 3 times already (and by the way is posted on the whiteboard) They are not half as impatient whe they need help and guidance conjugating verbs or revising an essay, but when it is necessary to work on a blogpage/ wikipage/ Ning/ wordle or glog there is an air of desperation in their voices and requests. I always happy to have them desperate about to get my help but Oh My, hearing my name over and over again, can get a bit trying.
I have created podcasts/vodcasts that demonstrate how to work with: PowerPoint, Animoto, WikiPages, Using Blogs, Using Audacity, Using Wordle, Using tags and categories, safety in posting personal information, and so many more things. I am constantly trying to change things so that our class runs more efficiently and effectively. I am trying to re-write my curriculum to encompass all of the elements and skills that I deem to be necessary for a successful 21st century citizen. Because I am straying away from work only being paper/pen responses, I need to teach them mediums that will allow them to express their knowledge and their creativity. There is a change is what I need to teach. Now I need to teach the content and I need to teach the skills needed to incorporate the technology. I have given them tastes and tidbits of: grammar rules, creating PowerPoints, how to apply reading skills, writing techniques, making podcasts, blogging guidelines, literary devices, etc.
The remainder of the schoolyear will be devoted to them mastering these skills that they have been introduced to: and possibly learning a few more that I may throw in. To do this I am trying to map out our work schedule down to the minute.I knwo that there needs to be a change in the direction of my English class. They could care less about how they do on an assigned essay. My students are not at all impressed by the need for instruction in Reading, Riting and Rithmetic. What I hope will matter to them more is how their work is viewed by family and friends. Many of them now see what happens when as a class we look at blogpages (I have started to give out awards for outstanding bloggers) and there is no significant work to look at. I quickly move on to the next student so that no one feels ridiculed but posting to the World Wide Web means that the Whole World can Witness your failures and successes.
Many of them have come to this realization and are now new recruits (into the world of blogging.) Because they are unaccustomed to responding and commenting it is necessary for me to teach the rules of blogging and commenting. Here comes the need to teach the new R in our schools, the Rules of blogging and technology use. They need to be taught: How to comment on Literature prompt that is posted on class blogpage. How to comment on a classmate’s work. How to write blogs that others will want to read. How to create titles to draw in your reader. How to respond to commenters. All of these are communication skills necessary for a successful student, worker and citizen. I am looking at it as a slight shift from the way I used to do things.
They will no longer type up and print out or essay responses to literature, they will now blog about them. They will no longer create a 10 page research paper, they will now create a wikipage. Not that there is a major difference in WHAT I teach them but there is a big difference in the WAY I teach them and the way that they demonstrate that they have acquired the knowledge.