If my son turns out to be truly ADHD, I’m sure we can trace it right back to me. I have a very hard time staying on task and not jumping from project to project. I’ll start something, get distracted very easily and start something else – forgetting to finish the first project.
So today I’m at home working on COSMEO and waiting to start my 3 PM STAR Webinar. I go to the Internet for something from COSMEO, but my homepage is set to the Discovery Educator Network. I get distracted by a blog, click on other blogs on the right hand side, and now COSMEO can wait a few more minutes.
The first blog I read was from a DEN member who didn’t realize that she even had blog capability in the DEN site. Yes ladies and gentlemen, when you are a STAR, you get access to create your own blog! We’ll have to have a webinar on this soon. Go leave her a message and tell her some of the other wonderful things you’ve gotten to do or had access to thanks to your STAR status.
The next blog was from South Carolina STAR MaryAnn Sansonetti. She started her new job as an Instructional Technology Coach this week. Maryann was one of our attendees at the South East Regional Conference and was so fun to learn from. What a gem her teachers are getting!
The next blog was a little bit more serious. It was from a Pennsylvania STAR, Jennifer Dorman. She brings up a great question, "Do we embrace this aspect of Web 2.0 with open arms and restructure our teaching to allow for educational networking or do do we eschew this technology because it might expose our students to dangerous people, situations, and ideas online?" This is a tough question to answer, and of course each district – or even town- will have a different answer. My response – embrace it and teach not just the Social Networking, but the Safety of the Internet, period. Students need to realize that these tools are there, how they should be used, and how to protect themselves from the dangerous situations. After all, a science teacher who teaches a lab class teaches safety first. They use dangerous equipment, but their first concern is safety. Now, I don’t believe I’ll ever have to cut open a frog to make a living, but I remember the first part of that whole lesson was lab safety. In PE we don’t just teach the sport, we teach the safety of the sport. The first week of computer classes are usually lab safety of how to sit properly in your chair! So this thing called the Internet, that allows us to be ubiquitous as Karen so well puts it, needs to be taught but with safety in mind. Glenda Jenkins in Arkansas shares a story from a television show on why the safety part should be taught first. There was another one last night, not CSI, but I think it was one of those Law and Order type shows. The girl created a VLOG that got her in trouble.
There were some other great postings, one about Student Email – which Tom had already responded to. Again, teach them the proper way to use the email. Teach them to be responsible and safe and you’ve won half the battle. I went down this same road with my former school district. They finally checked out eChalk for their email needs.
Then I read about Cathy Rutledge’s experience with sports over the holidays and finding non-athletic ways to compete. Way to go Cathy! I think there should be more people taking advantage of these opportunities.
The next few blogs I read were about classroom use of technology. I started with Nicole Clark, a South Florida DEN STAR (see you next week at Busch Gardens!). She found it very easy to create an assignment using unitedstreaming. I’m sure Melissa will agree, but she’s having a hard time getting her teachers into the use of technology in their classroom. In her blog she shares how the power of the DEN, or actually the power of a resource she found on the DEN website, helped her capture the attention of students and teachers alike.
But I’m going to end my blog summaries with one from Lisa’s Husband, Tim Childers. Tim was one of our National Institute Attendees this summer and he’s a great guy to learn from. He recently surveyed his teachers and found out that more than half did not know they had access to unitedstreaming! Boy was he surprised! He did get some great feedback though on desire to learn more about the use of technology and I’m going to end this post with a line from his blog: "Now I’m not only dreaming of a white Christmas and world peace, but a school where every teacher takes advantage of the resources offered to make their instruction the very best it can be!"
Wouldn’t that just be a wonderful Christmas present?!
Now where was I?