Monday, February 18, 2008

Becoming a 21st Century Literate Educator

This post by David Warlick is in answer to the question from a teacher - How do I get started with learning how to use technology? He lists 12 suggestions, including finding the tech support person at your school and making friends with them. Actually, he says bake them some cookies! Other ideas include finding other teachers who are interested in the same thing and working together, reading blogs and sharing information, and creating a wiki to share notes. Seeds of a learning community.

Another interesting post I read today was from Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach at 21st Century Collaborative on reflection as an agent of change. Having that time for reflection is so important, and teachers are "on" so much of the day, it's hard to find that time to think about how things are going, what direction to go from here, what went wrong and how to make it better. Sheryl's point is that collaboration really helps nurture that process. When we are in our own separate classrooms by ourselves, there is no one to reflect with. When we are engaged in collaborative projects, f2f or virtual, we have a posse to talk with, think with, reflect with. That makes life so much richer because we are learning as we go.

And Sheryl linked to a post by Jennifer Jones at Injenuity on Viral Professional Development. I think this is the direction we are going in adult education in California, away from the big workshop and towards supporting teachers at a site to work with each other to learn what they need to learn. Can you make this happen? If you have even one or two excited and enthusiastic early adopters, you can. If not? Maybe you have to wait until those people show up, and they will. Jennifer gives a really nice description of viral PD, and a list of steps to get it going.

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