Our district is in the second year of a Classrooms for the future grant. We received hundreds of thousands of dollars in great school equipment - white boards, classroom laptops, cameras, etc. The first year, we used the equipment to make iMovies, do projects, etc. It was a start and necessary for our learning curve. Courses are required of this grant and at the end of the first course, I was intrigued about the 21st century learning ideas.
I spent the summer with my own required reading list and compiling resources. I read what others had to say but have learned so much more from networking and blogging.
What is the point? In our second class, I am reading discussions about the frustrations of others who do not know where to begin and do not have time. What frustrates me is the fact that the class has us analyzing projects for authenticity and also looking at the assessments. We read great articles. We are in study groups with our own discipline but they are people in our own school.
We are still a read-only culture in this class, creating learning logs and writing in limited discussions to each other. We are too homogeneous here. Besides the papers we read (which still are necessary), where are the other voices? In all honesty, I learned more from reading the blogs and discussions of others removed from my present experience.
So what would I do? Have each teacher set up a blog. I know in terms of course management the way they are doing it makes sense but hardly collaborative in the real sense. I would also require prompts for writing. Required reading would be blog posts from many of the great individuals out there. I know I will miss some great names that need to be included, but I am still creating my blogroll. The list would include:
2 cents worth
Cool Cat Teacher
The 4 eyed technologist
Tech thoughts by Jen
Beth's Thoughts on Technology in the Classroom
Sparks of Hope
The Connected Classroom
I know this is sketchy at best. Obviously more planning and thought would need to go into this.
I also know this has been said before. How can you learn without immersing ourselves in it? How can you be compelled and inspired without having someone around you walking the walk? I continue to learn a great deal from the genius of others. I can't help but think if the class itself were more like what the classrooms of the future should be, then more teachers would get it.