Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Learning Curve

There is excitement in learning new skills and even more excitement in sharing new skills and knowledge.  But there is also frustrations.  How do I help someone else understand what I am saying or doing?  How do I keep those who are quick to learn involved while they wait for others who are not so quick to catch up?  How do I diagnose the problems in understanding and the rethink my instruction to reteach the same skills?  Why do some students skip over the tutorials and forge ahead without any direction?  Unfortunately, a good number of them will fail at this approach and then have to ask me questions the tutorial would have explained (if they had watched it).  No wonder my head hurt at times this week.

But I was inspired by the ability of my students to help each other, to learn from their failures and mine, to begin the wonderful process of learning how literature, writing, and thinking can be combined with all that is great about Web 2.0.  So in spite of the headaches, it was a terrific first week of school where learning was happening for my students and me every moment of the day.  We will all be better in the end as both success and failure teach us how to be better and wiser.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer -- Never Long Enough, But Always Hot Enough

Days without planning and grading and working seem to fly by way too fast.  Then it's time to hit the books, pull out the red pen, and go back to school.  But I'm excited this year because I've learned so much over the summer.  It is genuinely possible to teach an old teacher new tricks!  After spending 12 days in the happiest place on earth with Luke and Stefanie (anyone know where that place is?), I got the opportunity to learn all there is out there in Web 2.0, and there is a hugacious amount out there.  To say I was overwhelmed is most assuredly an understatement.  At least I was inside in frigid air conditioning instead of sweltering and sweating in the most recent July heat wave.  Within a matter of a few short days, I had created my first Wiki pages, learned out to use some cool tools, and then all on my own taken on the Live Binder challenge.  I love to share what I learn, sometimes even when no one wants to learn it, so get ready; you are about to embark with me on a most excellent quest.  In the end, hopefully, we'll all be wiser and not just older.  And just maybe I'll be using that red pen less and less as the year goes on.  

PS --  I also love to share what I know about that happiest place on earth.