Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sharing Sharing Sharing...

...there will be a prize of a solid pat on the back for those that know where that motto comes from.  But enough of that tomfoolerly and on to the topic at hand, which is sharing knowledge and resources and encouraging the use of technology in the classroom.

Our class was recently treated via a skype video conversation to a presentation by George Couros.  I really enjoyed his personal take on employing technology because I agree that as much as we are pressed of technology's importance, there is lot of lag in the implementation of it in school.  Therefore, the use of blogs in the classroom for completing assignments and for general communication is a great tool that gives the students a real outlet towards their learning through technology.  Due to this, there may be a positive spin off in which the lines between school and home may become blurred and those that are resistant towards institutional learning may swing towards becoming more engaged.  Learning may evolve and assignments that may have been previously seen as a chore, could be seen as an opportunity to express themselves and share their ideas with others using a medium that is fun and engaging to them.  Using communication devices like computers and iPads and platforms like blogs or wikis generate interest that can extend beyond the classroom and the school and since we know that learning happens everywhere, this demonstrates that point well.  It not only grants new avenues to expression, but can also offer the opportunity for a stronger school community because groups of students will be able to interact online and confer with others from their class, school, and from all over the world.

The other part of the talk was about sharing knowledge and strategies in order to connect outside of your immediate environs and promote a culture of learning.  To be honest I hadn't really ever thought about sharing ideas becaues it didn't strike me as something that was valid to me at this point, or that anyone would want to read my triumphs and mistakes.  But Mr. Couros made a good point in noting that sharing information and practices with each other is for the greater good and benefits everyone involved.  Accessing things like PLNs and continuing to seek out intriguing and interesting ideas will not only help your own teaching, but also that of those around you.  A saying I stumbled across a few years ago serves this point rather well I feel, it goes "if you have a penny and I have a penny and we exchange pennies, we both still have one cent.  But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange them, we both now have two ideas."

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