Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Our Chance To Be Visible

After today's opening group discussion, it seems that we are more like our students than we would like to admit. Missing assignments, needing homework reminders, and having a million and one things on our plate should remind us of just how challenging it is to be a great student.

It was also apparent to me that, just like our students, we assume roles during group discussions. Those who like to talk do just that. Those who like to sit back, listen, and analyze also fill their role nicely.

But whether we say too much or too little, we all have something to offer. So, this post concludes with a challenge to voice your opinion. Do we need more discussion? Have we talked in circles about the same topic? Are we ready to move forward? Do we need to slow down? What do you think?

21 comments:

  1. I will step up to my own challenge and voice my opinion.

    I have enjoyed our group discussions about norms, commitment to the class, etc., but I am ready to move forward. I feel like there is only so much to say about certain topics. I guess that's what I like about science. It's concise and concrete.

    I enjoyed the webquest presentation today because we got to focus on something new and different.

    We should certainly keep talking as a group as we have much to learn from each other. (I like Ray's idea of show and tell at the beginning of a session.) But, our focus should be how technology and constructivist ideas are creating change in our classrooms.

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  2. I agree with Cara that we should move on, however, I'm not sure that everyone is at the some place at this time. I think the norming is in place, we just have to live up to them. I have already asked at least one member of our class to share with us some of the techniques she is using in her class that are constructivist. Now it appears we will have a forum for that. Not everyone is going to find a place in their instruction for all of the technology that we are viewing but if we could share some of the changes (or standared practices) that are challenging our students, I think everyone will benefit from that exchange.

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  3. Thanks for sharing Jan. I hope that people who might not feel the same way are comfortable enough to say it. That was the point of this post...to get a feel for where we're at as a whole.

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  4. I am also ready to move forward. I really enjoyed yesterday's session because we got to try something new. I am looking forward to hearing how our group members have used these new technologies and ideas that we've learned in our meetings in their own classes.

    I think what makes this group so great is all of our different backgrounds and personalities. We all bring something to the table and learn from each other.

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  5. I would agree that I am ready to move forward. I think we are all at an understanding of the expectations of this class, and from this point forward, I hope we can all at least live up to those expectations. After all, we set the same expectations in our own classrooms, and now, as the learners, we need to adhere and live up to the example we want our kids and students to follow.

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  6. I liked the Webquest presentation too because we saw examples and were able to talk in smaller groups. As was mentioned, we ARE just like the kids and that is HUMAN not a put down. We as people have learning styles too. We have ways that let us learn just like students. Anyone, adult or child needs that. It is how are brains work. Expecting everyone in this group to respond or learn or be excited about the same things is unrealistic and also not fair. Just as it would not be for us to do to students in our class. I think if we have variety and various ways to show our strengths this group will start to progress. Right now, we haven't seen variety and that will come with time. I too would like to see us move on to applications. I am a doer and so far, all I have had to do is listen to others or watch others.

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  7. I agree with Jan that not everyone is in the same place, but it's not up to me to say when we should slow down. I feel like the pace is great. Expectations have been made, and it's time to move on. Everyone knows what is expected, let's make sure to make an effort to abide. I like the discussions-I think it's beneficial and worth our time. I agree with Cara when she said we should focus more on how the technology and constructivist theory can be applied and brought into the classroom. I am enjoying each time we meet, and i think it's important for us to get up and move around and mix it up with one another each time.

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  8. I think Brad made the comment that the norm to slow down seems to conflict with the norm to honor the agenda. It doesn't have to be this way, but I think it is important for the agenda to have some flexibility for slowing down when necessary. We also need to find out how much people feel the need to slow down with regard to a particular topic.

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  9. I think that it is time to move forward onto other things. I spent time talking to my students in class about getting extra help when they needed it. I know that we are all busy but if we make something a priority then every one can find time to make sure that it happens. I am intereted in finding out more applications that I can choose to use in my classroom.

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  10. Just like amny of you said I am also ready to move on. However, we must also that if we do need to slow down to discuss something we must honor that.

    I really liked the idea of show and tell that Ray brought up. I love hearing the real applications of these strategies. I think that we must learn from each other and be willing to take the ideas of the group and apply them into our classes.

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  11. The webquest presentation was so useful; the only the downside is that I'm now a bit of a webquest snob and am highly critical of many of the sources that are already out there. I want to design my own webquest but have no idea how...are we going to get instruction on this? If not, I'll sign up for one of the district classes.

    Also, while I agree with others that we don't need to discuss the norms anymore, I don't want to shorten discussions altogether. I enjoy the reading that we do inside and outside of class, and I'd like to spend some time discussing these and sharing our classroom applications.

    Lastly, I know that our class time is valuable and that we all have different ways we want to spend it, but I wouldn't mind having 10 minutes of class or so to simply read others' blogs and comment. Usually I don't get to read the last-minute entries. Thanks!

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  12. I would agree that we need some time during class to explore the particular applications that we are learning (blogging, webquests, Del.ic.ious) and see how different teachers are using the applications with their students. Further discussions about norms, etc. should be reserved for the blog.

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  13. Ditto. Done with norms (for now at least) and ok with webquests.

    There is at least one topic that I would like to see us address as a group. It is more of a big picture question. What might this look like in the classroom when we are here next year? After we have learned various tools, techniques, philosophies - how will my teaching have changed on a day to day basis? Right now, I feel that we are simply adding tools that could be incorporated every so often (more often rather than less), but I am not sure if I understand the transformation that might be around the corner. When an outsider asks what the goal is, I can only give a "muddy" response.

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  14. I am ready to work on classroom applications. I would love to have TIME to plan how to incorporate the stuff we have explored already. Because this year at AHS has been utterly chaotic, finding time outside of our 21C meetings (inservices?) to apply what we have learned has been next to impossible.

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  15. I think that most people have shared the fact that we are ready to move on (past the norms). I do not think that they should be ignored or forgotten but the discussion over them seems to be through.

    I would like to see how different people are using the tchnology that we have looked at.

    I also agree with Brad when he says we need to look at the big picture. I think that we started off good with that and since it has been missing.

    I think we need to revisit what the focus of this group should be.

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  16. I am ready to move on to actual working on the technology part. I would really like to see implementation. Maybe have homework of a quick 2 minute presentation on what you have used this class for in your own classroom.

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  17. I believe at times we have held the same discussion in more than one way. I don't believe that we need to repeat ourselves over and over again. For example, at the end of our webquest activity we heard a powerpoint presentation covering everything that we just learned by exploring webquests. Instead of repeating ourselves, I would like to see us have more time to explore and create!

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  18. In response to what Brian said. I think remembering the big picture is fine, but in some ways, we can't influence change until one by one we make the change ourselves. If I don't get some time to develop ideas or put something into real useful terms, I am not going to be able to implement any of this. I believe the big picture will happen one person at a time.

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  19. WOW! You just provided the planning team tons of info about what you've had enough of and where you hope to go in the near future. You also asked us to look at the big picture. The questions you pose and the comments you share should be driving us as I feel they are. It can't happen unless you continue to share your thoughts.It's just like your classroom. Your students can point the way. They are the consumers and know what they want and need, if we just remember to ask them.

    rayh

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  20. I agree with Brad. Discussing how this material can be used in the classroom on a daily basis would be helpful.

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  21. After reading all the responses above, I went searching online for articles that discuss applications of constructivism. This website breaks constructivism and technology into 4 stages. After it explains the stages, it gives ideas of what a techno-constructivist is doing in their classrooms. I think we are right on track! A quote that captures this on the site certainly makes the point that we are on an adventure, but one that we don't want to race right through; "Childhood is a journey, not a race" (Society for Developmental Education quoted on the following link). http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/tech/tech005.shtml

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