for hosting the collaborative learning opportunity.
I am fortunate to be able to find talented educators (like the ladies above) who are forging a digital path into the future. These educators are trail blazers. I am working hard to follow in their footsteps and have started down the trail after them...
|Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail--|
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am involved with a book study this summer called Cyber PD where we are reading the book, "Who owns the Learning? Preparing Students for Success in the Digital Age.
For this book study, I decided to get the book for my Kindle App on the ipad. Since the book is about learning in the digital age, reading it in this manner seemed so appropriate. I've learned some new tricks through reading this way-I am able to highlight, keep notes and have also linked it with my twitter account so I can tweet out interesting points as I read.
Now for the learning...I am so glad I am reading this book. I feel like I've been getting my feet wet with the Digital Learning Farm approach for the last few years. I was first inspired by learning about blogging with students. You can read posts about this learning here and here. I then moved on to experience Digi-Camp for teachers. You can read about that here. Digi-camp really got me stoked about using technology as a way to grow a learning community and I learned so much through the use of Twitter. Twitter put me in touch with the trail blazers I mentioned above and as I read Who Owns the Learning I imagine each one of them as people who've walked the walk. They are getting their students to interact globally, share work and connect 21st century learning through collaboration and publication for authentic purposes.
The book inspires thinking of how it can be done with examples. Imagine the possibilities...it gives an overview of what sparked the beginning of the Digital Learning Farm concept. Then, author Alan November shares classrooms where the Digital Learning Farm is happening. Here's what I loved about reading it digitally, I could just click the hyperlinks and go directly to the sites that were in the book or scan the QR codes with my QR Reader and it would take me there as well. The first blog the QR reader took me to was Kathy Cassidy's Classroom Blog! I was so excited to know it was her blog I connected to because I could honestly say that I believe she is a leader in curating the Digital Learning Farm concept. I exchanged tweets with her about this:
After reading the Introduction and Chapter 1, I was encouraged with the way the author suggests that transitioning to the Digital Learning Farm way of thinking and teaching is to imagine students being easily motivated when creating videos, podcasts and other digital media for a purpose. He gives suggestions as to specific roles students could take on such as tutorial designers, scribes, researchers, and global communicators and collaborators. He also identifies specific software to use. It's helpful that there are concrete examples that inspire ways to get the digital learning started.
The connection I'm making is that I'm inspired by seeing and knowing of educators who are doing just what the book recommends. These educators are shining examples of where digital learning is happening in classrooms all over the globe. There are many trail blazers who can inspire through things such as Twitter Chats, #1stchat, for example-check out the list of first chat teachers on the wiki here-and connect with them. A few who I've connected with this past year are Leka DeGroot, Jenni VanRees, Kristen Wideen and Karen Lirenman. I want to be like them! Thanks Ladies!
My take aways here-I'm heading in the right direction. I am hooked up with people who are inspiring me to do the right things and I've been experimenting by beginning blogging with my firsties and hosting a blogging club for students in grades 4, 5, and 6. I want to work at having them create content and avoid giving them the "$1,000 pencil" when using technology. I want to continue to experiment and play with screen caster software and other tools like Jing to learn more about ways to make videos.
I invite you to make this leap of learning with me. Move from the old fashioned way of doing things and get on board with the modern way-Let's hit the trail-with a modern horse of course!