Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Summer Time Metaphor

How do we as full-time teachers find the time or mental capacity to keep up with all of this???
I'm going to return to my swimming pool metaphor to describe where I am with all of this right now. When I go to a swimming pool for the first time each summer, I hate to just slowly walk in and "get used to it gradually," I dive in and just force myself to adjust. When I first heard Will Richardson speak at the VAIS tech conference two years ago, I was devastated and thought that I was drowning because I had not heard of any of this (so how could I be a good teacher). I used my dog paddling skills and quickly recovered back to the surface. When I got back to school I found myself overly enthusiastic and jumping into every pool I could find: I created a personal blog, a wikispace, I published my students' writing on my wiki, etc, etc, etc. It was too much but I was riding the adrenaline. But then I reflected :) and realized that I was just using and not necessarily improving the learning in my classroom.
Now, I've learned :) to be more cautious, and I don't fear missing out on some great new technology because I know that what I am doing with my students is meaningful and enriching to them (well, not all the time). It's much more manageable to think of each of these applications as separate pools which I can dip my toes in at times or sit on the side and dangle my feet. There are some that I swim in more regularly (wikis and blogs), but one thing that I'm coming to enjoy most is that we are each developing specialty areas that enrich each other. Imagine what a diverse experience our students are getting when they come to my class and share group work on a wiki, or Katie's and create a personal blog, in Susanne's class they can use Google docs in such meaningful ways, or Susan's and use VoiceThread.
Is anyone else starting to miss summer ;)

No comments: