Week 1 of 2009 and already some amazing learning!

Friday Jan 2: I started at Radio CJOB in Manitoba, CANADA. They carried a live broadcast of Darren Kuropatwa joined by a former student, Marc.  There were call ins by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Wes Fryer, and Dean Shareski , who, along with Darren, are conveners of the K12 Online Conference. Darren also set up a back channel in Chatterous where people could discuss the program.

It was a good idea to have the back channel because there were long series of ads on the radio show, so it was great to bat around ideas with other folks!  A few years ago I was on a local radio show about why students should have access to technology. While I can understand the need for structure, it was agonizing waiting during the ads. I wonder what the local listeners thought about this show. (I wondered the same thing when I was on and never heard a thing!) There were some good phone in questions, but one has to wonder what people think about these supposedly radical ways of teaching! Great job Darren. It was also great to meet and connect with new folks to my PLN in the chat room.

Then is was on to two sessions: Classroom 2.0 End of the Year show  and an impromptu discussion about literacy and 21st century skills. This was an interesting mix because while I wasn’t 100% focused on both chats, Classroom 2.0 involved practice while the Literacy discussion was theory. Classroom 2.0 had tons of tools and suggestions for teachers. There were over 100 people in the chat room and zillions of links flying by. Peggy George, Steve Hargadon and Kim Caise did a great job moderating. I think this is a fantastic way for teachers to get support when trying to figure out what tools will work in their classroom.

The literacy discussion group was really trying to determine if the what we need to teach students is a new kind of literacy or skills. These “skills” have been coined “21st Century Skills” and they seem to be a new set of strategies designed to cope with changes, mainly driven by technology and its impact on the student. The problem, as I see it, is that teachers have no experience with these skills and therefore don’t know how to implement them in their work with students. One part of the discussion that was fascinating to see was those folks who say school worked for them and those that it didn’t work for and how they were able to cope. Today, we are probably much more cognisant that this phenomenon is happening in the classroom.

Jan 3: I joined an online conversation at the Global Collaborative Ning. This was hosted by Lucy Gray and involved educators from all over the world taking part in the Session. It was really fun to hear where everyone was from and what they were doing with students in their classsrooms. I look forward to more discussion here.

Jan 7: I joined an Elluminate Dinner Club session for Google Certified Teachers hosted by Cindy Lane

Jan 8: was our Weekly SEEDlings Show with Jeff and dan from the Wicked Decent Podcast

Jan 11: I Started the Images4Education Class hosted by the Electronic Village Online.

All of these sessions are mainly about connecting and learning with others. I just can’t understand why some people don’t see the advantage to this kind of learning! And all this in 1 week! Can’t wait to see what the next 51 weeks of 2009 bring!

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Electronic Village Sessions announced

The 2008 EVO Sessions have been announced. They run from January 14 – February 24, 2008. These are free online courses and while they have an emphasis on ESL, they are an excellent way to learn about web 2.0 and online tools. They are also provide an incredible collaborative, global learning community.

EVO 2008 Sessions

Advanced Tips & Tricks…
Becoming a Webhead
Blogging for Educators
Effective Lesson Planning…
EVO Video 2008: ESL/EFL…
Exploring the Big Apple…
Getting the Most out of Web 2.0 for ESP
Getting Started with Drama…
Integrating Technology…
Music in the Classroom…
Research on Web 2.0 applications…
Social Media in ELT
Teaching with PowerPoint