Saturday, May 22, 2010

RWLD #3 - Due May 25 - Innovating Change

Innovating change is a difficult thing to do in status quo institutions today. Whether that institution is education, business, or government, creating change can be difficult and sometimes perilous.

Why do we need change? Not for the sake of change, but for the sake of advancement. In 1968, Robert F. Kennedy quoted George Bernard Shaw as saying:

Some men see things as they are and ask "Why?"  
I dream things that never were and ask "Why Not?"

That is what we as educators and custodians of our schools' futures must repeat daily. We must find ways that we can look ahead and "teach to our students' futures, not our pasts." (Pink, 2009)

VoiceThread - Ever look for a way that you can have learners virtually gather around a video or document and then discuss it?  VoiceThread will allow you to be able to do this. 

Your assignment (should you decide to accept it) is to:
1) Go to VoiceThread and sign up for an account.
2) Go to the VoiceThread discussion site that is linked right here. 
3) Click on my photo on the left so that you can hear the instructions.
4) Watch the video, Learning to Change-Changing to Learn.
5) Comment on the video using the prompts below.  You can comment through audio, video, text.  Whatever you want.
    a)  Your comment should include your ideas about what is said in the video about education.  
    b) Integrate what you have read so far in our class.
    c) React to what at least one of your classmates has commented so far. If you are the first commentor, you can make a general statement that addresses the World's perspective on this topic.

Learn more about VoiceThread through watching this video and this blog posting on MPB Reflections

Blogging
Blogging is the tool that has done a great deal to democratize information and communication. No longer do we need to have our own printing press to share our ideas with others. It is as easy as 1-2-3 (see Blogger) to hang out your publishing shingle and get into the business of writing for the public.


Let's see what a blog is and what it can be:
Before you can blog, you need to know what composes a blog. You need to have background in reading blogs in your area of interest. You need to see how postings are usually more interesting if they have been well researched and provide a variety of links that will help the reader explore further into the topic.

Working with blogs during this course will involve Reading, Commenting, and Writing/Creating.

Reading

1. Read ALL of your classmates' blogs ALL of the time.  It is important to keep up on what they are saying. It will also give them a reason to write. Blogging has little meaning if no one is reading it. Besides, it will mean that someone will be reading yours as well.
You will find links to your classmates' blogs in the right-hand column of this RWLD.  See them over there?

2. Follow at least 4 of these professional blogs over the rest of the semester.

3. Read at least 2 blogs in a personal area of interest.  Use the Google Blog Search (blogsearch.google.com) to find someone who writes about what you enjoy. This search will provide you with postings, but usually the blogs that hold the postings are in your area of interest.

Commenting 
Commenting is important if you are going to be an involved part of the Blogosphere. Your comments give a blogger an indication that someone is reading her/his work. That gives a sense of mission. Interestingly enough, bloggers will often respond to your comments either directly or in an future posting.

Writing/Creating 
Writing is the key to it all. This is where you can share your ideas with with world. It is where you have to confront your thoughts. I once had a professor (Dr. David Moursund) who told me that he didn't know how he felt about a topic until he had written about it. Writing makes you organize your ideas so that you can express them in a clear and cogent manner.
1. First thing you must do is create a blog. We use Google's Blogger as the standard because it is quick and easy, but you can use whichever blog you would like. Just remember that it needs to be accessible to the world.



2. Now that you have the easel, it is time for you to share your ideas.  Here are a few suggestions for this week:
  • Comment on your experience with using Adobe Connect last Monday.
  • Comment on using VoiceThread and how you see that it can affect learning.
  • Integrate your ideas about our readings and specifics about what changes you want to see.
Here are some hints for making effective postings:
  • Begin with an active title.  Something that is interesting.
  • Include an image or photo of some sort.  You can find a wealth of photos you can use (as long as you cite them as I have done below) at Flickr/CreativeCommons  (www.flickr.com/creativecommons)
  • Always include at least 2 links to something relevant on the web. Your postings must have depth and that is more than can be captured on the single page.  Writing is post can be a small research project that will provide readers a deeper understanding of the topic.
  • End your postings with questions to elicit responses from your readers.
So how do you see yourself using blogs in your future teaching/training careers?

Z

photo: flickr.com/roland

3 comments:

  1. This is a link to a neat Voicethread:
    classroom 2.0

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  2. You've created a monster. I'm digging the blogging and the blogoshpere - and I even find myself getting irritated with bloggers who don't have much to say. (Which gives me a little caution to make sure I'm not just blogging for nothing.) Next year my classes will have the opportunity to blog and it will become a staple in my classroom. As of now, I see it becoming a good tool for literary discussion and a place to link current events to classroom material.

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  3. In the elementary world, eventually, this would be a fun way to journal--and read and comment on other students' work. Or, a teacher could write something (like this!) and students comment. I'm still trying to figure out elementary students and e-mail accounts, though.
    Sara

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