Next Year...

At the end of the school year I was left wondering why my students did not extend their learning at home as often & regularly as previous students had.  In previous years my students accessed a variety of web 2.0 tools from my website.  They blogged, contributed to the wiki, downloaded & used applications, & more.  After careful reflection, I realized that I had not provided them with enough opportunity to explore my website.  I did not provide them with opportunities to become experts & then share their expertise with each other.  Now, I could list a variety of reasons/excuses (all legitimate) as to why this didn't happen, but the fact is it didn't.  So...instead of dwelling on why I didn't, I immediately decided to dwell on what I will do next year.  Well, next year, I will use Guided Discovery to...
Mercier Magic
  • generate excitement about the classroom website.
  • highlight the variety of tools available on the classroom website.
  • elicit ideas about ways to utilize the website.
Next year, I will use Academic Choice to...
  • provide time to plan which site, application, tool they would like to try out.
  • provide opportunity to become familiar with 1 website, application, tool at a time.
  • provide time to reflect on what they liked, worked well, tips they would give a peer.
  • provide time & opportunity to teach each other the "ins & outs" of their choices.
Not only will the children learn about ALL of the possibilities available to them on-line, they will create new identities for themselves.  They will be carving out how their role in our classroom community (& hopefully in the cloud community).  They will be learners AND teachers.  They will be experts. They will gain a status not available to them before.


Now, I'm going to start small.  I'll begin with an exploration of the website, allowing them to see all of the available pages there.  Then, I'll focus on the "Favorite Websites" section allowing them to peek at them all, choose 1 to explore further, & share.  Then...we'll get into the nitty gritty, working in partnerships & small groups to explore specific application/tools that ignite passion & assist in Reading, Writing, Math, Science, & Social Studies.  All the while, we will be tweeting, & blogging (& hopefully more). Living our learning in the cloud.

My intention(s)?  Create an unprecedented momentum (for my classroom) for learning outside of school.  A strong classroom community that extends beyond the classroom, cafeteria, & playground.  Not to mention how they will be able to demonstrate for their parents how valuable technology & social media is in learning!  And, hopefully, their excitement will breed excitement to their peers in other classrooms.  If they spread the technology bug, then they would be responsible for establishing a culture of learning & tech integration in our school.  Wouldn't that be cool? 


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