Response to Blogging in the Garden

Response to Blogging in the Garden

I have been thinking and reading a lot about blogging lately. What’s driving my thinking?

Working with 27 new bloggers and discussing why we blog, the blogging process, why links are important and how to fill out your blog roll.

Tim’s post at Assorted stuff is about the new blogging tools to be added to his district’s BlackBoard site. He’s concerned because these tools do not include RSS and are protected thus limiting the conversations and collaboration they could facilitate.

And the draft Massachusetts Technology Standards particularly 3.31 Grades 6-8: Use a variety of telecommunications tools (e.g., e-mail, discussion groups, web pages, blogs, video conferences, Web conferences) synchronously and/or asynchronously to collaborate and communicate with peers, experts and other audiences. (emphasis mine)

Talk about a major shift in thinking. I don’t know where to begin. This shift requires LOTS of professional development to expose teachers and administrators to these tools. How they work, how to use them and how to implement them in the classroom. But more importantly it means letting our students mingle with “other audiences”; we would let them step out of the garden and into the world.

The cynic in me thinks maybe the standards mean that the “other audience” is the class down the hall. The optimist in me is going to hope differently, and plans on doing lots of training on Web 2.0 tools.

Change isn’t always easy but I am looking forward to this one.

3 thoughts on “Response to Blogging in the Garden

  1. Why does it require LOTS of professional development? I’m wondering if we continue to sell the teaching profession short. I’ve been reading quite a few posts and I think that instead of saying “this needs to be done” people need to do it, one teacher at a time if need be. I think all these new tools are great but teachers who are not net savvy need to be exposed to them, shown how they work, given a demsontration of where they fit and then have a chance to work with them. As I work more with the blogs, wikis, podcasts and other web2.0 tools, I can see where they can help a variety of teachers in the school where I am an administrator as well as help in my classes. Not only do they provide opportunities to have student work with the tools but they also give them opportunity to have an audience that is “real” instead of me – the markman! I think that the using these tools in classrooms might be less difficult than is supposed once the next wave of teachers begins to use them – the next wave being those who are just joining the blogosphere and the discussions. I believe that it is up to the leaders in the school to know what is happening in education, to see the new ideas, to begin to explore them and then, if there is reason, to bring them to the staff. As leaders, I don’t just mean administrators but any teacher who is a leader in their field – from reading to math. This is an exciting time in education – let the fun begin!

  2. I think from my perspective it is a lot. I am the only instructional tech specialist in the district that means I need to train about 600 teachers. Right now most support is one on one, some times in groups. Those who particpate usually spread their enthusiasm and new skills. There is a growing group of teachers who are advocating and supporting the use of these new tools. But there area still many who need to learn about these tools and to be open to changing how they do things.

    I was a classroom teacher for almost 20 years. I work with some of the best teachers anywhere. But their attention is pulled in many directions ELL, Title one, diversity and assesment training to name a few. These are not always conflicting interestes but are often viewed this way.

    Where I work we are also just getting rid of 9-10 year old machines so we can finally catch everyone up to the present decade. The development of new tech skills were sort of put on hold by archaic tools.

    I agree this is an exciting time in education – I love my job and I love working with such a great staff, their love of kids and learning is wonderful. Thanks for your comments.

  3. I am so glad the Massachusetts Standards have included blogs. Now I feel like I have somewhat of a “backup” when I discuss incorporating blogs at our school and giving professional development on blogging. Thanks for sharing.

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