The Best Hour

4/30/2005 03:35:00 pm

Jim Wenzlof pointed me to this web cast by Alan November. WOW! That was the best professional development hour I've spent since I saw Will Richards presentation on RSS: The New Killer App For Educators over at the Learning Times. (Well, now you've got enough links to keep you busy learning for the next little while .... enjoy! .... I did. ;-))

I love seeing technology used as an educational tool. I've long felt that the internet is the single most underused such tool. Some folks think that using a computer is using technology, and on a basic level, I suppose it is but there is so much more to it than that. The key idea here is the internet as a tool; something that is used to accomplish another larger goal. Most people look at the internet as a place to access or consume information. A better use of the internet is as a means to manipulate information to expand the circle of a one's own knowledge. That comes across loud and clear in Alan's web cast.

Alan begins by talking about a "global work ethic" that consists of three parts: (1) Information Literacy, (2) Global Communication Skills (did you hear the whisper .... b l o g s ...), and (3) Self Directed Learning and Work (b l o g s .... there it is again ....). From this introduction he takes us on a journey through the web, while we watch him on video, and teaches how to effectively manipulate search engines, understand the grammer of web addresses and critically evaluate the the various sordid, sundry and excellent information available to us out there on the web to inspire kids (and us) to become life long learners. Best of all, the means he uses to teach us, the web cast, is a great teaching idea for any of us to use with our own students. Imagine video taping (tape .... hmmmm .... wired? tired? or expired? see Alan Levine's presentation) your class and then posting it on the internet accompanied by a series of links to support the content you're covering in your lecture. Suddenly, a dry lecture has taken on an exciting interactive look and feel.

Y'know what? Stop reading me, go watch Alan's webcast; you'll see what I mean. You won't regret it.

One last thing (sorry to keep you). Alan is following this web cast up with a live interactive chat on May 3. Something not to miss. Ok, get out of here ....

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