A Good Day

3/06/2007 10:58:00 pm

You couldn't tell from reading my blog but a lot of wonderful things have been happening (in my little corner of the world) lately.

A grade 5 student (10 years old), Eddie visited my blog and left me a comment so I returned the favour. Eddie then did some digging around and stumbled upon one of my currently active class blogs, Pre-Cal 40S (Winter '07). I brought up his visit in class and we read what he had written about us. My students were very taken with Eddie (the link is to our daily podcast where Eddie came up; listen between 26 minutes and 36 minutes) and some of them have gone back to his blog and left him comments. Eddie has really grokked blogging and good commenting; he ends each comment with a question that invites continued discussion and he is diligent about replying to every comment left on his blog. My students are learning a lot from this young man from Georgia.

So the students are talking to each other and Mrs. Emmert left me a comment on my last post and hopefully that will also grow into a dialogue.

There's more going on.

I'm getting better at using my SmartBoard. I'm learning a new functionality or feature of it every day.

Picking up on ideas from Clarence my classroom is evolving into more of a studio, or atelier learning environment and the scribe posts are growing into something substantially more than a reiteration of the notes that were given in class. We typically move between websites like fooplot.com and the SmartBoard Notebook slides (published daily on slideshare.net). Take a look at tonight's scribe post which incorporates graphs captured from fooplot.com, text with colour used in a meaningful way and Bubbleshare.com. As a matter of fact, if you play the bubbleshare slideshow and continue reading, the coloured text on the blog follows the coloured text in the slides ... and the timing is nearly perfect. A stroke of genius that!

These changes in the classroom routine have had a significant impact on the students. We've got a test coming up this week and each student has to write a reflection about where they are in their learning beforehand (it's worth one mark on the test). I ask the students to post these reflections a few days before the test so that I can read where they are having difficulty and address those issues in class before it counts for marks. I'm so focused on this that I missed another emerging pattern in what they've been writing. Lani didn't miss it though. (Lani is one of three volunteer mentors I have on my class blogs.) She's pulled out snippets of the pattern that she saw emerging in the students writing and reflected it back to them. I was chuffed ... I blushed a little too, but it felt good. ;-)

To top it off, Clarence emailed me tonight to ask if I'd seen this. (The CBC is one of Canada's two major news networks.)

Yup ... a very good day. ;-)

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  1. Anonymous7/3/07 21:11

    Good thing we booked you while you're still affordable!

  2. Anonymous8/3/07 20:46

    A good day indeed!
    You truly are an inspiration and you have lifted my spirits. I've had some technological woes that have slowed down my classroom blogging experience, but after reading this I am reminded of why I want to persevere... Thank you Darren.

  3. This is a perfect example of Education 2.0 or School 2.0 that parallels what is happening with Web 2.0.

    The weight of the teacher being the sole source of knowledge is lifted and the weight is spread out over a peer to peer learning environment.

    Web 1.0 was Britannica Online bearing the weight of world knowledge and Wikipedia is Web 2.0 where the weight is spread out to all the peer to peer learning.

    Really amazing stuff!

    Tom Krieglstein

  4. Anonymous18/3/07 17:55

    I loved the blog thanks for sharing. I have recently found a site called TeacherTube.com it's like youtube for teachers and students.

    What are your thoughts about TeacherTube?

  5. Anonymous19/3/07 00:51

    hi ,
    enjoyed reading your blog! Will definitely come back for more!

  6. Darren, I have just spent a couple of hours following your work and some of the links you have posted. What you are doing is great stuff and I have sent some information to some of our teachers to review it to see if there might be interest in using similar techniques with some of our students. On my own blog I noted how much I feel you are following David Warlick's opinions regardiing using technology tools to support learning, not integrating technology. I love math and had a great Grade 11 teacher back in 1966. Not may others were as great, but I'll bet I'd be an active participant in one of yours. Cheers.. Bob

  7. I was in the room when Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach skyped you from Nelson, New Zealand. It was an awesome example of how Web 2.0 techniologies can be used to enhance learning and teaching.