Friday's interview with Richard Cloutier was fascinating from a few different perspectives:
The View From The Studio
Richard was a wonderful host and I found myself taken with the entire process of putting together a radio show. He started working on this show months ago when we met over coffee. He than came to see me teach a couple of times and we had a chance to talk about how it went after each class. In one class my SMARTboard was broken so he really wasn't seeing any technology in the classroom per se other than mentions of what was happening online in the class blog. The second time we did have the SMARTboard up and running but the class was a very "meat and potatoes" algebra lesson. We did get a chance to look at how I used the SMARTboard to refer to the previous night's scribe post on the blog, how I pulled in a video from YouTube to link the dry content they were learning to some useful mental math, and how I tried to have the kids on the board more than I. (Actually, I've decided to begin analyzing my lessons and sharing that online. I hope to garner suggestions for my instructional design and more effective use of the SMARTboard. That particular lesson will be the first in that series which I'll publish here shortly.)
Richard had every minute of the show planned to the second. Nonetheless he was constantly communicating with his producer to change things midstream in response to the feedback from the audience. He was taking in email live, on the fly, working the phones, planning the upcoming sequence, coordinating those of us live in the studio with Sheryl, Dean, and Wes on the phones as well as the other callers on the phone. We wanted to also monitor the Chatterous space but couldn't get through the network filter; an issue, it seems, that's not exclusive to education. I think there's work for Clarence in the world of mainstream media professional development. ;-)
In the last week and half since the show it seems to have made a small splash online. The audio has been dowloaded over 500 times and blog reflections have come in from around the world:
Wes Fryer (Edmond, Oklahoma): pre-interview post
Donna DesRoches (North Battleford, Saskatchewan): A Day of Learning
Stuart Meldrum (Hawick, Scotland): Teachers take over the Canadian airwaves
Neil Winton (Perth, Scotland): New Year, New Connections, New Learning
Chris Harbeck (Winnipeg, Manitoba): A day listening to Darren on the Radio
John Evans (St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba): Darren Kuropatwa Interview on CJOB Friday, January 2, 2009
Wes Fryer - follow up post (Edmond, Oklahoma): Contrasting recent Oklahoma City and Winnipeg morning radio coverage about education
Alice Barr (Yarmouth, Maine): Week 1 of 2009 and already some amazing learning!
One common thread through all these reflections was the engagement everyone felt in the online chat. It was an opportunity to continue meaningful conversation during commercials. Over 1000 comments were shared over the three hours of the show. Here's some of what happened in the chat:
There were between 30 and 50 people in the chat at different times. They came from:
- Maine, USA
- New Hampshire
- Edmond, Oklahoma
- St. Francois Xavier, MB
- Perth, Scotland
- Los Angeles, CA, USA
- Harrisburg, PA, USA
- North Battleford, Saskatchewan
- Winnipeg , MB
- Charters Towers, QLD, Australia
- Farmington, Maine, USA
- Fort Gratiot, MI, USA
- Wales UK
- Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
- Philadelphia, USA
- Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
A real sense of community developed by the end. Many participants in the chat added new people to their blogrolls, exchanged twitter usernames, and contact information.
A number of other people are thinking about ways to engage the mainstream media in their communities around the world. What will happen here in Winnipeg? Well, maybe more people reading and commenting on edublogs, joining the conversation, more local attention for the good work my students have done and are doing. Or maybe not.
The Last Word
... in the chat was about penmanship. A valid point I think. Emphasis my own.
There is no excuse for the lack of skills of today's students. Successful handwriting can be taught to anyone in a short period of time, with a little effort on the part of the teacher. When I taught school, I reduced handwriting down to ten easy lessons, and with a plan of attack for the students to use on their own. I can boast an unusually and significant success rate. One of my lessons was entitled "One Letter at a Time". Pick a letter. Decide how you want it to look. Learn how to write it very slowly and deliberately. Then for a week or so, every time you write it, take the time to do it properly. When satisfied, choose another letter, and repeat the procedure. No student ever gets through the whole alphabet. However, overall penmanship improves drastically.