It has been a busy week.
My students are working on terrific creative collaborative projects and we had a great skype conference call with my students in Australia the other day. I am not so sure they are so homesick and ready to return to Canada just yet….
I am terrifically pleased that their blog has had well over 1100 hits in under 4 weeks! Wow! And while those are all inspiring things for any teacher, my attention was diverted by a few other items this week.
My collaborative partner in Israel sent me a very thought-provoking article from Elearnmag about the “$100 laptop” – One Laptop Per Child Programme initiated by Nicholas Negroponte at the MIT Media Lab. Not only is the story about the innovativeness to do with the initiative very inspiring (do read it!), but the canny insight about the effectiveness of laptop programmes in our own developed nations is right on.
The article validated my own reservations about what I see happening with laptops in the classroom by teachers who have not been adequately prepared. It fueled my interest enough in the topic to pose some questions to Wes Fryer when he was a guest on our WOW2 webcast . His response to my question surprised me. And galvanized me.
Wes stated that he had been thinking about it and he strongly believed that every principal should be *requiring* every teacher to participate in one online collaborative project per year. WOW! I know from my own experience that these projects accomplish a number of learning goals – everything from fostering collaborative and negotiating skills to using technology tools in meaningful and authentic ways. The New NETS standards – as provided by ISTE – are a great guideline to these kind of projects.
And while I have been ruminating about such things, our school was able to host a presentation by the president of Teachers Without Borders Canada later in the week. The organization was incorporated in February 2007 and is just beginning its initiative in Canada.
Noble Kelly, the president of TWB Canada, made a low-key presentation about the organization and its ambitious goals to train teachers in South Africa.
Some of the facts included by the international umbrella organization of Teachers Without Borders:
Teachers are the largest professionally trained group in the world
* founded in 2000
* membership of about 5000 in 119 countries
* 370 volunteers
* 10 country coordinators
Programs and Projects
* Teaching and Learning Centres
* Certificate of Teaching Mastery
* Emergency Education
* HIV AIDS and Health
* Conferences of Teachers from regions in conflict
Practical ways to get involved:
Please check the TWB websites for more information on how to become involved with this worthwhile organization.