It has been three weeks since my last post and most of the reason was my need to hunker down, focus, and finish my thesis. It has gone through a few revisions now and was submitted last Monday. Whee! What a relief to be over that hump. It represent a triumph of the human spirit and represents a great deal of encouragement from friends and family members. I will have to defend it to a thesis committee in the coming weeks but that doesn’t seem so daunting – yet.
In the meantime, I have attended a number of skypecasts and viewed some really great blogs – which I hope I can pass along.
As I face getting back down to business with my own students, I have been drawn to some of the more practical blogs and skypecasts.
Last week, I joined the Ed Tech Talk crowd to hear an interview with Terry Anderson, the Canada Research Chair at Athabasca University (Canada’s Open University). I had an opportunity to ask him what he thought about the future of blended learning (that is, online learning environments paired with face-to-face traditional classroom teaching) in the K-12 domain. I was pleased to hear that he thought it had a good future as this, to me, is the very best of approaches to learning.
Later in the week, I was able to attend Miguel Guhlin’s ‘On the Front Porch’ skypecast about best practices for blogging. It was interesting to hear other approaches to blogging in the classroom. Miguel does a terrific job summing up our conversations and including some excellent relevant links. The best part about all of this blogging stuff is its ability to archive such great resources for later reference! Please be sure to check out the links about Tracking Teresa and NetSmartz which became an interesting digression to our discussion that evening. I will certainly be passing some of this info onto my administration at my school!
The following evening I was able to attend another excellent skypecast hosted by Steve Hargadon with Vicky Davis (Coolcat Blog) and Adam Frey (Wikispaces) about wikis in education. Vicky has her high school students creating amazing wikis in her program – check out the wiki they are creating about Online safety practices. I find Vicky’s approaches to wikis to be innovative, creative and incredibly relevant to the students. Great job, Vicky! You have given me some solid ideas for my own classes. Upon further exploration, I like her wiki entries on mashups and how her students tackled it.
Now I am really getting psyched to get back in the classroom!