Friday, December 5, 2008

“I get by with a little help from my friends” The Beatles

As it has been in the previous 4 classes I have completed in my TL-DL program, I certainly could not have done this without my classmates and for that I am very grateful. Sure much of our learning takes place from our professional reading, research and experimentation, but the conversations that take place in our discussions on Web CT (or whatever the official name of it is these days) are truly some of the most valuable and memorable moments in the class.



I really enjoy the non-threatening manner in which our formal and non-formal discussions take place. Upon beginning the class, many of us are complete strangers and find out a small glimpse of whom each person is through their introduction posted in the first week. By the end of the course, as a direct result from following classmate’s blogs, I have gained a much better understanding about the person behind the words. The voice that each class member has conveyed in their blog and discussion postings has given us a glimpse into their personality, style, work ethic & tendencies, style of learner, and professionalism that makes them the unique individual they are. I am always amazed by the amount of work, research and thoroughness that individuals put into their on-line conversations. It always gives me something to strive towards and makes me think just a little deeper.

There have been no shortage of “hmmm….I hadn’t thought of that”, or “I’m going to have to look into that a little further” moments in every inquiry discussion we have explored. It is interesting to see how different individuals look at, interpret and guide their discussions in their own way. For example, the “Getting and staying organized in the web 2.0 environment” was looked at through a different lens for everyone. From tags, to tools, to RSS, to digital devices, each individual was eager to share their challenges, frustrations, successes and learning’s so others could learn.



WOW! Where do I start? I could spend my entire Christmas holidays going through everyone’s blog in great detail (but I won’t) to see what else I could be doing and how I could improve my teaching and library program from what they have learned, experienced and shared. Thankfully I have access to these amazing resources that everyone created so I can access them as I need (and I’m sure I’ll need them). The honesty and thoroughness in which classmates constructed and posted their blogs will surely save my sanity (at times) down the road. I have a flood of ideas from my own experimentation in each of the web 2.0 tools and probably a million more ideas from how others see each of the tools being used in schools for both student learning and teacher learning. It was very interesting to see how teachers and t-l’s at all different levels (from early elementary to adult ed) had some similar learning implications for some tools as well as completely different implications for other tools. The context in which we use each web 2.0 tool may vary, but the ability for each tool to impact and improve what we do, is certainly common to all.



What else is to say other than a huge thanks to everyone in the class who has made this an enjoyable and rewarding journey. Thanks Joanne for leading us in a very worthwhile exploration of how technology can and is shaping our educational system and personal lives today and in the future! I know that I wouldn’t have made the time to learn about some of these tools without this experience. Now I can’t imagine not teaching students how to use an application such as Voice Thread in my teaching!!

That’s it for now, but there’s more to come so hang tight!


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