Bloggers Who Help You Teach

The Main Point:
(copied from bottom of this blog post) A while back I called on readers to help compile a list of educator bloggers who helped us do their jobs.  Today, I’d like to ask that we populate another wiki page with the blogs who consistently talk about what Classroom 2.0 looks like.  I’d like to have a list of bloggers who share practical techniques for using emerging tools with young children, to help students learn to read, and learn the language of numbers, to learn science, social studies, and health, and to think like artists, composers, and poets.  This is not for the big picture folks, like David Warlick.  This is for the nitty gritty educators who talking about their classrooms and their dreams for their classrooms.

Here’s the link.  There is no password required.  Please bullet you list and add in as many as you like.  I’ll probably make a video of the growth of this wiki, and it should have more than three frames 😉

Thanks in advance!

I’ve gotten several comments over the past week that have suggested topics deserving more conversation — and today, it’s about professional development.

Kim S., after talking about how mixing text with video and sound livens up a lesson, said:

…I have to say though that I too feel that schools should include more training because (if) you are not sure how to create lessons using the technology you have it makes, it’s scary and a lot more work. Anyone have suggestions on how to learn more (cost effectively) if schools do not provide the training? Any useful web sites or organizations? thanks.

What I find, as I get to attend conferences and see presentations from classroom teachers who are doing innovative and captivating activities, is that they did not learn to do these things in workshops.  They learned by being creative and by engaging in conversations with other educators through the growing (and sometimes bewildering) array of online meeting places.  Blogs and some wikis can serve as avenues.  Ning networks (ex: http://www.classroom20.com/) can be especially helpful.  Some consider Twitter and other microblogging services to be at the center of their professional development or Personal Learning Network, and others do their professional learning through conversations in Second Life.  But, of course, it isn’t as simple as spending a couple of hours a night driving your avatar around ISTE Island.

J.D. Wilson, continues the conversation by citing the lack of time and current administrative priorities as a barrier.

I use wikis, podcasts, Moodle, web pages, blogs, flikr, and VoiceThread in my class room (maybe a few others). But for all I know I am like the teachers Mr. Stager speaks of because there is not a lot of feedback one gets and most of what I do is self directed because there is so little training and support. The time I spend on these things is mostly my own time because it is not a priority right now with administration.

Time is certainly a critical issue, as are administrative priorities. We are hopeful that priorities will be changing in the coming months, pointing us toward instructional and learning practices that seem more relevant to our world, today’s children, and a new information environment.

..And there should be more training.  But training alone is not the answer, nor should it be.  Retooling our classrooms into rich and dynamic learning environments will not be something that you can learn how to do in a workshop.  It’s something that will happen through continued creativity, conversations, sharing, experimenting, reporting, and more conversations.

Certainly, there is much that can be learned in workshops.  Just like youngsters have to be taught the basics of literacy, teachers need to be taught the basics of using today’s networked, digital, abundant, and hyper-connective information landscape.   You can’t shape your own personal learning networks or build, maintain, and control digital learning envrionments without understanding the basics of that landscape.

As I said in a previous blog post (More on What Matters..), the time has come for us to start painting clearer and more concrete pictures of what learning 2.0 actually looks like.  When you look at classroom 2.0, what are you seeing?  What are the teachers doing?  What are the students doing?  How are the facilities being arranged, shaped, and reshaped and who’s doing the shaping?

A while back I called on readers to help compile a list of educator bloggers who help us do our jobs.  Today, I’d like to ask that we populate another wiki page with the blogs who consistently talk about what Classroom 2.0 looks like.  I’d like to have a list of bloggers who share practical techniques for using emerging tools with young children, to help students learn to read, and learn the language of numbers, to learn science, social studies, and health, and to think like artists, composers, and poets.  This is not for the big picture folks, like David Warlick.  This is for the nitty-gritty educators who talking about their classrooms and their dreams for their classrooms.

Here’s the link.  There is no password required.  Please bullet you list and add in as many as you like.  I’ll probably make a video of the growth of this wiki, and it should have more than three frames 😉

Thanks in advance!

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.