Tuesday, May 15, 2007

As they see it...

Previously, I posted about my observations of the teachers in the connective writing workshop that I have been conducting over the last two days. Actually, it was more of an introduction and overview than a workshop, but nonetheless, some great dialog came out of it.

Here are some of the quotes that I was able to pull from our discussion of yesterday's project:

  • "We needed to have a plan and sit together and work through the information"
  • "Sometimes things would appear on the document that I wouldn't want on there, stuff that I wouldn't put on their if this were my own document."
  • "We really had no format to follow, so trying to learn the application, collaborate, and write was hard."
  • "Should we have had roles?"
  • "You can see where having good communication skills is important when doing this."
  • "It is not as easy explaining to people what you want them to do this way."
Some pretty telling soundbites here, and we spoke about these as we looked at various examples of connective writing and online collaboration. Framing this in the context of these teachers as my students, they understood a need for scaffolding with technology, and I tried to model what it would be like when the teacher learns alongside the students; I had no idea how any of this would pan out, so I was making decisions about what information to share and which direction to push in as the need arose.

A spontaneous discussion about teaching digital literacy and ethics arose as we began introducing blogging examples and formats. What was great was that they all were advocates of tearing down the filters and the blocks to Internet sites. Several of them revealed that conversations were more important than limiting access. I have a great staff to work with.

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