Tuesday, July 24, 2007

An Epiphanous Moment

Aha! moments are rare in our lives, and although we anticipate them sometimes they don't materialize. Today was rife with them. Today was day two of my Connective Writing workshop where we had the privilege of including some great minds in our class. Midway through the morning, Clay Burell, Seoul, South Korea, Konrad Glogowski from Toronto, and Carolyn Foote from Austin, Texas, skyped in to talk with the group of teachers I was working with.

What ensued was a rolling conversation about blogging as a reflective tool for professional development and the logistics and pedagogical advantages of blogging with students. I was giddy listening to the three of them field questions and expound on their own practice.

Needless to say, the teachers I was working with were unbelievably impressed with what they heard and saw. As Konrad was speaking to the group of us about his blogging policy with his students, Clay came in to let everyone know that he had just edited our wiki to include his own parental notification letter and some guidelines that his students follow while blogging in class. Truly a connected moment and one that crystallized something for me that had been a long time coming: I have many teachers.

I hope to listen to the podcast again today or tomorrow to fully glean what we spoke about, but it truly changed the dynamic of our workshop and our learning.

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Carolyn Foote said...

It was really fun participating, and a great way for you to conduct a workshop!

Thanks for having us. I was honored to be in the company I was in...
It was an opportunity to learn a lot from people I respect a great deal.

The teachers in your class asked excellent questions, too. Hope we were helpful!

Clay Burell said...

I echo Carolyn's comment. I'd love to get the reactions of the teachers with you in the workshop. Maybe they would be nice enough to share their thoughts in comments here too?

No need for the conversation to end with the workshop, after all.

Epiphany is a good, high-frequency word to connect with this new reality, ain't it.

This English teacher concludes: Ya done good.

Patrick Higgins said...

Can't thank all of you enough for participating. I spoke with the group after we hung up and they were making fun of me for how excited I was. They said I was like a little kid. I really couldn't help it; those types of learning situations are, sadly, not a part of the everyday experience. Your commentary was helpful to everyone involved.

I plan on publishing their comments shortly. They were so impressed with the passion that the three of you spoke with.

And how great was it speaking with Konrad?

Anthony said...

Hey Patrick,

My name is Anthony Armstrong and I am an 8th grade teacher at Korea International School. I just spoke with Clay and wanted to introduce myself to you and offer my class and its students for any type of collaboration you may want to do with your classes. Like you, I'm looking to find ways in which I can better embed technology with present curriculum and I would look forward to participating in any projects or ideas you may have. You can reach me at http://teacherparadigm.blogspot.com/

Patrick Higgins said...


Welcome! It would be great to work with you to design something for our students to work on together. I am meeting with groups of teachers this week, and I will pitch that idea with them. What do you teach?