So Much!

Nine days, that’s it! I’ve only been in the classroom nine days and I feel like I’m doing good. My kids are using Blackboard, they’ve posted to an online discussion board, they’ve uploaded files, they’re getting closer to where they need to be.
Tonight, Wendy, our Tech Coach, and I worked with my student laptops to install Vision. This means that my room of 20 laptops is much more manageable. I can keep tabs on what they’re looking at, chat with them, demo what I want them to do, the works. It’s one of the pieces I’ve felt was missing.
For the first time, today, I was able to work Wikipedia in to my lesson today. I posted a piece of the entry on Myspace.com on the discussion board. It was all about restrictions being put on the site in schools. My kids were all over the place with what they thought. Not everyone was a fan, all of them understood the dangers. What surprised me last week was the number of kids who said their parents also had Myspace pages. The kids knew it and they knew their parents were watching. Maybe things aren’t as bleak as the frightened masses would like to think.
In the coming weeks, I see great opportunities. I showed my kids the PowerPoint presentation from Karl Fisch’s blog today. Some good conversation came from it. Not only that, Wendy said the kids were asking her about the presentation after they left my class. Something stuck.
I’ve been looking at Thinkfree.com tonight. What an excellent partner for our program that puts computers in homes of students who don’t have them! No longer do parents have to worry that they can’t get the right software. Kids can save their work online and then pull it down. Start a file at school, edit it at home, share it with classmates. It’s a network in a grand sense.
My problem is that I’m so anxious to use these things. I need to pause. I need to slow down.
One of my frustrations when listening to the podcasts and presentations of folks like David Warlick and Will Richardson is that I want examples, I want lessons and projects, I want to see what’s going on with the people who have been there.
Perhaps I should sleep. Take pause. I feel like I can’t afford to pause.
More later.

5 thoughts on “So Much!

  1. Good Morning Mr. Chase —

    Wow– what a fun first few days of school you have — and what experiences you are providing your students which are LIFE-CHANGING!!! Way to go!!

    I wish you great luck and success in all you are doing and I have added you to my bloglines.

    Enjoy your day
    Jennifer

  2. Hey Mr Chase. Thanks for this blog I will follow your journey. I’m experimenting with some of these things too and would love a list of great examples. We’ve been playing with podcasting here so if you are interested here are a couple of links.

    http://room7.podomatic.com
    http://waimairiroom6.podomatic.com/
    http://georgia.podomatic.com
    The top two are classes using podcasting for the first time.

    http://moturoa.pbwiki.com/
    This one is a class experimenting with wikis

    http://room5.podomatic.com
    is another class using podcasting for learning.

    A directory of great classroom examples of blogs and wikis and podcasts would be really helpful. If anyone has one I’d be interested.

  3. I hope you’ve heard about Miguel Guhlin’s upcoming skyecast with some teachers about best practices in blogging. He has also created a wiki that supports this conversation. As a veteran teacher and staff developer but relative newcomer to blogging, it was interesting to read your post – gotta love that enthusiasm! It sounds like you have great technical support as well. I’ll look forward to reading more about what you’re doing with your students this year.

  4. I’m glad that the presentation sparked some discussion among the students – some of my teachers showed it to students as well. Since they are the ones most affected by this, I think we sure better remember to include them in the conversation.

    I also wanted to let you know that I posted a slightly updated version of the presentation on The Fischbowl, as well as a list of my sources.

    Just a heads up on Vision – the current version sometimes causes USB lockups on machines from certain manufacturers (we have Dell desktops and it locks up anytime you plug in a new USB device or even switch the ports the USB mouse and keyboard are plugged into). They are working on a fix. I agree it is a great tool – are you using it wirelessly with your laptops?

  5. Hi Mr. Chase,
    I appreciated your comment about sleep. I’m right there, 10 pm and I’m just getting started. I feel like I want to just redesign the whole curriculum, make it lighter, less paper, more fun, but than there are these things called grades that have to be entered in Smart Web, oh yeah and papers to be graded and lesson plans and all the old stuff is still in place.
    It’s inspiring to read your blog.
    Keep writing.
    A long time ago I taught elementary school and we did whole language and in a way the web 2.0 environment feels like it. The boundaries between subject matter is crumbling. Check out what I wrote today in class blog. I’m kind of embarrassed, because it feels primitive. Trying to figure out how to get it to fly.

    http://ananna.net/WordPress/index.php

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