I think that’s called journaling. Or “dumping.”
I’m going to try to be a true blogger and write short and write often. And post.
I’m more alive than ever with ideas about education. Nope, wrong story. I’m more alive than ever with how my ideas are now able to come to fruition. Let’s take reader’s and writer’s workshop. The model is for students to choose their reading and writing, while the teacher facilitates their learning through purposeful mini-lessons with large chunks of time for students to read and write while the teacher conferences with students individually. I’ve loved the model, used it for over 22 years, but I was never satisfied with the relative authenticity for students who struggled to find their interests and passions.
Here comes technology. Want to write a blog? A letter? A manual, a manuscript, a maxim? Find your mentor texts. Find them online and read bunches of them. It was always a frustration for me that I could not find enough support, various exemplars, to help all of my students and actually predict what they might be interested in exploring.
It isn’t just that the exemplars, the writing blogs, the novels, stories, videos, articles, etc. are all there. It’s that they’re there now. Right now. Right when a student has a question, right when they realize they care about this, or that. Right when they’re ready to investigate and assimilate.
Right when they’re ready to become the experts of what they care about.
I was talking to a retired educator who works at our school sometimes, guest teaching. I realized I was getting on my “Oh, my gosh, technology is making me come alive with ideas, and I love teaching even more now than ever” soap box, and she listened to me, smiling, her demure smile, and when I finally took a breath, she nodded. “I have worked at other schools where teachers, newer teachers, older teachers, are all afraid of technology, unsure, but I tell them, ‘it’s here; don’t wait too long to catch this bus.”
My language arts teaching cohort (AKA the young woman who finishes my sentences ( I confess I finish her’s too) and makes the technical part of technology easier for me) and I have a Twitter page, and our tagline is “An Old Dog and a Young Pup teaching each other and learning from 7th graders.” That was my idea. I doubt she’d call me an old dog publicly. She’s too nice. Anyway, what I’m getting at is that technology in education isn’t a phase, a device, a question. It’s what we all do, and we better let our students learn with us instead of in spite of us. There are a lot of old dogs who get it. Thanks to the pups who nip at our heels.