Good luck to everyone!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
Though not the only edublogger I am following (a lot of us seem to be following the same people, so I thought I’d put forward someone new here), the edublogger I am writing about here is Larry Ferlazzo (http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/). He is a edublogger and English Language Teacher, but his blogs have relevance for any teacher, especially when you consider the rising importance of EAL in our classrooms.
He claims to possess little tech savvy, which actually is another good reason follow him, because he is at the same level as many of us. To quote a line from his page: “I believe that technology has its place, but also has to be kept in its place. I don’t think computers are a “magic bullet,” and though I believe they offer a particular “value-added” benefit to English Language Learners, I’m less convinced about their advantages for non-ELL’s.” The benefit in this view is that even though he has his doubts about the usefulness of technologies in the classroom he is still promoting it here. So what he shares is really good stuff that is practical and easy to use, not convoluted or a sort of technology for the sake of technology at all.
Also, a lot of what is on this site has nothing to do with technology, but is just good reads about his methods, experiences and ideas about being a good teacher. One good example of this is his ‘What To Do When You’re Having A Bad Day At School’ post (http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2009/04/18/what-do-you-do-when-youre-having-a-bad-day-at-school/). It is fairly straightforward stuff, but it is a good reflection and got me thinking about the things I can do when things go south, as he says, in my classroom. He hyperlinks to relevant blogs throughout any posting of his, so you can keep mining for good things along whatever topic you’re currently reading about.
Another cool feature of his blog is that he has a listing of his most popular blog posts for all of the past months, which really makes it easy to find good postings that are relevant to the reader. He rates sites and apps monthly and yearly and shares his best posts along the sidebar. His blog really connects you to so much great info! I highly recommend everyone add him to your RSS or subscribe to him today!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
This past Tuesday we had presenter Alec Couros speak to us on the “Networked Teacher.” He had the disadvantage of speaking to us last and many of the points he brought up we had discussed already in class. But I found his unique slant on the moving forward with the Internet in classrooms interesting and inspiring.
One of the ideas I found the most interesting was when he mentioned how networks are redefining our connections. Social medias, like facebook, have apparently granted us more ‘friends’ than we may have ever dreamed of having, but that is because the definition of a facebook friend is somehow different than what we used to think of as a friend. This then extends to several other aspects, like communities, citizenship, identity, presence, and privacy. As teachers we need to get a handle on what this changing landscape means to better prepare our students to confront it.
Which leads me to my favourite part of his presentation. This would be his line: “SCHOOLS SHOULD BE LIABLE FOR NOT EDUCATING THEIR STUDENTS TO THE DANGERS AND THE WAYS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES ONLINE!” That may not be an exact quote, but I assure you the sentiment is correct. I feel this is the attitude we should be carrying with us as educators. And not just because it motivates us to teach our students better online practices, but because it will open the eyes of those dragging their heels administrators that block websites and limit students contact with computers and the Internet. It is this sort of thinking that can help usher in a new attitude towards what we are teaching our kids and how we do it!