Jonathan Trenn writes an article on the "fallacy of community" that many of the vendors at NECC should read. Edubloggers / educators/ educational groups of people emerge because we want to. We create a community when we need to and have the passionate desire for a common purpose. However, the word community and social network was so overused at NECC this year as to become a curse word.
Used by people told it was important but who may not understand it themselves. This is a great article and strikes a cord with me.
Virsona is sponsoring a talking history contest in which you create a virtual person that answers questions like the person in history would answer. This could be a great excercise for a history class if you have characters that you investigate deeply. This would be fascinating.
Another group of teachers is forming to talk about flattening the classrooms w/ their students who are under age 11. This discussion is open to anyone who joins in. Feel free to join and discuss here. Grassroots movements to connect such as these are cropping up everywhere in many places, not just here. But this is a model example of how it is happening.
"I’ve always valued problem-solving, decision-making, and higher critical thinking skills in my classes. I know that 7th graders are a bit wobbly in their emerging abstract thinking skills, but I also know that a little scaffolding and creative empowerment helps those new skills flourish! Learning how to learn and learning how to think are two of my top goals for each of my students."
I love this quote from Amy Dean about what she wants for her 7th grade students. Amy has a very nice blog, reflecting pools.
I enjoyed the reality that James Gill shares his experience teaching summer schoool. From the tremendous investment of time (and advice from his father, a retired science teacher), to the kids who just tune out and move on. THIS is what teachers who teach summer school deal with. I admire James for his tenacity and positive attitude in the midst of struggle.