I think the reason I love it is that it is REAL teaching. Our struggles and discussions today:
- Helping students understand COLLABORATIVE writing (they want to write their piece in word, paste it in and sign their names) -- COLLABORATION requires higher order thinking by definition and is tough to teach.
- Storyboarding and helping the students accurately request video from their partners in other classrooms. This is tough because they have to convey the vision.
- Discussions of ongoing interactions with Don Tapscott to discuss the 8 net gen norms! The kids LOVE HIM. Especially after he pulled the bait and switch on them in his first video. (All the teachers laughed -- the kids were throwing things at the smartboard when we showed the video!) They're talking about customization right now. (Anyone can join in!)
- Our Help resources on the wiki and what needs to be added.
- Planning the potential for an awards ceremony in OpenSim -- ready to move into a virtual world.
- Deadlines!!! ;-)
- Helping kids connect who are having some things blocked at school. (Sonniya in Pakistan has her kids working at home.)
- First time teachers struggle with a project of this immensity -- Julie and I were able to put our toe in the water -- but now this project is immense and any teacher who makes it through is a hero in my book!
- Elluminate student summits at the end and how everyone is going to put those into Google Cal so I can put them in elluminate with the correct dates. (Did I tell you timebridge is our BEST FRIEND?)
- Just reflecting on how excited the kids are.
- The great Digital Storytelling Webinar by Hall Davidson with the spectacular Discovery Educators Network today.
And when we're done -- we all laugh because we never know what to say --so today it was Good-morn-after-evening. Soniiya went to bed (she stayed up until 2 am) and Julie and Sam did too! I'm headed home to cook dinner and Anne and Steve are headed to school.
This world is not flat - it is very very round and yet, with those who are willing to connect any place anywhere anytime -- it is a hugely enriching experience that is transforming us all.
There is no bungee jumping, skydiving, snowboarding adrenaline rush-inducing activity that can replace how I feel after a session like this. This is the edge.
And all of us who "flatten" and do this sort of thing -- we'll never go back to teaching inside the box. Our box is round and world sized and beyond and this is the way I want to be for the rest of my teaching career.
Once you've gone flat, you can never go back. ;-)
Good morn-after-evening, my friends. Remember your noble calling and teach like your life depends on it - for truly the future of this world does.