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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Guest Post: Teacher Yvonne Fojtasek shares her "Big 3" #ce12

 When educator Yvonne Fojtasek at Alvin Dunn Elementary in San Marcos, California emailed me her "Big Three" after ISTE 12 this year, I asked if she'd share her plans with the world. This one transformational practice has changed my life and can change yours. I have a list of the next 3 things I want to do after every conference and on an ongoing basis. What are your "big 3?" Feel free to email them to me at vicki at coolcatteacher dot com. You might just be next. 

"We can't have a world-class education without the world", 

began Vicki Davis at her presentation on the Wonderful World of Wikis at ISTE 2012 in San Diego, California. She had me hooked.

This was my very first time attending ISTE, and I was eager to learn as much as possible about providing a world class education for the students I serve in the San Marcos Unified School District in San Diego County, California. I was looking forward to taking my first steps in establishing those global connections, and I knew Vicki to be one of the great trail-blazers in establishing those global connections by flattening the classroom walls for herself and her students by utilizing the "3 R's" of global collaboration, receiving, reading, responding and using technology as the vehicle for this process.

Throughout the presentation, we had the opportunity to learn about the tools and strategies of utilizing wikis as a collaborative tool. Of particular interest to me, was learning about discussion tabs, the means of articulating the thinking behind the construction of the content, truly a concrete example of making thinking visible.

At the conclunsion of the session, Vicki also challenged us to consider our "Big Three", the next things we would like to learn.

My "Big Three"

Our school, Alvin Dunn Elementary, has just been accepted as an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Candidate School. Because I will be serving as the coordinator, one of my goals is to continue working on our wiki which will be a resource for staff, parents, students, and the community as we transition to becoming an IB Primary Years School.


Second, I want to continually put into practice the attributes of the international Baccalaureate learner profile myself including being a risk-taker, and for me that means making a commitment to writing in my own blog more often and then responding to other's blogs that I subscribe to in order to establish great connections with others. Putting my thoughts out there for others to see means making myself vulnerable, but I can't thing of any better way of truly connecting with others than this willingness to be vulnerable and learn.

Third, as part of the International Baccalaureate philosophy, want to be proactive in establishing global connections personally through various projects as well as encouraging my colleagues at Alvin Dunn and the teachers participating in theAmerican History Grant Project, which I also coordinate, to begin making those connections as well, do the resources that you and Vicki Davis and Julie have shared in their book, Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds, and website will be quite valuable. I am excited there are numerous opportunities for our students to work collaboratively with others on authentic projects to flatten the classroom walls such as the "A Week in the Life" project.

Yvonne Fojtasek
Blog: http://ahffojtasek.blogspot.com/
Interntional Baccalaureate Primary Years Coordinator, Alvin Dunn Elementary
American History Grant Coordinator, San Marcos Unified School District
San Marcos, CA

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