I'm honored to be hosting today's installment of #cyberPD around Alan November's Who Owns the Learning? Our first week was held over at Cathy Mere's blog, Reflect and Refine, followed by week two at Jill Fisch's blog, My Primary Passion. Please be sure to leave a comment below with the link to your post. You can also tweet it out using our #cyberPD hashtag. I'll be spending some time listing everyone's links within my post later today!
After reading one of Tony Keefer's recent posts (Thinking About Roads and #allwrite13,) I'm still mulling over his very important reminder about slowing down and revisiting ideas from the past. Tony says, "Eventually we will get where we are going, but we also backtrack several times along the way." While I absolutely do intend to continue to move forward, learn new things, and try out some of what Alan suggests, I want to make sure I stay true to my beliefs in all of it. If we are simply adding technology to say we have added technology, we've really missed the eye of the education reform hurricane. This book has really helped me ponder where I need to go while holding on to what I believe to be true about teaching and learning. Thanks for the reminder, Tony!
That being said, I know I still have so much to learn, but when I was reading chapter 5, I had to stop for a minute and think about what I've already been able to do with my first graders. We had our own individual blogs, a class blog, and a Twitter handle - and all of these helped us make connections with other first grade classes from the US, Canada, and New Zealand. I wrote more about what we were able to accomplish on this post from my old blogging space. Moving forward, I know this will form a great base for the work I plan to do with my future 4th grade learners.
I read and reread the story Alan shared on page 71. Hearing this young lady's story made me consider the importance of authentic work. I love how she responded with, "Every day, I have to decide if I will write for my teachers or publish to the world." Such powerful thoughts! Later, on pages 82-84, Alan had me thinking more about the grading and homework debates. I wonder how I will go about giving grades in 4th grade. If we want students to do the work because it truly matters, how does that tie in to the traditional grading system?
My "homework policy" has changed so much in recent years. My expectation was nightly reading, with a few nights of word practice and the "required" math pages. Very low-key. More often than not, I also received compliments and thank-yous for my stance on homework. And more often than not, my kids were inspired to read more than expected and write on their blogs from home. Because it mattered to them. I have to believe I'll want to take the same approach with my 4th graders.
When Alan talked about respecting others' perspectives, I couldn't help but break it down to a very primary (but important) debate right here in the Chicagoland area. Even my first graders have an opinion and get into heated debates about who is right. While it's not a truly "global" issue, they are all well-versed and can defend their position when we ask... Cubs or White Sox? :) It's ok. You can giggle. But it's true! We always had fun sharing which team was our favorite and why. We also learned to respect Karen Lirenman's hockey perspective as they were Canuck fans while we all cheered on our Blackhawks. Using examples like this one helps young learners understand varying perspectives on a very basic level.
|I guess you know where I stand. :)|
Me and my all-time favorite Cub, Rick Sutcliffe.
We'll be announcing our final (live) Twitter wrap-up chat. Details will be shared soon!
This Week's Reflections
Erika Victor shares her international school perspective from sunny Berlin. She is looking to connect her students more this year as she writes in her post #Cyber PD Part 3 - Who Owns the Learning?
Mary Lee Hahn teaches us more about the importance of leaving a legacy while she also shares some honest feedback about how she plans to proceed in her post #CyberPD -- Who Owns the Learning? Ch 5-end.
Maria Caplin's honesty about her struggles with technology and her excitement about starting a class blog are woven into her post Who Owns the Learning? Ch. 5-6 #CyberPD.
Linda Baie investigated and created some new search engines to go along with her reflections in the post #CyberPD - WOW!
Suz reminds us of the importance of the collaborative power of learning and seeking out other viewpoints, even in places like Twitter. You can read more on her post Valuing Perspectives & Opening Networks.
As she shares her thoughts on this week's reading, Julie Balen invites us to try out collaborative content by joining in on her Popcorn Maker tool. Check it out in her post #Cyberpd 2013 ~ Collaboration for learning.
While sharing her take-aways and unanswered questions from the book, Pat Johnson also reminds us of the importance of those face-to-face conversations in her post Final Thoughts on Who Owns the Learning.
Read Tony Keefer's post #cyberPD (Who Owns the Learning (part 3) to find out about what he plans to do now that he has finished reading this book.
Cathy Mere reflects on what her students have already accomplished as digital learners and what she plans to do to help further their global connections in her post "WE" Own the Learning: #cyberPD.
Jamie Riley shares her perspective from the library media center and offers some additional resources to us in her post #cyberPD - Who Owns the Learning Ch 5-6.
You'll want to stop by Michelle Nero's blog to read her thoughts about starting small, remembering to ask questions, and a great description of our book chat! Check it out here in her post #cyberPD part 3: Who Owns the Learning?
Katherine Sokolowski shares her plan of action for the upcoming year and her goal of balancing her classes more in her post Who Owns the Learning? - #cyberPD part 3.
Barb Keister is back from the beach and weaves together thoughts on empathy, Common Core, and more in her post #cyberPD week 3 - Who Owns the Learning by Alan November.
We are reminded to slow down and breathe as we join Jill Fisch, talking to us about her feelings of being overwhelmed. Find out how she helps herself get through these times in her post I Did It Again.
Barbara Phillips transforms her take-aways into a two-step plan of action for the next school year in her post Who Owns the Learning? #CyberPD - Part 3
Amy Rudd ponders the path she will choose as she moves forward from our book chat and shares the connections she has made in her post At the Fork on the Trail - CyberPD #3.
We get to enjoy a moment with Rose Cappelli as she connects new learning to what she already knows in her post An 'Aha' Moment.