My teaching is developing by leaps and bounds, with the help of a marvelous professional learning network that I am harnessing through the electrons of the web. My Twitter network is full of creative and energetic people and to connect with those who do not twitter I have facebook, diigo, technorati, delicious, netvibes and other accounts. I attend "webinars", I Skype, I podcast and experiment with the countless tools the web has to offer. While I am in the early stages of learning how to use these tools and implementing them into my classroom teaching, I am far ahead of many teachers in the high school at which I teach. It's all well and good to have the administrators saying they want to incorporate more technology into classrooms, but many of them do not know what that means; some think it means add computers, some think it means add smartboards, and some just plain don't know. Administrators who are leaders and trust their staff will find that their school will grow technologically.
Our school has a grass-roots technology group that meets once a week to share experiences. While this group is only 10% of the school staff, our school principal has given us opportunities to present to the rest of the school as part of the school's professional development time. We hope that this process of working with the teachers and modeling lessons will help to get through some of the barriers to advancing the use of technology within the classroom. Models are what most of us look for before trying something new or confusing. Models are what educators provide their students to facilitate generation of a quality project. And before we, the grass-roots technology educators, can model for other teachers, we look for models ourselves.
So what does integration of technology look like in the classroom? How will it promote life-long learning for the student? Why do we want to take the time to do this in the face of high-stakes testing? These are the questions I ask myself and the questions I ask you. Because sharing ideas and and sharing learning are central to me, here are two links that I think teachers will find helpful: