Saturday, September 30, 2006

Let's Build a Network

Hey, y'all. It's nice to see you again. When last we met, several of you created blogs and said that you wanted more.

Well, here we go.

Today, we're going to be talking about learning networks, and how we can use blogs, podcasts, wikis, and other learning tools to create them.
We're going to begin today here, an article in this month's Edutopia Magazine. The piece is written by Will Richardson, one of my teachers in the edublogosphere, the learning network that I call "home."

After we've read the piece, I'd like for you to take ten minutes and use the comments section of this post to write your thoughts about what you've just read, as well as any questions that this raises for you and/or anything you're hoping we can explore further today.


I won't lie to you -- it's my goal today to convince you that every person -- student, teacher, administrator, parent, or otherwise -- is a person of value who can contribute positively to a learning network. We've all got a lot to learn from each others' experiences, knowledge, questions and concerns.

And today, we're going to look at some of the nuts and bolts of that sharing.

Everyone's network starts with two essential pieces -- your input device and your output device. For us today, Blogger is for output, and Bloglines is for input. While we're a "writing project," We'll start with input today, and move on from there.

By the time you leave today, hopefully you'll have created a personal learning network, as well as populated it with some useful resources for you. Then, it's up to you to become a participant in the networked world. After you're proficient, it's time to get your students involved.

Anything else we accomplish is bonus.

A few links we'll probably end up using (although we might not):

27 comments:

billy said...

Hi bud,
thank you for your lectures. it's
beneficial to starters like me.

Anonymous said...

I agree, we are all life long learners- and isn't it a shame that some people don't see themselves as that? -Tami

Anonymous said...

I can see the side of fear though; especially when it seems my students know SO much more than I.

Dani said...

I's like to learn more about how to use this technology with primary age elementary students.

Cameron Brantley said...

I can't agree more with the message. Technology, with some caveats - primarily safety, has to potential to hook in the "unhookable" kids.

Julie said...

Very interesting concept to shake the core of traditional education by providing research for students on line. Unfortunatly our school systems are about 20 years behind technology wise and money is a huge issue.

I like the idea, and I am hopeful that education can catch up and join the technolgy era.

Anonymous said...

I'm excited to find a way to encourage technology as a tool, and to get my kids thinking about their role as "consumers" and "contributors" in this technological world--I just have to know how to keep it safe, effective, and meaningful.- colleen stan

Liz said...

I fully agree with what this guy is saying about using the technology we have to compliment and drive learning and teaching...but......

What about kids who cannot afford access to computers? What about schools who have limited access to computer labs because we are required to test our student's reading ability all the time through technology intensive SRI testing?

I am not trying to be a wet blanket, or give a "yeah, but..." kind of statement, but I would like to have feedback about how others have gotten over the lack of access barrier.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree that we need to be sharing what we are doing in our classrooms. I know this is a "ya but..." but does anyone ever feel overwhelmed with the amount of collaborating that happens already? I love it, but when would I actually have time to type it, and does it have to be perfect..or informal or ???

Anonymous said...

I am very intrigued by the idea of computer technology, including blogging, becoming a part of being a lifelong learner who is diversely literate. I haven't really reflected on technology in that context, especially literacy.

Nathan Lowell said...

The first hurdle is to get out of the old ruts.

Stop thinking like students (or teachers).

Start thinking like learners.

It's not about money. It never has been.

Every elementary and middle school in the country has the computers and connections to make this happen. What they LACK are people with enough foresight to make it work.

Every public library in the country has computers and connections and is a safe environment for kids.

Ya, some kids will have to work a little harder to get to the computer and the connection. Some have to work harder just to get near a book, but I'm not hearing anybody suggest that books are a problem for low-income families (and maybe we SHOULD be hearing that!)

On with the discussion...

Cindy O-A said...

Reading this article was a kick in the pants, mine to be exact. For about a year now, Bud has been bugging me to get myself connected, to get my students connected to the blogosphere.

As a learner, I realize that it's clearly time.

As a parent, I've been letting my techie husband worry about how to help our kids use the web responsibly.

As a teacher, I fall somewhere in between. The educational potential seems limitless...and thus a little frightening. More and more often these days, teachers act in loco parentis, so we have to know how to protect students while simultaneously expanding their horizons.

I feel lucky to be learning how to strike this balance with college students who are studying to be teachers. I'm trusting that together with the help of lots of other smart people who are already using this technology in exciting ways, we'll be able to figure out.

Marina said...

I found this article interesting because it is true that almost everyone nowadays uses the internet in some way. It is important that teachers teach their students a responsible way to become connected. I am definitely not connected to blogging, so I hope I can become responsible in my connection.

Julie said...

I didn't realize how large blogging has gotten in the academic community. I think that it will be beneficial to students like myself to learn how to do this, just a little nervous about getting started. But I am excited to be in a community that will provide help and knowledge whenever possible!

Tiffany said...

I agreed with this article in many ways. I think that many educators are trying to deny the development of technology in the classroom.

Although I am in college and I use technology everyday, This article has shown me how unfamiliar I am with the new faces of technology.

Mandi Credle said...

This article was no huge surprise to me. Last semester I was active in volunteering as a tutor at a high school and everywhere I looked there seemed to be technology starin gme in the face.

I think it is important to teach these topics to our students but also to teach them responsibily. I had a teacher once who told me to tune in to my "rubbish instincts." I couldn't agree more with that teacher and even though much of what we see online is untrustworthy (martinlutherking) we cannot ignore that the internet is booming. Ilook forward to learning new ways to teach it.

Tessa said...

I found this article really interesting. Initially I satrted reading with a closed mind thinking that technology could not teach that much to students. Maybe I was afraid of getting into a classroom and having no control. This article has provided hope that teachers will not be helpless and cannot ignore where education is going!

Meredith said...

This article really incorporates what is going on with the technology world. last semester we discussed the uses of the different technologies and how to incorporate them. The article however, was not really a surprise.

Deanna said...

I really enjoyed this insight into future education involving the internet because I feel it is a necessary discussion for all. As a future teacher, I am excited to incorporate internet into my future classroom because in my experience I have found great education and joy in using the computer/web. Although it can very scary what can be brought into the classroom and read on the web but we must begin to educate students to be literate in computers.

Meredith said...

This article really incorporates what is going on with the technology world. last semester we discussed the uses of the different technologies and how to incorporate them. The article however, was not really a surprise.

Anonymous said...

Bud, I really like the fact that you pointed out that parents, teachers, administarators, etc. are taking some of the technological tools needed to learn away i.e. wikipedia, myspace, etc. away from the students.

Amanda said...

Throughout my educational career, we've used technology in the classroom time and time again. Yes, many people argue that not all students have the benefit of using technology, yet I believe this is one of the things we have to strive to change. Technology is a priceless tool students and teachers need to embrace full throttle, and I cannot wait to learn more tricks of the trade in technology as a future teacher.

Brittany Pederson said...

I have never blodged before. Actually I refused to do it. I thought that the idea of an on line dairy was weird and against it's purpose. But since I have to do this for a class I don't really have a choose. YA for Irony.

Claire Gibson said...

This article was very relevant to my experience in school. I remeber having a teacher who put devil horns on our classrooms computer and would had refused to use the web in any way in her classroom. As a child who had grown up with a computer in the house and used it as a helpful resource I was so frustrated by this becuase I always wanted there to be some kind of connection between my education and the technology I was used to relying on. I think this article really empahsised the importance of a teachers role in technology and how it can be beneficial to everyone in the classroom.

brett said...

The internet has opened up many new forms of commuication that were not around for our parents and granparents generations.

Brittany said...

This article made me think that we actually live in a changed world, not a changing world. I like that he focuses on the present - and poses a question for me to ponder: How do we change with our world?

I also liked the idea of making "pin-pals" possible. His example about blogging as a "chance to collaborate in a blog with U.S. soldiers in Iraq."

Meghan said...

I believe it is important to integrate technology into the classrrom, but we must remember that it is the teacher who helps students expand. Technology can not only help the students, but also the educators, and they can learn about new happenings together.