Nine days, that's it! I've only been in the classroom nine days and I feel like I'm doing good. My kids are using Blackboard, they've posted to an online discussion board, they've uploaded files, they're getting closer to where they need to be.
Tonight, Wendy, our Tech Coach, and I worked with my student laptops to install Vision. This means that my room of 20 laptops is much more manageable. I can keep tabs on what they're looking at, chat with them, demo what I want them to do, the works. It's one of the pieces I've felt was missing.
For the first time, today, I was able to work Wikipedia in to my lesson today. I posted a piece of the entry on Myspace.com on the discussion board. It was all about restrictions being put on the site in schools. My kids were all over the place with what they thought. Not everyone was a fan, all of them understood the dangers. What surprised me last week was the number of kids who said their parents also had Myspace pages. The kids knew it and they knew their parents were watching. Maybe things aren't as bleak as the frightened masses would like to think.
In the coming weeks, I see great opportunities. I showed my kids the PowerPoint presentation from Karl Fisch's blog today. Some good conversation came from it. Not only that, Wendy said the kids were asking her about the presentation after they left my class. Something stuck.
I've been looking at Thinkfree.com tonight. What an excellent partner for our program that puts computers in homes of students who don't have them! No longer do parents have to worry that they can't get the right software. Kids can save their work online and then pull it down. Start a file at school, edit it at home, share it with classmates. It's a network in a grand sense.
My problem is that I'm so anxious to use these things. I need to pause. I need to slow down.
One of my frustrations when listening to the podcasts and presentations of folks like David Warlick and Will Richardson is that I want examples, I want lessons and projects, I want to see what's going on with the people who have been there.
Perhaps I should sleep. Take pause. I feel like I can't afford to pause.