I was a lurker…I HAVE changed…I am a creator…

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I have been reflecting on my journey through COETAIL. What have I achieved? What am I doing differently to what I used to in the classroom? What have I learnt that I have as yet have not had a chance to apply? Thinking about these questions I stumbled across this great article from Edutopia. It summed up my thinking about where a 21st Century teacher should be. But where am I now? Have I truly changed throughout Course 1 of COETAIL?

The most powerful way of doing this is to go back to the beginning of my journey.  In my first COETAIL post I spoke about what I was doing privately and at school and classified myself as a “lurker”.

How have I de-lurked myself? How am I doing now? What changes have I made?

Personally

I have tried to become a creator of content rather than a constant consumer. I am trying to give my thoughts, my ideas, things that interest me to my PLN community.

  • Using Twitter in a way that directly affect teaching and learning in my classroom, sharing content, creating content, giving to the community

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE4FuyV416M[/youtube]

  • Through twitter, COETAIL, Google + my  PLN has grown – almost doubling in size!
  • Through weekly blog posts I am reflecting my current thinking, ideas and an insight in to what’s happening in my classroom
  • Via reading and learning new things every day and sharing this information with colleagues, friends, family – anyone who will listen really!

I am becoming a creator 

However it is not without it’s difficulties. It is challenging to believe that people are listening to my voice and my opinions. I find it hard to think I am doing anything different or exceptional that needs to be shared with the world. But the great thing is that I am hitting that publish button every week. Even more of  struggle for me is when writing comments on other people blogs. I think it is inbuilt in me to simply hit the retweet button (Twitter) or like button (Facebook). But comment I am nevertheless.

I am, now, modelling the characteristics that I expect from the children. Well how about the students? Has their learning changed because of the course?

How have I de-lurked my class? How are the students doing now? 

In the classroom

The children are creating product (showme’s, popplets, puppetpals2, bookcreators, touchcasts) the question is how am I making the learning authentic by making the connections that they deserve. I am modelling what I am doing during the course. I am sharing with the children the journey that I am going on. I am blogging with them, sharing their content to an audience ( parents and grandparents at present.) So I suppose that is the focus of the Course 1 Final project. How am I going to to connect my students globally?

Returning to the article from Edutopia – Let’s concentrate on connections, blogs and learn with new technologies. That will do…for now…thats the project.

The class is de-lurking but it’s going to take time.

Course 1 Final Project

Grade 1 students are joining Paul Salopek on his amazing Out of Eden Learn. The skills gained will allow the students to join the Out of Eden Learn walk in January. The 6 week project prior to that will enable the students to connect with other people around the world in a meaningful, thoughtful and inquisitive way. The brilliant author Haruki Murakami says in his book Nowergian Wood, “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking” The main aim of the project will give the students an eye to what’s happening around the world (therefore not reading the same books!), and will give them a platform to share their story.

This project will give students the skills that will allow them to make meaningful connections with the wider world, and give them the skills to relate it to what is happening on their doorstep. It will also allow the students to see things through other peoples eyes, and give them an audience for their stories. Students will gain skills that will last their lifetime and allow them to use social media in a responsive and thoughtful way. This video summarises it really well:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py-lclmI_Ro[/youtube]

Ways to be part of the walk are : –

Course 1 Final Project

This is a collaborative project designed with my Grade 1 colleague and fellow COETAIL’er Suzy Ramsden for our Grade 1 students.

Join the Conversation

4 Comments

  1. I’m so excited for your kids to do the Eden Walk project! I’ve explored it, but I haven’t taken the leap. I may have gotten a little lost in the links you included here. And I like hearing how other people experience these things so please, please keep sharing. This is an amazing project and I’m so excited to learn more.

    I loved reading this post and hearing how your own learning is being reflected in the learning you are asking your students to engage in. For me, it’s why it’s so important to always be a learner…that need to to model what learning looks like and to have empathy with our kids as they struggle with with the experience of learning. Learning is hard work! But if done right it’s “hard fun”.

    Thanks for such an awesome unit plan! I feel like this is something other teachers could take and steal and use. It’s so incredibly well thought out and designed. Can’t wait to hear more about it.

    Thanks for all your contributions this course!

    1. Thanks Rebekah,
      I am really excited about the project and can not wait to get started after our holidays.
      I like the phrase you use “hard fun” and I hope that this project will be “hard fun” for all the parties involved ( students, teachers, parents and grandparents ).
      I would be happy for other people to use the unit plan and to get feedback on how they have incorporated into their programme, especially with children of younger children. I think the project will give the children some real 21st Century skills that they can use throughout their lifetime.
      I will keep you posted on how we get on.
      Thanks for all your support,
      Cheers Joel

  2. Hi Joel

    It’s great to hear that you’ve made that leap to be a voice online. Once you start, it’s hard to go back to just being a lurker. I think that is how it is with kids nowadays. They’ve experienced what it’s like to create something significant and share it with the world i.e. youtube, instagram, memes etc. This explains why they are so excited when their teacher “gets it” and uses it as a vehicle for their learning in school. They’re already using the internet and internet communities in their own personal learning.

    This “Out of Eden” sounds absolutely AMAZING. I wish I had the time to join in the walk too. Keep us updated on all this fantastic stuff going on in your classroom!

    1. Thanks Vivian,
      I am really looking forward to starting the project. It should be a great learning opportunity for both the children and myself to create meaningful connections. When we begin our walk I will share how it is going. Thanks for your support,
      Cheers Joel

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