April 13, 2010

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

This post was last updated on September 27th, 2011 at 10:16 am

As I wrap up another term teaching at the University of Regina, I’m once again grateful for the way a host of people, (known to some as a PLN) are so willing to support my students and me in our learning.

Earlier this semester I sent out a call for teachers and as usual, they responding wonderfully. I had each of my students working with great teachers around the globe on various projects and instructional practices. From what I’ve seen thus far it’s been a wonderful learning experience.

One of my goals in this class was to help my students gain a deeper understanding of connections and get to know other educators on a personal level. I asked a few of them to allow themselves to be interviewed by my students.

Beth Still, Lee Kolbert, Carolyn Foote, Michelle Bourgeois, Chris Harbeck, Jan Smith, Alan Levine, Jeff Utecht, Maria Knee, Diana Laufenberg, Allanah King, Clarence Fisher, Lisa Parisi, Rodd Lucier, Scott S. Floyd, Kathy Cassidy, Meredith Stewart, Silvia Tolisano, Chris Betcher, Chris Craft, Vicki Davis, Julie Lindsay, Brian Crosby and Jerry Swiatek

These folks took valuable time out of their schedules to answer any and all questions my students fired at them.There is lots to learn from these people.

Inside our NING,  we’ve had some excellent discussions. Unfortunately, most of the came during the latter half of the term and in particular a really juicy one on “Detoxing Students from Grades“.  It was evident from this discussion that many of my students had had great success with the current grading system. After all, they are in education largely because of good grades, why change things? That said, most recognized the flaws in the current system but like any good discussion, offered some excellent counterpoints and were truly engaged in meaningful dialoge. I suddenly realized it might be wise to invite the author of the post, Joe Bower in to defend and agitate the conversation even more. One Direct Message in Twitter and the deal was done.

As has been the case in previous classes I bring in a variety of speakers to share their expertise. This class was largely asynchronous but I did offer some live sessions which we recorded. Karl Fisch, Jeff Utecht, Zoe Branigan-Pipe, Liz Kolb did fabulous jobs sharing the stuff they’re involved with.

Finally, many of you commented on their blogs, engaged with them in twitter and shared ideas with me that supported our learning.

How did anyone do this before the internet?