Pay Attention to These Folks

John Pederson is a fan of asking “Who has your attention?”   I would add to that and say, “Stop looking for great resources and start looking for great people”. I have no shortage of great people in my life many of whom are well known people in education and technology. But I love to share and find hidden gems, people that you may not be paying attention to but ought to. Here are three:

Darren Kuropatwa

Darren actually is fairly well known as a great presenter, storyteller, Math teacher and inventor of the Scribe Post. But lately he’s been doing something that’s inspired me in a few different ways and you may not be familiar with what he’s been up to. After many discussions around the challenge of blogging, Darren has been playing with an app called Social Cam and has been using it to offer daily or almost daily reflections of his learning called “While Walking”. Not only are these often provocative ideas that has enabled him to practice active reflection but it’s helped make him stronger connections in his local community. I’ve used this tool now a few times and have plans to incorporate it into our Read the rest

The anatomy of a Skype call

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:03 am

I respect Gary Stager's opinion. He pushes my thinking. That's what he did for me here:

Why would you Skype someone involved “in the process?” What process? Who? State legislators? What are they likely to tell a student that can’t be found out in a book or article?

The connections you speak of, now matter how much you yearn for them may be as inauthentic as the task itself. Perhaps they just make a task nobody cares about even more arduous. The “you can use Google ____ or Skype with someone” suggestions have become as automatic and meaningless as when a politician says, “We need to pay teachers more, but hold them accountable.”

To be fair, Gary's comments here were about a broader issue and he goes on to discuss it in more detail. For me the striking comment that “skyping someone in” is often a automatic response to trying to demonstrate you have a classroom that “gets it” gave me pause to think. While I applaud teachers who consider this strategy, without thought and purpose it has no more value or impact that asking a Read the rest