A Powerful Learning Opportunity

One of the most powerful things I’ve been part of recent years is the opportunity I’ve had to connect pre-service teachers with experienced classroom teachers via an online mentorship. This has transformed many young people and offered them an experience to work with great teachers from around the world and observe first hand what it means to use technology to amplify and enhance learning through technology.

This video illustrates one example of what happened last term as Carey Pohanka and one of my students worked together. If you were one of those students or teachers impacted by this mentorship program, please feel free to leave a comment as well.

I’ve written about it before here so I won’t go into any more detail other than to invite you to be a part of this experience from September to December. If you’re interested, fill out this form and I’ll get back to you. Thanks.


A Call for Teachers

As readers of my blog know, I’ve been teaching part time at the University of Regina for the past few years. I teach an introductory course to pre-service teachers on technology. I’ve had the freedom to more the curriculum to a much more broader look at technology in our schools. It’s been a wonderful experience for me and my students.

Guest appearance by SherylFor the past 3 terms I’ve had my undergrads hook up with classrooms from around the world. Over the course of about 2 months the range of interactions is anything from skype conferences where my students teach lessons to commenting on blogs to working closely with students in collaborative projects. I’m been reluctant to make it much more structured since I want to honor teacher’s time and access. My student’s express a variety of  levels of satisfaction. I usually have the connect with 2 classrooms both to give them some variety but also to insure a greater chance of interactions. Two months is a very short time to build a connection with a class. Amazingly, some of my students made this happen and for many it was the best part of the course.  Others were frustrated by communication break downs and lack of activity. This was usually no one’s fault but the nature of school. Teachers are busy and I don’t want to place any undue expectations on them. I want my students simply to have the chance to interact with other students in whatever way the teacher sees fit. It’s not a perfect program by any means but it continues to provide students with an experience they never get in other classes in their university careers.

From May 6-June 18 I’ll be teacher the spring term of this same course. I had originally resigned the idea of a mentorship not only because of the shorter time frame but also since many US schools in particular would either be done or winding down. However I know there may be many that might be looking to have some outside voices participate.  I thought I’d give it a shot.

We’ve had classrooms ranging from Kindergarten to advanced senior Math. My goal is simply to have my students witness and experience how teachers and students share and open their classrooms to the world.  So I’m calling any teacher or classrooms in any grade and subject area. I might suggest the following scenarios for interaction:

  • A Skype call to share stories about where you live and where we live
  • Find out what areas of expertise my students might have and have the teach a lesson virtually
  • Collaborate on a story
  • Have my students comment on student work

As teachers, you’re using many tools to connect, these are just some starting points. My students need to see these in action. I realize that in a month it’s going to be difficult to establish a deep relationship be I’m open to being surprised.

So leave a comment, email me shareski at gmail.com, or resend this to any teacher you wish and let me know if you might be interested.  Our class meets every Monday and Wednesday evening and I’ll likely have you come all join me  in early May (likely the 11th or 13th) via Elluminate one evening to share about classroom.

Please complete this form if you’re interested:

Once again, testing the boundaries of my PLN.