It Takes All Kinds: Collaboration

This is the second in a four part series. Part one is here.

Teamwork

This idea has been rummaging around is based on the ideas Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.  There are many aspects of this book worth discussing but the one that I think is most interesting for our classrooms is the way we deal with and think about this idea of collaboration. It’s a buzz word that is included in every new document that includes the “21st Century Learning” jargon and you won’t hear many educational talks today that don’t include the word. I believe that it’s the internet and the affordance of technology that makes us want to apply these principles to our classroom. The problem is, collaboration online is not the saem as collaboration in physical spaces. This is an issue.

We failed to realize that what makes sense for the asynchronous, relatively anonymous interactions of the Internet might not work as well inside the face-to-face, politically charged, acoustically noisy confines of an open-plan office.

While Cain is writing about offices, the notion of collaboration in schools often means kids working tables instead of desks. I … Read the rest

Royan and John

If you don't already subscribe to Royan Lee and John Spencer's blogs, give yourself an early Christmas present and get on that. These two continue to share unique, insightful, at times controversial topics and are more than willing to engage their readers in meaningful dialog. Here's a couple of recent examples:

8292046044_54dc6001f6_nHeadphones in the Classroom: Royan talks about his thinking around how and why he allows his students to listen to music in class. This is the type of thing most teacher have pondered but perhaps haven't articulated it well. The comments are equally as informative. 

Royan also does a great job of sharing tools and strategies that he uses with his middle school students. Some are quick ideas and his use of images and video are particularly appealing to me. Also the mix of personal and professional provide a wonderful picture of who Royan is as a teacher and parent. 

Other recent posts from Royan:

John Spencer has been a favorite read of my for several years. He's a prolific writer and has authored several books. I Read the rest

Beauty in a Second

Ben Grey, who despite his poor taste in music and clothes, has a great eye for composition and design. He introduced me to the one second video contest and challenged anyone to create their own version. The way in which we play with media is fascinating. Taking stills and making them move, mashing up content, playing with new formats are emerging storytelling ideas that enable us to share our world in rich and powerful ways. 

This weekend I was on the lookout for moments of beauty inside our house. Having been taking a photo every single day for the past 4 years, I've developed a keener sense of beauty or mindfulness. Trying to capture moments, seeing something special in the way light hits an object or the way two people interact. It's a habit I'm glad I've been developing and will continue to pursue. 

This is what I came up with. 

It's not awesome but it's a story, our story. I can really see taking this format and tweaking it and making it one's own. Ben used his son as the theme of his video. That's a very compelling story and while it's obviously incredibly meaningful to him, he tells Read the rest

IFTTT Meme

I've not wrtten ia post about a tool in a long time. Mostly because I usually don't think about it that much and other people do a better job writing about it than I do anyway. But I've been using If This, Then That for a few months and quite like how it's helped my work flow. Will asked a few of us how we're using it and rather than try and cram it in a few tweets figured I could blog about it. Blogging is quite lovely thing for stuff like this. 😉

Let me share the tasks I've set up and why I use them..

 

I had a number of plugins that were supposed to autotweet new blog posts to twitter but they often failed. I've used the little cheesy phrase, "I've got something to share(ski)…." and it's easy to add that text in this task. It works well. 

One I hardly if ever use. I'm not very active on Facebook and really only have a presence there because of family. I thought I might occasionally have tweets using a #fb tag to go their but I never think of it. May be I wll someday. 

There's Read the rest