Monday, March 24, 2008

Turning the Lights on at School

March 24, 2008~ Marc Prensky’s article in March 2008 edition of Educational Leadership entitled "Turning on the Lights" struck a chord with me. It seems that is my mantra whenever I was in a job interview or if someone asked me what I love about my job. The question usually goes something like this: “What do you see as the best part of being a teacher/educator?” and my reply was/is “Because I enjoy seeing the light bulb click on when the students finally “get” a concept for the first time”. Thanks to Prensky’s article my mantra has a new meaning.

As a technology coach and mother of two digital natives, I have long been an active technology user in my professional and personal life. My oldest communicates with her peers via, text, blogs, MySpace, etc. Just imagine the impact if her teachers could use these same type of tools to connect to a classroom on the other side of the globe! Eighth grade students in South Carolina take South Carolina history. Why not have them communicate with eighth grade students in another state and have them share this historical knowledge? I overheard a very entertaining conversation as my daughter (native of SC) chatted with her cousin (native of NY) in which the NY native had actually been taught information regarding SC that was a bit misconstrued. Why not learn from the “experts” rather then a textbook??? Besides, in the real world isn’t that what we do as professionals? We do our research via our technology tools prior to our presentations, workshops, projects, etc.

So, yes, a resounding YES! Let us all “Turn the lights on” at school!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

"You Can Get Anywhere from Here"

March 21, 2008~ I have found it! I came across TokBox when I was exploring Tom McGee's Twitter responses to Steve Dembo's Twitterpoll: Where else is your network besides here? This appears to be the vehicle I have been looking to use. We have been funded (by Donor's Choose) for a webcam for a collaboration project entitled "You Can Get Anywhere from Here". Unfortunately, there was a snafu in shipping and I was sent a "nanny cam". A few year's late as my children are older and in school, I sent it back and currently waiting on my new camera to arrive. However, in my proposal, it never occurred to me (prior to TokBox) that I would have conflicts using my web-cam until I sat in on a session where they stated they used Instant Messaging software to communicate with other classrooms. Uh, can't do that in my district as it is blocked. However, with TokBox it apprears my issues of being blocked have been dispelled.

I am looking forward to communicating and collaborating with other classes and welcome users of TokBox to share their insight.

Oh, and yes, email me if you are interested in collaborating. I have four sixth grade teachers that teach four ELA classes a day that would be interested in sharing!

Get your own TokBox at