Friday, October 21, 2005

RML After the Show -- Sheryl and Bud, Wow!

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I just got home from my inservice. My part, Rip, Mix, Learn was in the morning only, from 9 to 11:30 am. I went to another session on project based learning in applied math in the afternoon. But my head has been reeling from the morning's session.

Sheryl and Bud, I can't thank you enough for your incredible contributions! I was only able to read your comments, on the blog and in the chatbox, now. I was so rushed during the workshop I just couldn't participate in or observe your part of things. I've got to tell you that I think the comments you made and the simple fact of your presence made it a success beyond my wildest imagination! You both made such insightful and helpful comments to the teachers in the workshop. And to answer one of Sheryl's questions -- yes, they were all math teachers. ;-)

Ok, so here are some lessons learned:

  • »It has to be a full day workshop next time -- it was way too rushed!
  • »Sheryl emailed me last night and suggested I skype the presentation. A brilliant idea! I definitely will next time.
  • »I talked too much and went through some of the links too quickly. I've got to slow down and give them more time to absorb what we're talking about and allow more time for discussion.
  • »"Visitors from afar" are another definite must! I'm so appreciative of the contributions made by Sheryl and Bud! They addressed some of the issues I just didn't have time for and, in a very concrete way, illustrated how blogs "bring the world into the classroom on a daily basis."
  • »I think some teachers were left wondering: "Where's the math!" Although I used several examples of concrete mathematics teaching and learning on the blogs later on we became so immersed in the technology that we lost sight of the pedagogy. It's hard to reconcile this one because, IMHO, to do this effectively teachers need a new kind of technological literacy. I need to be more explicit about that.
  • »I found myself saying, a few times, "I don't really care about the marks anymore. It's all about the learning." I'm growing -- feels good.
  • »Will has a post that I read last night where he talks about the difference between "push and pull learning." I found myself talking about that an awful lot today. It had a real impact on my thinking.

One of the people who attended my morning session, John, was in the applied math session with me in the afternoon. John was really excited by the things he had learned. We're now talking about forming a Manitoba Math Teacher Bloggers blog where we can share and discuss ways to assimilate and incorporate this technology into our teaching. We also talked about how to use del.icio.us and other social bookmarking tools to share resources. -- Very exciting stuff!! -- I'm also going to add a follow-up post to the workshop asking for teachers feedback whether or not we should have another session like this next year -- either something similar to this morning or a number of breakout sessions that run all day where we each get a chance to share our work and struggles with each other and try to figure out ways to improve teaching and learning. I'll try to have it up this weekend and I'll cross post it here and at Rip, Mix, Learn.

Lastly, for you "easter egg hunters" out there, I'm going to make the hidden links explicit if not today, before I go to sleep tomorrow. ;-)

3 comments:

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach said...
21/10/05 20:47  

It was an interesting experience. I believe Skype, at least so we could have heard, would have made the experience stronger. Being able to talk to some of the participants and comment on the blogs was really cool.

In November, I plan to give a similar presentation in Alabama and follow-up with a virtual make and take workshop. I hope Darren will return the "visitors from afar" favor.

Clarence Fisher said...
21/10/05 21:24  

Darren I was thinking about you today. I was in a session that was hosted at Celebrations Dinner Theatre, that while interesting, was not this. During the morning I found that you were on my mind a lot.

It sounds like it went very well.

Congratulations!

Mr. Kuropatwa said...
21/10/05 21:42  

Sheryl if I can be near a computeer and microphone when you present you can count me on your list of attendees. ;-) I kind of like they way this is developing ... it's a really engaging way to give an inservice. The more people that choose to participate the more powerful the experience will be!

Clarence: Thanks for the well wishes. I mentioned you several times in my presentation as the only other Manitoban public school educator (that I know about) using blogs in the classroom. There was a teacher from your school division there -- I can't remember her name now, but she was VERY taken with the idea of using blogs as an educational tool. I hope you don't mind, but I suggested she reach you through your blog. Someday we've got to go for that cup of coffee. ;-)

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