I just began an online course, "Learning and Teaching with Web 2.0 Tools." One of our first assignments is to create a blog, then write a posting "about how you would want to use a blog for educational purposes in your classrooms, schools, or districts." Because I've been blogging since last June, I asked the facilitator if I could use Journeys to share my ideas, and she agreed.
I'm hoping to fill in some gaps in my tech/tools knowledge; my online explorations certainly affirm that there are a LOT of things I want to learn, don't know, didn't even know I didn't know.
Still, I have made some progress. The required readings for class include articles and postings by people I interact with daily on Twitter or follow in my Google Reader. Wesley Fryer, Will Richardson, Steve Dembo, Miguel Guhlin, and the Students 2.0 contributers are all old friends, even though virtually. I could easily suggest another 20 or 30 outstanding edubloggers to add to the list.
What have I learned from this distinguished company? They have helped me to understand that
- learning must extend beyond classroom walls
- students have a Voice that needs to be heard
- safety means education not isolation
- teachers should be co-learners
- collaboration expands and enriches curriculum
- even in a 2.0 world, tools are secondary to content
I’d suggest this: if you think you have nothing to write about as you face the blank screen, remember these people, and their fine gestures, and consider, instead of thinking, simply feeling. And create from that. Create some new form of kindness. Let your education “lead you out” - from yourself. Let it pull you to engage the world from the tip of your nose to the opposite pole.
And that is the best lesson I've learned, to use blogging as a connector to others around the world, and by so doing, to discover joy.
"Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings. It is based on the experience of one's identity as a being of worth and dignity." -Rollo May
"tay0403" by jwfarmer10