Monday, September 27, 2010

Making It Real

Knowing that I'm "retired" and more apt to have free time than most members of our PLN, my friend Buffy Hamilton asked if I could do a live demo of document sharing in Google Docs this morning.

Buffy's lead off question was, "What are our favorite social media and web 2.0 tools?"
I contributed a few favorites, while she showed her students some of the editing options.

Since I had mentioned Google Reader, I opened a tab and checked my subscriptions. One item that caught my attention was Stephanie Sandifer's Education Reform Brainstorming posting. Like many educators, Stephanie has been concerned that "current dialogue around education reform
" does not adequately represent all stakeholders. Rather than merely rant or walk away, Stephanie has created a both a survey and a spreadsheet for brainstorming, hoping to built "a space that can become a repository of ideas for everyone involved and invested in improving the schools across our nation."

"EVERYONE is invited to help brainstorm ideas! Teachers, administrators, parents, students, community members, education researchers, anyone and everyone who is interested and who has an idea."

Stephanie mentioned students, those whose lives will be most directly affected by educational reform...or the lack thereof.

So I shared the links with Buffy and her class, a serendipitous opportunity to turn a demonstration into an exercise in authentic learning.

If your students are blocked from accessing these tools from school, please do as I once did with my Current Events classes: have them express their opinions verbally or in writing, then add the student comments yourself to Stephanie's document.

This is an important conversation. ALL voices need to be heard and valued.

"Put Learning in the Hands of Students" by katerha

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