Monday, June 25, 2007

A Challenge and an Opportunity

Originally posted on June 4, 2007

Yesterday I received my tentative teaching assignments for next school year (in addition to my duties in the LMC). I am now scheduled to instruct a mixed class of high school students in current events. I don’t have any details yet, but the high school principal said this scheduling is a direct result of my advocating for more 21st century fluency skills in our district. My hope is the students and I will explore - and master - things like podcasts, blogging, etc. The first hurdle will be to secure student e-mail accounts, at least for those enrolled in my class. If this can not be supported by our district technology, I’ll funnel everything through a class account.
I visualize this course as a combination of a traditional current events class (emerging issues, world economy, geography, politics, etc.) and library skills instruction (plagiarism & copyright, fact vs. opinion, media “genres”, effective research). Setting the kids up on Google Reader, would be one of my first steps. Blogs, a wiki, podcasts, video clips, might follow. A Zoho notebook publication would be the perfect culminating project. Or, perhaps, a videotaped news show.
If we are successful, I anticipate having my students function as instructors for other students - and teachers.

This blog will serve as an online professional journal, a repository for odd ideas and quirky facts, and a public diary, of sorts. I am, most definitely, a “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

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