Last week was one of those weeks where I left school with a bit of a headache. No, don’t worry, it was not a medical issue and I was not hungover, but I appreciate your concern. Actually it was the kind of headache I used to get back in my College days when i would be cramming for a test or working on a big project. I used to call the “brain aches”. Anyway, with the help of my Netvibes reader, I am subscribed to a number of educational blogs (see my blogroll) and as such, I fill my mornings now, at my computer, with a hot cup of coffee and my list of sites to peruse. I am blown away by the quality of good educational blogs out there and the dedication many of the blogs I subscribe to are putting forth. Specifically, I urge you to visit Kim Cofino’s Blog. We actually met when I joined Clay Burell’s 1001 Flat World Tales Project. Interest in this is taking off and I am happy to one of the first few teachers taking part of this. I kind of get that feeling about this project that it will develop into something really big and memorable. Needless to say, cheers Clay, way to pull this all together and provide so many of us with this opportunity. I have already been contacted by Terry Smith in Missouri to get our kids together and collaborating and I look forward to working with his kids as well. There is just so much good stuff going on out there with teachers and the Web 2.0 stuff that it is hard to keep up with, synthesize, digest, reflect on, etc.
Back to Kim for a second, she has also taken it upon herself get a wiki going for Middle School teachers and tech. facilitators to post projects and ideas they have for integrating technology into their respective curriculum. Check out Tech in the Middle here and throw your ideas into the mix if you haven’t already. Even though I am the Elementary Tech Facilitator I think I will throw some ideas in there that can easily be adapted to the middle grades setting. Besides, I was a middle school teacher for 5 years before moving to the tech world. This is just up and running and once again, thanks to having feeds to all these incredible ideas has led me in many different directions in the last week alone.
My brain ache subsided over the weekend as I kind of steered away from the computer and focused on playing like a kid with my two kids. It gave me time to reflect on the massive amount of information I looked over last week and enabled me to focus a bit. The respite was needed and Aidan (my 3.5 year old) and I had a blast at the pool and coloring his Power Ranger coloring books-he is getting good at staying in the lines. Randomly bringing me to this revelation while coloring in a motor cycle with him. In coloring books we value staying “in the lines” yet when it comes to education, we are now encouraging our kids to scribble outside of the lines, to explore, to think out side of the box, to ask difficult answers and then come up with the solutions. Essentially as Educators if we are embracing these new technologies into our curriculum and classrooms then aren’t we also “coloring” outside of the lines? Toward the end of one coloring session, Aidan was kind of over it and started to scribble, I put down my marker, watched, and smiled. Coloring outside of the lines suddenly seemed more rewarding as staying confined within them.