Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Part

The past few days have left me feeling quite uneasy, (could be a culmination of a few things: the snow storm, the Egyptian crisis, the internet use cap,) but I believe I can really pinpoint its beginning.  A couple of days ago I was reading my twitter feeds and checking out some of the amazing posts made by my network. The posts I read on there are mostly:  inspiring; great resource sharings; new points of view/perspectives or links to many other really amazing things going on in the world today.
However, on Sunday night I checked out a particular post by @ballantynedj which he premised: "a sobering talk".  Of course, that got me intrigued, but I wasn't really prepared for what I watched when I clicked the link.  The link: was a Ted Talk by Canadian, Naomi Klein.  Her talk was about the Alberta Tar Sands, the BP oil spill, powerful and authoritative figures using their positions to make choices on behalf of all of us... among other things.

Upon watching it I felt like I was drowning, like I couldn't get enough air and metaphorically, I mean I felt helpless.  How am "I" going to contribute or un-contribute to these issues.  What can "I" possibly do to make a difference.  I recall thinking and discussing with my husband: we already recycle, take litter-less lunches everyday, conserve electricity, planted a vegetable garden, re-use clothing, buy eco-friendly products, and so on.  I thought we were doing our part.  But after watching the video, I felt like it didn't matter.  No matter what I do/don't do, it isn't enough.  I really wish I had the answers, truth is, now I don't even know where to begin.

You know, @ballantynedj was right, it was sobering (and depressing).  As a teacher, I am confident with my abilities to teach my students new ways to be creative; to be themselves; to embrace learning; to do their best when it comes to making good decisions or eco-friendly choices, but I don't know what to say to them about what they can do, I mean really do, to make a difference for the future.  I feel like that isn't just up to my students and me, that is up to everyone.  How does one affect that change, I need help.

So, now I am on that quest, to see what I CAN do. (Wish me luck as I am sure I will need a ton of it).

I will keep updating on how its going.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Digital Teaching and Pedagogical Reform

Here I am in 2011 welcoming myself to the 21st Century of learning and teaching. No worries though, I know, I am 10 years late…. I will try my best to catch up.

The past few months have been so informative for me and frightfully awakening. I am almost embarrassed to admit that I was living my life up until recently, totally ignorant to the vast sea of learning literally at my fingertips! I am glad to have “come aboard” the information train, so to speak, and there is no turning back!

Looking forward to continuing the development of my TK (Technological Knowledge) and sharing/collaborating with other educators.
One of the many things I have been introduced to (of late) is: Web Quests. This is an AMAZING resource data base and a pivotal example of collaborative learning/teaching resources available to teachers. We are so lucky to have amazing educators all over the world working together to create quality lessons for students of all ages.

Specifically I was drawn to a lesson on Cultural Identity: Making Masks. This lesson incorporates cross-curricular expectations, fosters creativity and creates cultural awareness in students. I am looking forward to incorporating this lesson into a social studies/visual arts/drama activity for my students.

Here is the link if anyone is interested: