Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Another day, before it really starts

Not every day for me has technology so interwoven throughout like today. I love to integrate technology into how/what I teach, and also into my daily life, but today was a bit much.
  • It starts with Miguel Guhlin posting a provocative piece based on a comment I made on his blog yesterday about the preoccupation and fretting (in my opinion) over getting parents to sign a paper saying it's OK for their kids to blog. Then he goes and uses big words like prevarication - forcing me to go to, for goodness sake.
  • Then I get word that my district has finally unblocked my school's wiki - - yahoo!! I bite my tongue one more time and send thanks to my IT staff. A few minutes later I ask them to unblock two more wikis I plan to use as collaborative writing spaces with my class this year. I hear back in a few minutes that they are unblocked. Hooray, they've got it figured out! I have a feeling Adam Frey helped out, and I am extremely grateful.
  • During silent reading right after lunch, I get an email from my wife, in Bratislava - she's using a computer in the little computer room in the hotel there. All is well, she gets an extra rehearsal before recording, in the"largest recording studio/hall in the world, left from the era of communism..." - hope she takes a picture or two. All is well. She will email now - no more 6 minute, $20 phone calls -I hope. I will send her an email to wake up to when I finish this post. Anyway, this is a huge boost to my day. My kids are wondering why I have this incredible energy in the afternoon :)
  • At the end of the staff meeting today I finally get a chance to show Karl Fisch's "Did You Know?" After a meeting filled with hand-wringing over school test scores and what to set as goals for this year (with little talk about HOW to do this), it was nice, I hope, for folks to step away from it all, to look at the big picture. Reaction was good, I think. The music teacher loved it and went on about the unresolved chord in the music at the end - said she had to rush home and resolve it (I love it!). A couple of other teachers said in the hall after that they felt like crying while watching - like what can we DO? I will write to Karl, and will write more about it here.
  • Then I get a reminder email from a photo researcher from Macmillan McGraw-Hill. She hasn't heard back from me about getting pictures of me and kids working on The Earth Day Groceries Project - which they would like to include in their new third grade Social Studies textbook. This of course would be very cool - but tracking down the right pics at the right resolution for text publication, to say nothing of tracking down parents of past students with a permission form I probably have to come up with on my own - aargh and yeah! Maybe this weekend.
  • And then an email from a colleague working on funding for The Earth Day Groceries Project, wondering if I have compiled media news mentions of the project in 2006 yet - something to present to the folks who may fund the project one more time next spring. Critical stuff, and I have done next to nothing. This weekend.
  • Then I decide I just have to blog about all this. I have a mound of papers to wade through and plans to make for tomorrow...

Last year I wrote an entry, Just another day, about the insanity of being in the world of web 2.0 with third graders. After a day like today, when the kids don't even know it's out there yet, when I haven't even opened the door to the blog, when the wiki with my kids is just a vague vision, when I am just beginning to gear up for using technology in school... well, it makes me wonder what resources I'll have to muster when it REALLY gets going. No matter. It will be worth it.


Karl Fisch said...

Wow - that is an insane day. Both in the typical use of that word and in the sense of "insanely great." I think we are all trying to figure out how to "manage" (for lack of a better word at the moment) web 2.0 tools in education - both in our own professional development and of course with our students.

I constantly battle with my natural inclination to be a "glass is half empty" kind of guy, but I think we do have to take the optimistic viewpoint of "it will be worth it" - or we have no business working with children. Thanks for sharing your day with us . . . and I look forward to hearing from you.

Wesley Fryer said...

Hooray for the wiki unblocks!!!!! That is great, Mark, I am raising a glass in a toast to you and your perserverance. :-)