Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Potential and reality

Posted to tictech this evening:

--- In tictech@yahoogroups.com, "Baeder, Justin" wrote:> This story describes a number of teachers using blogs, wikis,> podcasting, and similar new technologies in the classroom: http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20061115/
tc_usatoday/bloggingnowbeginsyoung

> Mark A. is in good company.

Justin, thanks. In the summer of 2005 I remember telling a friend how I was going to start blogging with my third graders in the fall -and how there were thousands of teachers all over the place doing this - and how I was coming so late to the dance. How wrong I was. We are still so few.

A couple of things happened today in the classroom that opened my eyes once again - to potential and reality:

At 2:00 I tuned in to a "Webinar" on a computer in my classroom, hosted by Discovery Education and Steve Dembo. The presenter was David Warlick. He was speaking to a Group at MassCUE in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.... talking about Friedman's The World is Flat - and many other things. On my classroom computer, I had David's presentation computer. In a corner of my screen I had an IM chat going on with over a hundred virtual attendees. In another window I had a live wiki where we were all encouraged to sign in and take notes while David spoke - and we could all share these notes and thoughts later, of course....

http://davidwarlick.com/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Main.FlatClassrooms
http://davidwarlick.com/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Main.FlatSchools-MASSCUE

And the audio - get this - was on my classroom phone. I set it on speakerphone, so I could move around and get work done, glance at the computer screen (controlled by David), and listen, live, to a big time presentation from a world class educator.

Simply amazing. And free. The message was revolutionary.

But what blew me away for real was a conversation with my third graders this morning. One of my kids shared with the class, via her morning journal, projected for the class to read - that she was excited to be getting a my space started with her dad this weekend. I asked her if she was talking about the "computer" MySpace. She said of course. There was a low buzz in the classroom. I asked if anybody else in the room had MySpace accounts. Four hands went up, timidly - and a little proudly...

These are 8 and 9 year olds. Anybody who thinks social networking is years away from elementary school kids is dead wrong. My second annual "Family Internet Night", scheduled none too soon, happens in the last week in November. - Mark

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3 comments:

Jeff Utecht said...

You are going to record your Parent Night right? And share it with the community right?

:0

Mark Ahlness said...

Jeff, I sure will, as I did last year: Podcasting - finally!

Anonymous said...

Watch the 13-minute overview (below).
Just off press ...
The World is Flat?
"Globalization is the greatest reorganization of the world
since the Industrial Revolution."

Thomas Friedman’s recent New York Times bestseller, The World is Flat, asserts that the international economic playing field is now more level than it has ever been. As popular as it may be, some reviewers assert that by what it leaves out, Friedman’s book is dangerous.

“The world isn’t flat as a result of globalization,” say Ronald Aronica and Mtetwa Ramdoo, business analysts and authors of a critical analysis of Friedman’s book. “Globalization is the greatest reorganization of the world since the Industrial Revolution,” says Aronica.

This epic change has shaken up the way the world does business. From boardrooms to classrooms to kitchen tables and water coolers, globalization has become a hot topic of discussion and debate everywhere. But by what Friedman’s book ignores or glosses over, it misinforms people and policy makers.

Aronica and Ramdoo’s concise monograph, The World is Flat?: A Critical Analysis of Thomas L. Friedman’s New York Times Bestseller, brings clarity to many of Friedman’s stories and explores nine key issues Friedman largely disregards or treats too lightly. To create a fair and balanced exploration of globalization, the authors cite the work of experts that Friedman fails to incorporate, including Nobel laureate and former Chief Economist at the World Bank, Dr. Joseph Stiglitz.

Refreshingly, readers can now gain new insights into globalization without weeding through Friedman’s almost 600 pages of grandiloquent prose and bafflegab. “It’s of utmost urgency that we all learn about and prepare for total global competition. If you read Friedman’s book, and were awed, you really should read more rigorous treatments of this vital subject. Globalization affects all our lives and will be of even greater significance to our children and grandchildren,” says Ramdoo.

Aronica and Ramdoo conclude by listing over twenty action items that point the way forward, and they provide a comprehensive, yet concise, framework for understanding the critical issues of globalization. They paint a clear and sometimes alarming picture of the early twenty-first century landscape, and present timely information needed by governments, businesses, and individuals everywhere.
Watch a thought-provoking 13 minute Overview on the Web:
www.mkpress.com/FlatOverview.html