--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Baeder, Justin"
> 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....
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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