Thing 5 – Items of Interest from my Google Reader

From the Langwitches Blog- Quad Blogging Reflection by Silvia Tolisano

For our last ‘Thing’, I came across the Quad Blog Project.  I found it really interesting and a good example of how to start blogging in the classroom.  4 classrooms from different countries around the world took turns contributing and commenting to their classroom blogs.

It occurred to me that this would be a great way to start blogging because there is collaboration among classrooms.  It seems less intimidating as a teacher and the students would have a greater pool of students to use as examples and learn with.  I love that it allowed for multi-culturalism, but the plan could even work with 4 classes within one school.

This particular page of the blog is very helpful because it is reflective of the whole 4 week process.  However, it is so well explained that I don’t feel overwhelmed.  There is information regarding how the month went in regards to students, teachers, and the tech coach.

As far as the students are concerned, there is more than enough proof provided that the students really met all the learning goals and that this was time and effort well spent.

The page went on to tell about the teachers’ learning curves in the process.  The following reflection about one teacher was very inspiring for me, “She was willing to jump in without “knowing it all”, a quality that seems to become more and more important for a teacher. We are all exploring new frontiers, creating new forms and learning by “failing forward“.”

I love the idea of having a tech coach.  I think teachers would be more willing to try something like this if they had another person willing to invest time into it too.  It’s hard for me to grow in regards to technology if I don’t have someone to ask for help.  The tech coach wasn’t just someone that would swoop in and correct a computer crash or something.  This was a teacher for the teachers.  The following described the role of the tech coach, “There is a need for a healthy mixture of teacher led mini lessons and modeling, co-teaching and coaching from the technology/literacy specialist. Teachers cannot rely on the specialist to be in their classroom at all times and “the blogging” cannot be just a an add-on or special project, when the specialist/coach is in the classroom.”

I have loved that we have been assigned a coach for the k12learning2.0 course.  It’s a huge comfort just knowing that there is someone who’s role it is to help.  That way, I don’t feel like I’m begging because I can’t do something.  Also, I feel like our instructor has done such a great job with providing help resources and videos that really make it easier to do the assignments successfully.  Being able to look at other students’ work in another great tool.  I’m not just given an task (aka ‘thing’) and told to figure it out alone.  I was set up for success.  Basically, I’m beginning to feel like I can be more responsible for my own learning because there are a lot of tools available.  Success with this is really helping my confidence.

I’m not definite as to who could fill this role for me if I were to do this sort of project with my coteachers, but I think it’s worth considering people to ask, such as a parent volunteer or the computer teacher.  Although a physical person would be ideal, this blog may provide enough ‘coaching’ to give me a general idea of how this project can happen. If the project were to take place among 2 to 4 classrooms within one school, the classroom teachers could plan meetings to help each other in this way.

Overall, this was an interesting read and displayed blogging as a realistic option for me to do with my students.  I will probably go back and read all the pages associated with this.

Participating classrooms’ blogs.
International School of Prague (3rd Grade)- Team Czech Republic 
International School of Zug and Luzern- Team Switzerland ( 4th Grade) 
Martin J. Gottlieb Day School- Team USA (4th Grade) 
International School of Bangkok- Team Thailand (5th Grade)

  • Here is another page that I liked.  I often use Kagan collaborative teaching strategies in my classroom practices.  This page explained one strategy and how to incorporate technology into that strategy.  This was an easy connection for me to make, and I can clearly visualize my class doing this.
  • And here’s one more.  I would like to start using Google Docs to enable students to collaborate more on assignments.  This page explains how to do that.


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