Daily Archives: July 2, 2007

Teachers 2.0

I just met with our Upper School Director regarding our in-service retreat in August. His focus is technology in support of good teaching (yeah!). He has come a long way in his use and thoughts about technology in the classroom. I worked with him on a wiki project this spring in his African Literature class. The shape of this retreat has evolved a lot since he first brought it up. We’ve gone from a skills-based approach to a near-web2.0 retreat. Here’s a peek at what we have so far:

Dialog I – What makes good teaching? (based around reading of Ken Bain’s book, What the Best College Teachers Do)

Presentation I – A demo of a “lesson study” – in depth conversation, step-by-step following the elements of a particular lesson

Dialog II – Technology and Good Teaching

(During these first 3 elements, the faculty will be broken into 3 groups of 10. Then during each session, the group will either be in the fishbowl having the active conversation, or live blogging/chat on the side – they will rotate through the rolls.)

Lunch

Dialog III – Reflections on the day – was this setup effective? can it be used in the classroom?

Presentation II – Next steps – snapshot of some technologies to get them started. preview to future workshops.

What do you think of this of this setup? How might you change things? I’m especially exciting for the live blog on the side after reading all the buzz at NECC. But I’m worried that there is not much info on technology in this. If the teachers don’t know what’s out there how can they come to the conclusion that good teaching should involve using it? After reading Ben Wilkoff’s post this morning, I’m wondering how set up “The Ripe Environment” for my teachers. I’m still digesting this and wondering what else I could inject – maybe to make “Presentation II” effective. I welcome your thoughts.

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First camp-out

Last night, my 4 y.o. and I had our first camp-out (in the backyard, of course). Truly an exciting adventure for him (and me as we try to go to sleep when it is still light out). We tried a “family” camp-out but our 2 y.o. couldn’t manage to lie down – the tent was too much like a new toy. So the two of us got down to business reading several books. When that was done, he said he had to go to the bathroom (which of course means in the bushes because we are “camping”). Then he came running back to the tent and asked if he could have the flashlight and go through the “woods” (read: small patch of trees). I gave him the flashlight (it’s not yet dark out) and he took off to the “woods” looking for animals. He’s my nature guy. So he does this 2 or 3 times then comes back into the tent.

Now, it’s time to get into bed and sleep – he puts his head on his pillow and says “I’m not tired”. So we go grab a few more books and that seems to do the trick. A couple of books by flashlight and he is ready and falls right asleep. I wasn’t far behind him. We slept straight through – even though it got pretty cold. I even had to wake him this morning so I could get ready for work. Ahhh – yes – summertime.