As I mentioned before, I had the privilege to go to Boston this summer to attend the Building Learning Communities 3 day conference, where each day there was a keynote speaker, as well as a choice of around 10 workshops for each of the sessions. It was truely amazing and I got so much out of it.
I have of course been evangelising ever since ~I got back and some people (teachers) have been asking the question "But do you really think that their teaching, using these technologies, is better?" Well, the best way I can explain it is to pull together what some of the brilliant presenters said at BLC 08.The pupils we are teaching are like no other generation we have taught before. They are digital natives, whereas we are digital immigrants. We expose them to around 60 minutes a week of ICT/Web 2.0 tools, whereas at home they can spend up to 400 minutes plus on the computer. When a pupil takes more pride in their BEBO page than their English coursework, then we need to look at the way we are teaching and communicating with our pupils. Of course, it can all seem a bit too mind-boggling to even know where to start, but for me, the key is actually starting, no matter how small..
To this end, aside from starting this blog (a pretty major aside, I guess!), I have signed up for The Whiteboard Challenge on http://whiteboardchallenge.wikispaces.com/ The idea is that the Interactive Whiteboard Challenge will run for 14 weeks initially, starting on Friday August 15th. Each fortnight there will be a new task set by someone who is an experienced whiteboard user. They will present their challenge in whatever way they like - it might be a short video, a screen cast a podcast. I then need to go and use whatever they have presented in my classroom that week. Ergo, at the end of the challenge I will have 7 blog posts about mywhiteboard practice, and lots of other blog posts on similar topics available to me to read.
Despite not having pupils until Monday 1st September, I am going to give this a go, and will post on this blog how I get on.