More from me on K12 Online 2007.
I am so glad this conference has been taking place during our half term holidays because it has meant that I have given myself time to watch / listen to some of the presentations. I've got through about half of them so far and am still interested.
For the purposes of this post however I wanted to respond to the questions posed by Derek Wenmouth at the end of his presentation entitled: "Holding a Mirror to our Professional Practice".
This keynote looks at the issues surrounding the use of emerging technologies in the classroom, and ways of trying to make the use thereof as invisible as possible, but he looks particularly at how we should reflect on our use of these technologies.
It is all well and good trying to use blogs, podcasts, wikis etc but the outcome must be that students learn what they are supposed to learn, which is usually dictated by a curriculum.
At the end of his presentation Derek leaves us with a series of questions to enable us to reflect on our own practice. He asks us to chose the one question most appropraite to ourselves...I'm a swot and have answered most of them.
• What are the mirrors I am holding to my practice?
not enough at the moment. I think the time is approaching when I need to stop looking forward all the time and just take stock of some of the things I have done in class recently and try to analyse how effective I have been and how much the students have learned.
• Who are my mentors WHO I RELATE TO REGULARLY?
I suppose my mentors are my colleague language teachers when it comes to the actual teaching of the languages, however i feel as though there are few, if any, colleagues in school who could sufficiently mentor and coach me on how to integrate emerging technologies in the classroom. There appears to be very little discussion on, or use of these technologies in my school. Every one is waiting for an INSET on them...I am not a "dIgital native" as the generation we teach are supposed to be. I only started to use computers in 1995 when I started teacher training (but it wasn't part of the course). I have learned and developed through my own interest. No INSET or course can provide you with the training you need because the training as we know it doesn't exist. Most of my training and mentoring comes from my blog reading and comment writing and TRYING STUFF OUT...AND FAILING
What is my professional reading?
Blogs, blogs and more blogs. I have to admit I was never a good reader of academic material...not enough crime or horror in it for my reading tastes, but since my discovery of blogs I have never felt more up to date and in tune with educational thinking. Blogs are immediate and I can, if I wish, comment on what is written. Until just over a year ago I honestly only really spent time reflecting on my practice when Annual CPD review time came about. Now I'm doing it all the time.
What communities of practice do I belong to?
The blogosphere I suppose
DO I HAVE A BLOG?
You're reading it
What about my rss feeds?
Numbers growing on a weekly basis as reading leads me to new people.
When was the last time I observed a lesson?
I have not done this in a formal sense in along time but I often observe my MFL colleagues at work if I need to visit their classroom.
When was my last presentation?
Done 2 main presentations in last 8 months Communicate.07 and 'shire and city In-service. Really enjoyed doing them and actually felt I was contributing to other colleagues development (thanks to feedback received), but actually done lots of assemblies and such like recently.