What I Want to Learn at NECC

The number one thing I have learned this year is that I still have SO much to learn. That's okay with me, because I love to learn and I get excited about improving my craft...so as I prepare to head off to NECC, I'm thinking about my expectations.

Here are the things I really want to know more about:
1. Classroom applications for wikis
2. Ideas for a podcast radio show for our elementary students
3. Global collaboration projects
4. How to use Second Life (on recommendation of Kevin Jarrett)
5. How to use Second Life for professional development
6. E-Portfolios
7. Teaching kids cyber-safety

I am also excited about the prospect of meeting face to face with the many educators who have taught and inspired me on their blogs and twitter. I hope no one has conflicting sessions!
I plan to take lots of pictures and share some of my learning here, but most of my live blogging will be on http://livefromthecreek.blogspot.com So, as I pack my bags to leave in the morning, come follow me to San Antonio and let me hear from you while I'm there!


Proudly admitting....I'm an Edupunk

Edupunk? That what I thought when I first heard the term this week. The fifteen year old girl that dyed her hair purple that still resides somewhere inside me was immediately interested in finding out what it meant.

Apparently it is the brainchild of fellow blogger, Jim Groom. The term embraces the Do-It-Yourself style of inventive teaching and learning. In other words, directly opposing pre-packaged learning curriculum and software marketed by companies and embracing the mash-up of curriculum learning tools and web 2.0 applications available to create something much more personalized to the teacher and learner. Thereby creating the limitless extent to where that learning can go!

Watch this for a quick overview on Edupunk:

Despite brief acting out phases with my hair, I never really set out to be a non-conformist...but as a teacher...you do whatever it takes to reach and teach a child. For years, I supplemented or changed the curriculum where I needed to in order to suit my student. Now, as a teacher who has embraced web 2.0 in the past year, I find myself fully thrust into the role of Edupunk.

I am in awe of the amazing possibilities available with tools my students can use online voicethread, google docs, youtube, blogger, etc. AND...the limitless possibilites or what they can create using these tools together. I don't know why people are so afraid to try some of these new things and I get frustrated that with every new discovery it has been a fight to get security to unblock applications even just for teacher use!

Where do you stand on non-conformity? Are you an Edupunk?


Getting Connected

When I first started teaching, my professional network consisted of the six teachers on my wing. I went to them for lesson ideas, behavior management advice, holiday activity ideas and morale support. I rarely had time to speak with other teachers in the building, so my network remained small and linear.

With the technology we have available now, my network consists of hundreds of teachers here where I live in Florida and around the world. I can walk next door to my neighboring teacher or log on and speak to teachers across the world in my twitter network. Networking online has become my number one tool for lesson ideas, advice on everything and morale support.

Creating a ning for the teachers I work with was a way for me to show other teachers how easy it is to connect and share online. Our school is a National Model School for America's Choice
and we host visitors all year long to tour and observe in our school. One way we are using the our ning is to post demo lesson videos for many to view at their own leisure.

In the few months our ning has been developed, we have close to 180 educators all over the US and one in Canada. If you haven't joined an online network like twitter or a ning - get connected! You don't know what you're missing! Please consider this an invitation to join Setting the Standard. See you online. :)

Visit Setting the Standard