Thursday, August 10, 2006

A revised ballet and a new group of bloggers!

Yesterday, with a revised ballet on the web, I had the honor to work with Keith, Sara, and Tony in Botkins, Ohio. They teach and learn in a small district in West Central Ohio. Connie Schneider, their superintendent, and a team from the school were funded for a competitive grant for $32000 from eTech Ohio to improve student achievement in reading and writing. They have handhelds with keyboards for all sixth grade students, and laptops for the teachers and monies for professional development. Really neat!

They are a dedicated group who are working hard to help youngsters learn and prepare for our global society! And work hard we did, with no breaks or time out for lunch, we enjoyed a salad as we talked with Darren who skyped in to share how he uses blogs in his classroom. Anne skyped in too to talk about her Write Weblog project. Oh, the learning and excitement as two master bloggers shared their wisdom and experience!!! We didn't even have time for the wonderful looking peach pie that Mrs. Schneider had made for us!

I left sensing that really good things would be happening in 6th grade classrooms at Botkins and that Keith, Sara, and Tony were truly anticipating the changes occurring in their classrooms this fall. They are going to be blogging at Blogmeister! I can't wait to read their students' blogs!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Beyond Hope

Earlier this year, I reflected upon hope for educational reform following Barbara Ganley's post on that topic. At that time I had suggested that I would continue my work even more passionately. And I've done just that.

Tuesday I'm off to a small district in Western Ohio to work with a few teachers on integrating blogs into their curriculum. The superintendent of that district wrote a grant to fund the workshop, indicating her view that blogging may have great potential to improve student achievement. The tech coordinator has been so helpful. I'm excited at the possibilities. We'll be looking at educational uses of blogs and setting up classroom blogs at David Warlick's Blogmeister. I've done my best to create a framework for the workshop that is participant centered and blog centered with me as far out of the middle as possible in a Blogging Ballet.

So what does this have to do with "beyond hope"? I haven't totally decided where/if I should include much about DOPA. Now that I'm writing this, it has come to me that using the quote from that post:
"I have to stop hoping that anything can change; instead I must go about getting the work done. Inside. Where it counts."
And encouraging the folks in attendance that we must go about getting the work done--helping our youngsters prepare for lives in our global society--might be the best approach. I know that it will be the honest one.
And now I've answered a question from another posting when I asked:
As this leg of her journey begins, she wonders where the greatest power may be found-- in the development of conversations and community, or in the possibilities to make her thinking clearly visible to her.
--making my thinking clearly visible to me may be the greatest power thus far!