Saturday, February 14, 2009

Learning as Conversation

What a treat to participate in Chagrin Falls professional development day entitled 21st Century learning and Student Achievement at Abby’s (of SmartSolutions) invitation. Thank you Abby; it was grand to meet you!

I seized on the opportunity to share my passion for learning through conversation on blogs by facilitating a session on that topic. The small group with whom I interacted examined professional conversations, the shift to transparency that occurs in dialogue on blogs, strategies for deepening learning and conversations with students using the comment feature, and along the way engaged in a few conversations with their own comments. We began first with professional conversations for their own learning, believing that with that immersion then educators will develop a better understanding of the potential of conversational learning with students. Too much to consider deeply in just over one hour, I developed a wiki and blog with varied and numerous resources to which they and anyone else with interest might return. My thanks to each of them for considering the concepts and ideas!

We started here:

As pleased as I was with this opportunity to share – I was really excited to meet PLP community members from Bedford, Felice and Alison!

And meeting Sheryl is a post unto itself!


Alison said...

Lani, I was so glad to meet you too! I thought Abby did a great job of bringing all of us together- it's wonderful to read what everyone writes and shares online, but it's even more fun to bond over a meal in the Chagrin Falls Middle School cafeteria! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Alison,

Thanks for stopping by!!!

A good day with good people, you're absolutely right!


Anonymous said...

Hi Lani,

Sounds like a great experience, and thanks very much for including the slides. I love how much you relied on visual elements to convey meaning as opposed to overloading the slides with text. I don't do presentations much and have a bad habit of resorting to text too much. So your presentation is a good example to refer back to.

Like you I think the significance of conversation and discussion on blogs cannot be overstated. I think it's one of the core elements in how we learn during the process.

The reflective elements that drive the initial posts are important too - don't get me wrong - but the comments and discussion that follows is how we engage with others and start to "socialise around knowledge" as George Siemens might say.

So I think devoting sufficient attention to the cultivation of a culture that embraces and recognises the significance of deep commenting is criticial to foster when working with blogs as it helps close the circle of reflection, discussion, synthesis, and reflection once again :)

Great post, very thought-provoking!

Hope all is well,



Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your presentation and have begun blogging in my classroom!! I really connected with what you said about conversation and learning and bridging blogging to that. I very much appreciate you sharing your slides. The photos used and the connection to jazz makes a great impact.