Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Why teachers give up on web 2.0

(I'd love to quote directly, but his school has a tag on his email prohibiting any such use. The message is, however, archived and available on the classblogmeister list)

Wondering why teachers give up on web 2.0 technologies? Read this short post about which is better, wikispaces or pbwiki. In the end, it simply does not matter what a teacher thinks. Place the blame where it obviously belongs:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/classblogmeister/message/3222

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posted by Mark Ahlness @ 8:17 PM   2 Comments

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A little update

Will Richardson writes in District Administration Magazine, in From MySpace to SchoolSpace:

THIS FALL, THE 45,000 STU-dents in the Seattle Public School system will be encouraged to create and publish pictures, videos and other work to their personal Web pages, where they'll even be able to create communities of "friends" online.

Sound like MySpace? Close. It's "Medley," a component of a new social learning network being rolled out by the district in an attempt to bring the potentials of Read/Write Web tools to students in a more managed environment. Named "L3rn," the network is the next step in a process that started over two years ago with an initiative to put grades, attendance and homework information online for parents and students to access.


The initial flurry of media activity announcing the promise of L3RN (above being the last I've saved) also coincided with the departure of the people who developed it. It is worth noting, and watching, where they are now. There will be good stuff coming from them again.

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posted by Mark Ahlness @ 11:13 AM   0 Comments

Friday, September 14, 2007

One less...


Adios
Originally uploaded by mahlness
One less set of encyclopedias in the world.

One less bookshelf to hold them.

I cleaned house and consolidated space in my classroom after school today. Friday afternoon, at the end of the first full week of school this year - and my back is killing me.

But I'm very excited about what there is more of...two more laptop stations.

Symbolic? But of course.

Gone: a set of never-used 20 year old encyclopedias and a bookshelf.

In their place: two screamin' laptops, with the world of knowledge a couple of nanoseconds away.

My back feels better already.

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posted by Mark Ahlness @ 5:59 PM   1 Comments

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Day two, step one


Type to Learn
Originally uploaded by mahlness
First step, gotta know how to type - at least a little bit. Learning where all those letters are, using Type to Learn.

There were six more kids on other computers at this point. The other half of the class was doing silent reading. Then we switched, of course. :)

For the second day of school, I was very pleased. The kids are just amazing. It will be a very good year.

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posted by Mark Ahlness @ 8:01 PM   3 Comments

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Not one computer was touched


Ready to go...
Originally uploaded by mahlness
It was the first day of school for my third graders today. Nobody even touched a computer. It's not like I don't have any, or I don't have any plans for them to be used :)

It's because of where my kids are coming from. We spent the day dealing with pencil and paper tasks, passing out textbooks, and all the routines that go with those things. That is what they know. I have to meet them where they are.

Maybe on the last day of school this year I'll be able to write a post titled "Not one pencil was touched" or "Not one book was touched".

It is entirely possible. I'm going for it.

And I bet the first day of school next year, we'll be getting right on those computers. It is changing that fast.

Oh yeah, my new class - they're wonderful!! You'll be hearing from them soon, at roomtwelve.com

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posted by Mark Ahlness @ 5:13 PM   1 Comments

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Lucky teacher

Time to put aside the distractions of summer and buckle down. The kids come into my classroom in four days. I'm scrambling.

I had my first "back to school" dream last night. It was not a good one - they're usually not, at this time of the year. It was awful - I can still remember it clearly - aaack, it was so real.

Yesterday I moved student folders around on our server at school, saving the work from last year's kids. And then I created new folders for all my new kids.

And then, of course, the blogs. I posted a farewell message to last year's group at roomtwelve.com, with hyperlinks to all their blogs, so it can serve as a sort of archive of their old home page. Added them all to the "Room Twelve Alumni" group and changed their passwords. Sent an email to all their parents letting them know their kids can still keep blogging if they want, and what their new passwords will be.

Finally, I set up 22 blogs for my new group of third graders. This will be my 17th year teaching third grade at this school. I shake my head in disbelief, and remind myself of what I often say when it comes up in conversation, "Sometimes you just get lucky".

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posted by Mark Ahlness @ 10:39 PM   5 Comments